Biden Brings Back White House Faith Partnerships Office

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President turns to Obama-era leader and his evangelical campaign outreach director to lead agency in efforts to “heal, unite, and rebuild.”

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Sunday reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, undoing former President Donald Trump’s efforts to reshape an agency that went largely unstaffed for most of his tenure.

In a statement accompanying the announcement of the executive order, Biden echoed his recent remarks to the National Prayer Breakfast, bemoaning widespread physical and economic suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic, racism, and climate change. He added that those struggling “are fellow Americans” and are deserving of aid.

“This is not a nation that can, or will, simply stand by and watch the suffering around us. That is not who we are. That is not what faith calls us to be,” he said. “That is why I’m reestablishing the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to work with leaders of different faiths and backgrounds who are the frontlines of their communities in crisis and who can help us heal, unite, and rebuild.”

He added: “We still have many difficult nights to endure. But we will get through them together and with faith guiding us through the darkness and into the light.”

Biden appointed Melissa Rogers, a First Amendment lawyer and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution to oversee the office, as Rogers did in former President Barack Obama’s second term. Rogers, a lifelong Baptist, will also serve as senior director for faith and public policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

The office’s deputy director will be Josh Dickson, the evangelical who ran faith outreach for the Biden-Harris campaign. Trey Baker, who worked as the National Director of African American …

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