Background: The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) engages people of faith and good will in advocating economic and racial justice public policies and practices in Virginia. VICPP’s members and chapters educate themselves about critical issues, meet with and educate their Virginia General Assembly delegates and senators, and partner with diverse faith traditions to bring a moral voice into the public sphere.
Campus Affiliates engage students in becoming moral advocates on key economic and justice issues facing the Commonwealth. Campus Affiliates partner with the VICPP on priority issues and campaigns and develop leaders who can “speak truth to power” when required.
Who can affiliate? VICPP works with a broad mix of student organizations that are interested in economic and racial justice issues and willing to become justice advocates. Existing faith based or social action groups can affiliate with VICPP, such as a campus ministry association, a Newman club, a Muslim Student Association, a Wesley center, a Hillel, an Intervarsity group, or a broader social action group.
What do Campus Affiliates do? VICPP campus chapters do three kinds of activities:
- Encourage and celebrate racial and religious diversity. Affiliates can:
- Help schools recognize and celebrate diverse religious holidays and traditions.
- Encourage schools to create supportive environments for non-majority faiths (e.g. prayer rooms for Muslims or Kosher food options).
- Oppose racial or religious discrimination.
- Advocate school policies that make the school more accessible to low-income students and people of color.
- Host special programs to help students gain understanding about diverse religious traditions, such as hosting an Eid celebration or a community Seder.
- Engage students in public policy advocacy on racial and economic justice issues. Affiliates can:
- Bring a student delegation to VICPP’s annual Day for All People lobby day (usually held in late January).
- Meet with your community’s Delegate and State Senator.
- Organize a letter-writing opportunity on a key legislative issue.
- Host an educational forum on a key policy issue.
- Register students to vote and encourage participation in the electoral process.
- Encourage students to learn more about advocating economic and racial justice. Affiliates can:
- Encourage students to intern with VICPP.
- Recommend student projects and papers focused on VICPP issues.
- Connect students with faculty and community leaders who share advocacy concerns.
How does VICPP support campus chapters? VICPP will:
- Send a staff person to visit your campus and help your chapter plan for working together.
- Provide concrete tools for supporting your chapter engaging in advocacy.
- List your Affiliate and a contact person on its website.
- Offer student chapter discounts for all its programs, such as the Day for All People.
- Convene Affiliate leaders at least once a year for training and community building.
- Add all your Affiliate members to the VICPP advocacy list (if you wish).