Our regional chapters work at the grassroots level, drawing more voices to the call to advocacy. Getting involved with a local chapter is a great way to keep up with everything that is going on and help expand the Center’s impact with fun and interactive programs.

Visits

With support from the Center, chapters organize to meet with legislators in their home districts to inform them of the key policy priorities of the Center and ask that they be champions for progress.

Educational Programs

Throughout the year, chapter members collaborate with the Center to put together educational programs including film screenings, panels,and speaker series. These programs increase community engagement and further educate the public about Center policy priority issues that impact low-income, vulnerable, and underrepresented communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Fun and Fellowship

Chapter members get together throughout the year to fellowship and share in the spirit of social justice. Events include coffee hours, letter-writing sessions, and house parties.


CHAPTERS


We currently have six regional chapters and two “affiliated groups” across the Commonwealth and invite you to become a part of the local grassroots efforts in your community! (We’re hoping to add a new chapter in Charlottesville soon!)  Contact our chapter chairs listed below to see how you can get involved.

Charlottesville-Albemarle
Kim Crater and Dolores Dwyer


Hampton Roads
Rabbi Ellen Jaffe-Gill

 

James River (Williamsburg area)
John Whitley and Charles Swadley

 

New River Valley
Ruth Grene  and Stephanie Gilmore

 

Northern Piedmont (Fredericksburg, Warrenton, Culpeper)
Scott Christian

 

Northern Virginia
Anne Murphy and Darcy Hirsh

 

Richmond
Rabbi Gary Creditor and Sally Gudas

 

AFFILIATED GROUPS

 

Harrisonburg

 

Shenandoah Valley (Winchester)
John Copenhaver 

 

FORMING A CHAPTER OR AFFILIATE

Forming a Chapter:

If you and others in your community want to have a faith voice on economic and racial justice issues in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you may want to form a VICPP chapters.  Chapters are local branches of the statewide organization that share the same values and mission.  Chapters’ primary organizational or program mission includes the following core components (although the language may vary):

  • Educating and mobilizing the religious community on issues and campaigns to address economic or racial inequities in Virginia.
  • Building relationships between diverse faith communities and standing with one another in times of struggle.
  • Lifting a faith voice and perspective with Virginia’s policy leaders on issues of common concern.
  • Honoring and respecting the differences among us while seeking unity on issues of common concern.

 

Chapters participate in setting the statewide agenda and work primarily on the issues set collectively statewide by the Board of Directors.  Chapter leadership meet during an annual retreat, usually held in June, at which the annual agenda is reviewed and Board members interact with chapter leaders.

Here’s how to get started:

1) Call the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) at 804-225-9612 and explore a time that someone from the staff or board could meet with a planning team.  Ask if VICPP has names of people in your area who have expressed interest in getting more involved.

2) Put together a planning team.   Make sure to recruit diverse people to serve on your initial planning team.  Think about faith community diversity, racial diversity and age diversity.

3) Set a planning meeting.  When and where you meet will send early signals about your commitment to diversity.  Although there is never a perfect time and place, do your best to think about what signals you send with the first planning meeting.

4) Recruit people to the first planning meeting.   Place personal phone calls to people you really want at the first meeting.  Email invitations are not enough until people are really committed.

5) Develop an agenda.  If a VICPP board or staff member can be at your planning meeting, he or she can explain the organization, the role of chapters and the affiliation agreement.  If you cannot get someone to be at the first meeting, use the affiliation agreement as the basis of the agenda and work through the key components of the agreement.

6) Set some reasonable goals.   Don’t focus too much initially on structure, but rather get people engaged in getting to know their elected leaders and getting involved in VICPP priority issues.  At any given time, there are plenty of things chapters can do to make a difference in the lives of Virginians.

7) Select a leader or contact person.  VICPP needs to know whom to contact.

