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“Shackling of New Jersey’s young Black and Brown bodies is the moral and civil rights issue of our time.”

-Rev. Charles Boyer, Bethel A.M.E. Church of Woodbury

If you are a faith leader in New Jersey, we invite you to sign on-to the statement below. Your name and organizational affiliation will be displayed on the website. To add your name, please email ewgreenberg [at] njisj [dot] org.

Faith Justice New Jersey
We, the undersigned faith leaders from across New Jersey, join together as part of Faith Justice New Jersey to advocate for a transformation of our juvenile justice system into a system of community-based care. As spiritual leaders of all different faiths and denominations we recognize youth incarceration—and its inherent racial disparities—is an issue of morality, not just of policy. We speak with one, unified, collective voice: people of conscience must come together to create a system that protects and supports our most vulnerable children. We seek an investment and expansion of community based treatment programs that keep children in their homes. And, when a child must be in a secure environment, we seek placement in a small, therapeutic and supportive facility that is close to home and provides trauma-informed care.

This is the civil rights issue of our day. And like those heroic soldiers for justice who came before us, those who declared, “Ain’t I A Woman,” we must now answer the children who cry out:

“Ain’t I A Child.”


Rabbi Philip Bazeley, Anshe Emeth Memorial Temple

Rev. Charles Boyer, Bethel A.M.E. Church of Woodbury

Rev. Richard D. Boyer, Prospect Church

Rabbi Mark Cooper, Oheb Shalom Congregation

Pastor Michael Corso, Sophia Inclusive Catholic Community

The Rev. Bruce Davidson

The Rev. Joanne Epply-Schmidt, Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey

Barbara Flythe, Elder, PCUSA/Campaign to End the New Jim Crow

Rev. Willie Dwayne Francois III, Senior Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church of Pleasantville

Rev. Rob Gregson, Executive Director, Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of NJ

Rev. Timothy Levi Jones, Bethany Baptist Church

Rabbi Rachel Kahn-Troster, Director of Programs, T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Rev. Dr. A’Shellarien Lang, Bethel AME Cookstown

Rabbi David Levy, Temple Shalom

Rev. Sara Lilja, Director of the Lutheran Episcopal Advocacy Ministry of New Jersey and the chair of the Board of Directors of the Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

Sylvia Marcano, Congregant, First Baptist Church of South Orange

Rev. Valencia B. Norman, Pastor, First Presbyterian & Trinity Church

Rabbi Jesse Olitzky, Congregation Beth El in South Orange

The Rev. Bernie Poppe

Rev. Dr. Terry L. Richardson, First Baptist Church of South Orange

Imam Wahy-ud Deen Shareef, Masjid Waarith ud Deen

Rabbi Donald A. Weber, Temple Rodeph Torah

Senior Pastor William M. Williams, III, Asbury United Methodist Church, Black Lives Matter – New Jersey: Atlantic City

Brenda Williams-Butts, Congregant, First Baptist Church of South Orange

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