Social Justice Issues

The members and friends of First Baptist Church are passionate about social justice issues.  Listed below you will find many links to information about how you can become informed about issues of social justice that may also provide you with information on how to become involved in correcting the injustices you recognize in our society.  Many of these links are provided by members and friends of First Baptist who are actively involved in the organizations listed.  If you would like to speak to one of the mentioned contacts to learn more, they are happy to share information with you.  Please call the church office at 607-273-5800 for further contact information.    

Visit these links for information about important issues of our time:

Healthcare Reform - Do No Harm
A consortium of children's groups have sent this open letter to senators regarding health care reform concerns.

Kitchen Cupboard
Many hands make light work. On the last Sunday of the month we collect donations of money, non-perishable food items, toiletries and diapers for the Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard, a community food pantry located in the Salvation Army building.  The food pantry is supported by fourteen local congregations and is the major on-going activity of Area Congregations Together.  We also provide two or three individuals every third Friday who bag three-day supplies of food for families in need.  New workers are always welcome and we provide a quick on-the-job training. Commitment: an occasional Friday from 1:15 till 3 pm, as your schedule allows. Contact Sue Hemsath or Amanda Ufford.  

Zambian Children's Fund
In Zambia, more than two million children are orphans. The Zambia Children's Fund is working to feed, shelter and educate orphaned children through various projects. For information about First Baptist's work with this mission please see our Zambian Children's Fund Page.

Chishawasha Children's Home as featured in the November 2007 issue of Smithsonian Magazine and on Kids with Cameras website. Students' photographs are now available to you online as high quality art prints. Proceeds will ensure this project's future and benefit the Chishawasha Childrens Home.  

Mariam’s Care Mariam Keita and her family Andre, pastor of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Bamako, Mali, and their newborn daughter Jokebed (Joke) arrived in Ithaca in early October 2006 for Mariam to undergo treatment for aggressive breast cancer. First Baptist and the greater Ithaca community rallied to provide support to the couple transplanted into a foreign environment as Mariam fought a life-threatening disease. Those who were involved in Mariam’s Care couldn’t be but awed by Mariam’s spiritual strength. We adored Joke as she grew in our midst. We rejoiced as Mariam responded dramatically to the treatments. We witnessed God’s Miracle for Mariam. For reflections of Maimouna Harouna and Bill Phelan with behind the scenes descriptions of the events that brought them to Ithaca and the genesis of Mariam’s Care, please visit: Reflections 

Tompkins County Worker's Center As a member of the Tompkins Counter Worker's Center, First Baptist Church has confirmed it's position that:

  • We all deserve to have good jobs with good wages so we can live decently.
  • We all deserve rights and fair treatment as workers.
  • Healthcare is a right - everybody should have affordable and comprehensive access to it.
  • We all deserve livable and affordable housing.

For more information, please speak with Rev. Rich Rose.

The Giving Tree ( mid Nov-Early Dec) and Mom and Dad bags
A holiday giving opportunity to local families.  A tagged tree is set up in the sanctuary listing items that would help make the Christmas Holidays more  festive for less advantaged families. Along with children’s gifts of clothing and toys, we also make and fill gift bags for moms and dads. In the past few years we have done this through Enfield Elementary School, where there is often a great need.  Coordinators: Sue Hemsath & Tina Hilsdorf.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) is a growing membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.  See the article from the Ithaca Journal with regard to local church's involvement in the campaign on the First Baptist In The News link.

National Priorities Project analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent including analysis of the cost of war in comparison to programs relating to healthcare, education, and renewable resources.  (Formerly is an ongoing human security project which maintains and updates the world’s largest public database of violent civilian deaths during and since the 2003 invasion. The count encompasses non-combatants killed by military or paramilitary action and the breakdown in civil security following the invasion.

American Friends Service Committee carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. Founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian war victims, AFSC's work attracts the support and partnership of people of many races, religions, and cultures.

Fair Trade certification empowers farmers and farm workers to lift themselves out of poverty by investing in their farms and communities, protecting the environment, and developing the business skills necessary to compete in the global marketplace.

CoOp America  Our mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society. Our Vision: We work for a world where all people have enough, where all communities are healthy and safe, and where the bounty of the Earth is preserved for all the generations to come.

ONE is Americans of all beliefs and every walk of life - united as ONE - to help make poverty history. We are a campaign of over 2.4 million people and growing from all 50 states and over 100 of America's most well-known and respected non-profit, advocacy and humanitarian organizations. As ONE, we are raising public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in the world's poorest countries.

Rural and Migrant Ministry is a multi-faith organization serving rural and migrant people in New York since 1981 through programs of youth empowerment, education, and accompaniment. Rural & Migrant Ministry Inc. acts to overcome the prejudices and poverty that degrade and debilitate all members of our society, by building communities that celebrate diversity, achieve true mutuality and offer dignity and opportunity to all. Rural & Migrant Ministry is an interfaith organization whose members believe that inspiration comes from partici-pation in the creation of a just world. 

Stop The Traffik STOP THE TRAFFIK is a global movement against the trafficking of people.  We believe that when people act things change, join us today to STOP THE TRAFFIK and Unlock Freedom!

Amnesty International (AI) is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. In pursuit of this vision, AI’s mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of its work to promote all human rights.

Church World Service Founded in 1946, Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of 35 Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican denominations, providing sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance in some 80 countries. Within the United States, Church World Service assists communities in responding to disasters, resettles refugees, promotes fair national and international policies, provides educational resources, and offers opportunities to join a people-to-people network of local and global caring through participation in CROP Hunger Walks, the Tools & Blankets Program, and the CWS Kits Program.

Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 organizations working together with over 3,000 partners in more than 100 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. With many of the causes of poverty global in nature, the 13 affiliate members of Oxfam International believe they can achieve greater impact through their collective efforts. Oxfam International seeks increased worldwide public understanding that economic and social justice are crucial to sustainable development. We strive to be a global campaigning force promoting the awareness and motivation that comes with global citizenship while seeking to shift public opinion in order to make equity the same priority as economic growth.

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world. They stand with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice. They investigate and expose human rights violations and hold abusers accountable. HRW challenges governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law. They enlist the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.

Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Better World Shopper is a site dedicated to providing people with a comprehensive, up-to-date, reliable account of the social and environmental responsibility of every company on the planet AND making it available in practical forms that individuals can use in their everyday lives.

New York Interfaith Power & Light- In response to global warming, our mission is to promote stewardship of the earth by faith communities through energy conservation and efficiency and through the use of renewable energy.















What does the Lord require of you?
To do Justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.
~Micah 6:8~