Becoming an Affiliate

Affliates are pre-existing organizations that decide they want to partner with VICPP to strengthen their voices in addressing statewide policies and practices.  Affiliates should share VICPP mission of:

  • Educating and mobilizing the religious community on issues and campaigns to address economic or racial inequities in Virginia.
  • Building relationships between diverse faith communities and standing with one another in times of struggle.
  • Lifting a faith voice and perspective with Virginia’s policy leaders on issues of common concern.
  • Honoring and respecting the differences among us while seeking unity on issues of common concern.

 

Here’s how to get started:

1) Call the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) at 804-225-9612 and explore a time that someone from the staff or board could meet with the organization’s leadership.

2)  Review the Chapter and Affiliate Agreement.  Review the agreement and see what questions you have.

3) Meet with the VICPP representative.  Meet with the representative to learn more, ask questions and explore how VICPP might support your advocacy ministry.

4) Make a decision.  If becoming an Affiliate makes sense to your organization, vote upon it and send in the signed affiliation agreement to the VICPP office.  The agreement asks you to identify your contact person.

 

Chapter and Affiliate Agreement

Welcome to the network of chapters and affiliates with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy was founded in 1982 to educate, organize and mobilize Virginia’s religious community around policies and practices addressing economic and racial injustice in the Commonwealth.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) believes that religious communities live out their faiths by exercising their voice and influence in the public sphere.

The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy assists people of faith in learning about issues, praying for those in leadership and those in struggle, and acting for justice in the Commonwealth. Each year, the board, chapter and affiliate and staff select a set of issues on which to focus to assure its effectiveness.

Although a good deal of the focus is on the General Assembly, work occurs throughout the year to learn more about the priority issues, talk with those most affected by the problems, meet with legislators and propose solutions. VICPP views itself as the faith voice in the public sector on issues surrounding poverty and the working poor. It also actively combats bias and discrimination in any form.

VICPP has two types of affiliates. Chapters are organizations that form primarily to support and further the mission of VICPP.  Although the chapters can work on local concerns, they focus primarily on the issues that are selected statewide. Affiliates are organizations that existed before their relationship to VICPP, but want to affiliate with VICPP to further their faith voice in the public arena.

Chapters and affiliates enter into agreement with VICPP to strengthen the growing movement of people of faith working for economic and racial justice in Virginia. The agreement is a voluntary agreement – either side can negate the agreement at any point.

 

Shared Mission and Goals

VICPP and the Chapter or Affiliate represent that their primary organizational or program mission includes the following core components (although the language may vary):

  • Educating and mobilizing the religious community on issues and campaigns to address economic or racial inequities in Virginia.
  • Building relationships between diverse faith communities and standing with one another in times of struggle.
  • Lifting a faith voice and perspective with Virginia’s policy leaders on issues of common concern.
  • Honoring and respecting the differences among us while seeking unity on issues of common concern.

 

Tone and Approach

VICPP and the Chapter or Affiliate commit to having a faith-based tone and approach.  In their work and approach, the organizations will:

  • Involve and engage diverse leadership. VICPP seeks religious, ethnic, age and gender diversity in its leadership and spokespeople.
  • Use peaceful and faith-based language.
  • Remain bi-partisan, working across the political spectrum in the Commonwealth.
  • Avoid taking positions on issues that are internally divisive within broad segments of the religious community.

 

Agreements of VICPP to Chapters and Affiliates

VICPP facilitates and supports activities of chapters and affiliates that are consistent with the shared mission and goals of the organization. VICPP will:

  • Enable local affiliates and chapters to interact with the Board of Directors and have input in helping set the organization’s goals and issue priorities.
  • Develop and provide educational resources on VICPP’s policy priorities.
  • Outline strategies and ways chapters and affiliates can support policy priorities.
  • Provide speakers for programs (as able).
  • Maintain a website that promotes the chapters and affiliates.
  • Promote the overall work of the chapters and affiliates through publications.
  • Provide training for using the membership database.
  • Organize an annual advocacy day in Richmond and encourage chapter support.
  • Organize calls or meetings for chapters and affiliates to stay connected with VICPP priorities and initiatives and to learn from one another.
  • Promote the overall work of the chapters and affiliates through VICPP staff support, which may include set intern hours, as time and resources allow.
  • Grant to chapters and affiliates the non-exclusive right to the use of VICPP’s copyrighted materials, name, logos and other symbols developed by VICPP, without any fees.
  • Train one or two people per chapter (not affiliates) to use the database.

