From renowned preachers and international development and nutrition experts to high-ranking government officials and members of Congress, the biennial event will equip participants with tools to effectively advocate on behalf of people living with hunger or poverty.
“Ongoing budget debates continue to threaten hungry and poor people here in the United States and around the world,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “We are thrilled that this inspiring roster of speakers will be joining us to motivate anti-hunger advocates at this year’s National Gathering.”
Themed “A Place at the Table,” the National Gathering will advance the goals of Bread for the World’s 2013 Offering of Letters campaign, which petitions President Barack Obama to set a goal and work with Congress on a plan to end hunger.
In March, Bread for the World joined Participant Media on the release of a documentary about hunger in America, also called A Place at the Table. Two of the people profiled in the film will join one of the directors in a special plenary session about the campaign and movie: the Rev. Bob Wilson of Plateau Valley Assembly of God Church in Colbran, Colo., and Barbie Izquierdo, a young mother from Philadelphia, Pa.
The Rev. James Forbes will kick off the gathering on Saturday, June 8 with a special workshop on public speaking. Forbes was the first African-American appointed as pastor of Riverside Church in Harlem. Today he hosts The Time is Now on Air America Radio and is president and founder of The Healing of the Nations Foundation, which is dedicated to peace, justice, interfaith cooperation, and environmental responsibility.
The Rev. Luis Cortés, Jr. is another featured speaker. Listed as one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Evangelicals,” Cortés is president and CEO of Esperanza, the largest Hispanic evangelical network in the United States. Cortés offered the invocation at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Luncheon.
Robert E. Black, M.D., chair of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, will speak about maternal and child nutrition at the international meeting convened by Bread for the World Institute during the Gathering. A professor of international health, Black has written extensively for the Lancet, the oldest and most respected medical journal.
“Our National Gathering speakers represent diverse and respected backgrounds, denominations, and vocations,” Beckmann added. “Their voices will energize our work toward the world that God envisions.”
Additional speakers and participants will be announced in the coming weeks.
Until April 30, the cost to attend the National Gathering is $185 ($150 for students), with limited scholarships available. For more information, please visit http://www.bread.org/event/gathering-2013/. To join the conversation on Twitter, please use hash tag #BreadRising.