The Africa Faith and Justice Network, inspired by the Gospel and informed by Catholic Social Teaching, seeks to educate and advocate for just relations with Africa and to work in partnership with African peoples as they engage in the struggle for justice, peace, and the integrity of creation.
BRIEF HISTORY (Download PDF file)
Moved to action by their personal experiences in Africa, three Catholic missionary congregations namely the Missionaries of Africa, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritains), and the Society of African Missions, founded the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN) in 1983 to transform United States policy towards Africa and her people. Since that time, membership has grown and remains committed in faith to advocate in Washington, DC for U.S. relations with Africa that foster justice and peace, and to educate the public across the United States on the truth about Africa. AFJN reflects on policy from a faith perspective, in a spirit of solidarity and justice with the people of Africa who have touched us by their lives and courage.
AFJN continues its advocacy on Capitol Hill and wherever policy is made that affects Africa. A newsletter, Around Africa, was created early on, providing membership with difficult-to-obtain information on Africa in general and on African policy concerns. Periodically, publications are produced to explain the complex issues affecting Africa’s people.
The now quarterly newsletter and timely e-mail updates from the staff in Washington keep the members informed of the status of Africa-focused legislation; explore various issues pertinent to the continent and her people, and alert people of opportunities for public action. The AFJN website offers updated information and action activities on urgent African issues. Annual meetings gather members to reflect on a theme and to engage in discussion with eminent Africans and others. In collaboration with Orbis Books, AFJN published in 1996 the book “The African Synod: Documents, Reflections, Perspectives.”
The Africa Faith and Justice Network is supported financially by institutional and individual members who recognize the need to advocate for justice and mobilize in their communities and in Washington DC. More than ever, the ministry of AFJN is needed today than it was thirty years ago. The increasing connectedness of Africa to the world and especially to the global market places Africa at a great disadvantage and it makes more susceptible to exploitation especially by multinational corporations.
Decisions made in Washington, DC affect people in Africa in a very direct manner. AFJN brings information to policymakers that will help them make decisions respecting the concerns of the people of Africa. AFJN Members petition Congress on Capitol Hill and in their districts; call or write letters, march in the streets, and organize activities in schools and parishes. They also bring their own experience from Africa to the network and to the policy makers.
AFJN Members pray for wisdom, strength and moral courage for those both with and without power in our world. Your voice added to ours makes us all stronger. Become a member today and join us in education and advocacy for transformation of American mentality and policy towards Africa.
Succession of AFJN Executive Directors
Joseph (Sjef) Donders, M.Afr,
Ted Hayden, S.M.A.,
Maura Browne, SNDdeN,
Bill Dyer, M.Afr
Rocco Puopolo, SX
Aniedi Okure, OP
AFJN Former Staff
Suzanne Lange, ICM
Patricia Hafey, MM
Frederika Jacob, SNDdeN.
Maureen Healy, SU
Patty Chappell, SNDdeN.
Melaura Homan-Smith Lauren Rogers