About Us

Gamaliel was founded in 1986 to train community and faith leaders in building political power and creating organizations that unite people of diverse faiths and races.


Mission

Our mission is to empower ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives. Gamaliel’s diverse members apply their faith and values to the pursuit of equal opportunity for all, shared abundance, and stronger, more prosperous communities.


Our work falls into three main areas:


1. We build strong local organizations

With 44 affiliates and 7 state offices in 17 states, Gamaliel works to build strong metropolitan and statewide organizations. National staff provides consulting, training and support to leaders and staff in local organizations. A survey of organizers and lead staff across the network found that Gamaliel’s national staff is majority women: People of color are about 40 percent of organizers, lead organizers, and directors across the network (56% of organizers across the network are women; 26% are women of color). Learn about our affiliates here.


2. We develop powerful leaders through training

Gamaliel organizes: three national weeklong trainings per year, an advanced leadership/strategic campaigns training every other year, Ntosake women's leadership development training once a year, a biennial Race and Power training, African American Leadership Commission, National Clergy Caucus, and national leadership conferences across the country. These events reach more than 1,000 people in a typical year. Learn about our training here.


3. We run influential advocacy & nonpartisan civic engagement campaigns

15 years ago Gamaliel helped pioneer advocacy and organizing on regional equity, working with partners like John Powell and others. This work continues to be foundational to our policy and issue organizing. Recognizing the job-creation potential of developing and maintaining good infrastructure, and building on local affiliates worker rights’ advocacy, Gamaliel has focused its campaign and jobs work on increasing access to jobs and job training. This is a major focus of current work along with our issue campaigns: criminal justice reform, integrated voter engagement, racial equity, and immigration reform. Learn about our current campaigns here.

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Network Updates

Gamaliel training adapts to pandemic, prepares leaders to build power in any circumstances
From Sr. Cheryl Liske, National Training Director and  Senior Trainer: On March 12th, when the World Health Organization declared a pandemic and our lives changed overnight, Gamaliel was threedays away from our week-long National Leadership Training in Nashville. The training obviously wasn’t going to happen, but waiting for the pandemic to end wasn’t going to work…
Wisconisn IVE work changes the narrative around voting, incarcerated people’s role in democracy
Integrated Voter Engagement is designed to change narratives. In the leadup to the 2020 election, Gamaliel affiliates nationwide used IVE to do just that by growing their bases, moving issue campaigns, and connecting the democratic process to local issues.  But in Wisconsin, Gamaliel statewide affiliate WISDOM worked with first-time voters and incarcerated people to make…
IVE efforts breathe new life into PIIN, raise organization’s profile among congregations
Integrated Voter Engagement (IVE) is a strategy to connect organizers to the communities in which they work; it serves to build a relationship with the community and catalyze future organizing efforts. For Gamaliel affiliate Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN), IVE in the 2020 election season was not just a strategy for building power in the…
40 Days of Prayer and Reflection Ends with Time of Post-Election Prayer, Processing – and Planning
With election results still undecided, nearly 100 members of the Gamaliel community gathered on November 4 to close out 40 Days of Reflection on Our Journey to the Polls – and to look toward the future.   The event was more than 40 days in the making. On April 15, the Gamaliel National Religious Leaders Caucus(GNRLC) …