African American News

"People For the American Way Foundation Welcomes New Director of African American Religious Affairs, Leslie Watson Malachi"

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People For the American Way Foundation (PFAW Foundation) President Michael B. Keegan announced today that Leslie Watson Malachi has joined the organization as Director of African American Religious Affairs in the Washington, D.C. national headquarters.

In her new role, Malachi will oversee and manage day-to-day operations of the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) and African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) programs, coordinating grassroots activities, programs, and media outreach in order to increase the support and mobilization of progressive African American faith leaders.

“We are thrilled to welcome Leslie and are looking forward to expanding the reach of our African American ministers programs and building upon the valuable work they do,” said Keegan. “Leslie has a wealth of experience working with the progressive African American faith community and brings extraordinary leadership, organizing and training skills with her. We’re delighted she will be bringing her exceptional talents to the People For Foundation.”

Prior to joining PFAW Foundation, Malachi served as Director of the Multicultural Programs Department at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, where she oversaw many programs including the National Black Church Initiative working with African American faith leaders. She also served as the National Policy Director for the African American Faith-Based Policy Health Institute of the Balm In Gilead. Malachi held the positions of National Coordinator and Field Director for the National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition and the Coordinator of the Public Policy Institute of the Citizenship Education Fund, the 501c3 arm of Rainbow PUSH. In 2006, she established the Nephesh Ministries to serve as a vehicle to present, petition, and prepare African American faith leaders, congregations and denominations in building biblically-based “sexually healthy, sexually responsible,” families and communities. She is a past recipient of the “Young Woman of Achievement Award” from DC’s Women’s Information Network.

Reverend Timothy McDonald, founding chair of PFAW Foundation’s AAMLC and senior pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, has known Malachi for more than a decade, and lauded her selection to lead the African American Religious Affairs department. “It is my pleasure to welcome my colleague of more than a decade to People For the American Way Foundation and the African American Religious Affairs department. I know that her experience, talents and network will be essential as we expand our outreach and presence among progressive African American clergy.”

The African American Religious Affairs division is a joint project of People For the American Way and People For the American Way Foundation created to mobilize and support progressive activism in African American congregations and communities. Ministers organize around five core issues central to African Americans: civic participation, economic justice, equal justice, health care, and public education.

“I’ve long respected People For the American Way Foundation’s work, especially it’s history with progressive African American churches through the ministers programs, and am grateful for another opportunity to work with clergy dedicated to building the beloved community in pursuit of equality and justice for all," said Malachi. “I’m looking forward to building new relationships and expanding our outreach and advocacy on pressing issues of the day.”

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