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

Day 37 – Rev. H. J. Coleman, Jr.
Rev. H. J. Coleman, Jr., Pastor, World Outreach Campus Church, Saginaw, MI; Member, Gamaliel affiliate, The Ezekiel Project   It is appropriate for religious leaders to turn to a tried and true posture in times like these.  Throughout scripture we have seen that in times of great challenge, or in advance of elevation, there is…
Day 36 – Rev. Cynthia Owen Jarrold
Rev. Cynthia Owen Jarrold, National Policy Director, Gamaliel   The year 586 B.C.E. resulted in a crisis of unbelievable proportions for the people of Israel.  Jerusalem lay in ruins, and the people were carried as captives to Babylon, exiles in a strange land.  The structures that defined the social, religious, and political life of the…
Day 35 – Rev. David Bigsby
Rev. David Bigsby, Pastor, Upper Room Ministries Missionary Baptist Church, Glenwood, IL; Chair, Gamaliel Council of Presidents; Member, Gamaliel Board of Directors   We face difficult decisions daily.  In the sacred scripture below, we find guidance for our conduct. In the midst of this storm, it becomes crystal clear that our actions must be (just)…
MOSES (Detroit) President on fight to protect voting rights ahead of Nov. 3 election
Dr. Keith Whitney, Co-President of Gamaliel affiliate MOSES (Detroit), is no stranger to attempted voter suppression. As a child in Mississippi, his family was targeted when his parents worked to register African-Americans to vote. As an adult, he watched Black South Africans overcome huge obstacles to vote for the first time. Now, he’s working to…