Congressional Conversations on Race


Congressional Conversations on Race (CCR) is a program of The Faith & Politics Institute and Search for Common Ground that provides support to Members of Congress to constructively address race-related challenges in their districts. Acknowledging that many Members do want to provide leadership around racial reconciliation but do not often have the resources or platform to do so, CCR supports Members by providing and holding constructive spaces for discussing difficult topics and issues along with key constituents at the district level.

Reflection Groups


The Faith & Politics Institute sponsors weekly reflection groups designed to provide occasions for quiet reflection, spiritual community, and contemplative dialogue. These group meetings allow individuals to reflect alongside one another, learn from each other, support one another and engage in meaningful conversation about values and beliefs in connection with their roles as Washington professionals. As one reflection group member has said, “What these reflection groups are really all about is keeping us grounded, connected to some more fundamental things than our daily lives, because the daily lives in politics are so chaotic and so confusing and so pressure-filled that we need another way to stay connected.”


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The Faith & Politics Institute sponsors a variety of interactive retreats and work projects away from the fast-paced and charged atmosphere of Washington, D.C. These retreats are designed to help participants connect their role with their greater calling as human beings.



The Faith & Politics Institute leads pilgrimages, in which bi-partisan delegations of congressional members from both houses, staff members and guests travel together and learn about a particular period of our nation’s history and the implications of that period on our lives today. As stated by Sen. Norm Coleman, who has been on a pilgrimage with the Institute, “Travel teaches at a deep level. … We learn through the eyes, ears, thoughts, and hearts of others. We learn in a way that not only lasts but changes us in a very fundamental way. The Faith & Politics Institute plays a crucial role in our lives by creating those kinds of transforming experiences.”

Capitol Forum Series

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Public Forums are a variety of lectures by well-known speakers whose lives reflect moral courage in the political arena. The speakers come from very diverse political and religious backgrounds and have life experience in areas that fuse spiritual values with politics.

The Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award

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The Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award recognizes leaders who have exhibited qualities of conscience, courage and compassion in their roles as public servants.  Important attributes of each honoree are demonstrated integrity between their spiritual values and their actions and long-term commitment to leadership in service of the common good, regardless of short-term political ramifications.  The namesakes of the award, the Honorable John Lewis (D-Ga.) and the Honorable Amo Houghton (R-N.Y.), served as co-chairs of The Faith & Politics Institute from 1997 to 2005.  Congressman Lewis currently serves on the Institute’s twenty-member Congressional Advisory Council, and Amo Houghton serves on the Board of Directors.

United States-South Africa Initiative


View and print the United States-South Africa Initiative 2006 Booklet In May 2003, The Faith & Politics Institute provided program conceptualization, planning, and coordination for the Congressional visit to South Africa, led by Reps. Houghton and Lewis. The visit allowed Members of Congress and other in the delegation to explore links, leadership and challenges, and provided prospects for serious ongoing exchanges.

St. Joseph’s Breakfast


The Faith & Politics Institute held its 16th Annual St. Joseph’s Day Breakfast on May 16, 2013 to raise awareness on Capitol Hill of the religious and moral dimensions that affect working people.  St. Joseph is the patron saint of the laborer and the breakfast provides an opportunity to honor individuals whose faith and values have led them to reach across divides in order to make outstanding contributions to the dignity and well-being of working people.  The honorary co-hosts of the breakfast were Rep. Frank LoBiondo and Rep. Bill Pascrell.  Attending the breakfast were Senators Sherrod Brown and Mazie Hirono, and Representatives John Lewis, Rush Holt and Steve Cohen. This year the breakfast commemorated the role of the labor movement in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  Liz McCloskey, President & CEO of The Faith & Politics Institute, was the mistress of ceremonies.  Rep. John Lewis spoke about his experience as a speaker at the March on Washington and his immense respect for A. Philip Randolph whose vision for the March became a reality.  He awarded the A. Philip Randolph Institute the St. Joseph’s Day award to honor the leadership of A. Philip Randolph in both the … (more)

The Congressional Reception


Every other year, The Faith & Politics Institute hosts a Congressional Reception to acknowledge and thank those who have so generously supported its programs that year. The Congressional Reception is also a time for participants in The Faith & Politics Institute’s programs to reunite, further develop the community they have built, and learn more about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead. Each year, the reception is held in an exciting venue in Washington, D.C. and draws a host of Congressional members, Congressional staff members, corporate sponsor representatives, local community members and others that have been touched by the Institute’s work.