 

Agreements of the Chapters and Affiliates

Chapters will:

  • Support VICPP’s annual advocacy priorities as its legislative agenda.
  • Raise policy issues for consideration by the VICPP Board and Executive Director as appropriate.
  • Seek VICPP Executive Director advice about issues beyond VICPP’s legislative agenda. For example, VICPP may be able to refer a chapter or member to other organizations that support a particular issue of local concern. Chapters should not take on issues that are outside of the mission of the organization.
  • Send people to the annual chapter retreat.
  • Recruit a leader or two to join the monthly chapter calls (weekly during the General Assembly).
  • Recruit people to participate in key VICPP programs:
    • Annual Meeting/Fundraiser
    • Day for All People (January lobby day)
    • Witness at the Capitol
  • Promote the shared mission and goals within the affiliate’s geographic territory.
  • Acknowledge the relationship to VICPP in public materials and websites.
  • Train one person to be the database liaison with VICPP.
  • Send regular updates for the website and weekly roundup.
  • Ensure that names of people who attend local activities get into the database.
  • Help update (and clean up) the database.
  • Prepare for and organize at least one meeting per year with delegates and senators representing chapter members.

 

Affiliates will:

  • Interact with VICPP in the same way as chapters listed above with two exceptions:o Affiliates are not asked to engage in membership database updates.o Given that affiliates formed prior to developing a relationship with VICPP, they may remain active in other policy issues they have supported, so long as it is clear that their advocacy on issues beyond the VICPP agenda is not under VICPP auspices and does not contradict VICPP’s policy positions and values.

 

Role of Board Members

Board members are important links between chapters and the Board of Directors. Although there are not chapters in all parts of the state, Board members are encouraged to:

  • Serve as liaisons to their local chapters or affiliates providing a conduit for information between the Center and chapters.
  • Support and participate in their local chapters’ or affiliates’ events.
  • Support and participate in their local chapters’ outreach efforts, helping to identify and serve as an ambassador to key houses of worship contacts and helping to develop new key relationships.
  • Support and participate in their local chapters’ outreach efforts to legislators or coordinate with local chapters on visits the board member may initiate with legislators.
  • Host House parties to introduce the Executive Director to potential new donors.
  • Identify who is not at the table in their region and work with the chapter and Center to recruit support from these underrepresented areas or faith groups.
  • Recognize and support rising chapters for increased leadership roles in the Center.

 

Ending the Agreement

The purpose of the agreement is to nurture, strengthen and energize the growing collaboration between the affiliates and chapters at the local level and the statewide organization. Through this agreement VICPP seeks to cultivate a network that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

Participation in the network is voluntary, and VICPP recognizes that affiliates and chapters may choose to end their association.  VICPP may also ask certain chapters or affiliates to go their own ways. The Executive Committee of VICPP may ask a chapter or affiliate to disassociate from the network without cause and an affiliate or chapter may disassociate with VICPP without cause. Upon disassociation, the chapter will desist from using VICPP marketing material, name or resources.

 

Chapter and Affiliate Agreement

Sign on to the VICPP Chapter and Affiliate Agreement

Chapter and Affiliate Agreement

Sign on to the VICPP Chapter and Affiliate Agreement

 

Campus Affiliates

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).

 

Campus Affiliate

 

Social Justice University

One of our flagship programs, Social Justice University, is a series designed to teach members of the faith community how to promote social justice by becoming advocates for systemic change. SJU attendees receive training materials and hear from leaders about issues, advocacy techniques, and grassroots organizing. As a hands-on learning experience, participants are empowered to take these skills back to their local community and bring more voices into the legislative and political process.