ECCO’s Annual Celebration

Thank you to everyone who joined us last Thursday night for ECCO’s Annual Celebration! It was a wonderful night full of moving testimonies and hope about what we can accomplish when we organize together, as well as some relationship building and a fun (but hard) game of Telephone by Angela Arce! Thank you to every member of ECCO, for your hard work and commitment to justice this past year.

For those of you who weren’t able to join us – we missed you! Here are some of the highlights from the evening:

Recap

We heard stories of successful organizing from our campaigns this year:

  • Advancing immigrant rights work through DAPA clinic screenings
  • Advancing racial justice through our Beloved Community partnership with the Lynn Police Department
  • Advancing economic justice through the Fair Share Amendment
  • Education through the Catholic Year of Encounter curriculum, culminating in a trip in September to visit Pope Francis
  • We will be posting photos soon on our Facebook page. Be sure to check them out!

And our leader, Diana Cunningham from Bethel AME, shared her story about delivering the petitions for the Fair Share campaign to the Attorney General’s office. She gave a powerful testimony, and we wanted to share a piece of it with you. She said:

This experience to be to be a part of systematic change is a new found freedom. I have never thought of my student loans so intensely or about the needs of our public schools and our roads as on Tuesday, [delivering petitions], standing with others who share the same passion and ideas as me. I wish that more people would get involved in making a change in all our communities. Together we stand, divided we fall. We all have a voice.

Awards

Maria Madera of St. John the Baptist was awarded the Eileen Ryan Award for her extraordinary leadership and organizing her congregation over the past 4 years. Rev. Art McDonald, Cary Perry, and Debbie Boggs, last year’s recipients, presented the award.

ECCO Board Update

We elected two new board members to the ECCO Board: Rev. Viola Morris-Buchanan and Tracy Best, both from Bethel AME. We’re grateful for their continued leadership.

Some Things We Learned This Year

  • Signature gathering is now part of our repertoire for social change – our congregations are now confident and VERY effective using the democratic tool of ballot initiatives!
  • Advancing racial justice is hard, complicated work but doing this work has inspired new congregations to work with ECCO and has lifted up many new leaders.
  • The Beloved Community work has also given us the opportunity to remember our roots and re-establish a partnership with the police in Lynn.
  • Pope Francis’ message has inspired Christians to renew their faith and to revitalize their congregations by incorporating social action with the life of the congregation.

End of the Year Gift

The incredible change we are beginning to see happen in our communities is only possible through the work and support of each of you. We are so grateful to be able to work alongside you. As the year comes to a close, we invite you to consider an end of the year gift to ECCO. Even if you can only donate a small amount – $5, $10, $25, or whatever you can – every little act counts. Together, we can sustain ECCO’s continued work of systemic change.

Thank you, and blessings during the holiday season.

In peace,

Alexandra and Cherish

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