Over 70 members of the clergy and community leaders from Central Brooklyn gathered for a breakfast recently to learn about the foreclosure crisis facing their community, the dangers of rescue scams, and to pledge their support for a local unified day of action, Empowerment Sunday. On Empowerment Sunday, set for February 6, 2011, clergy are asked to preach a message of proactive investment in one’s personal life and community by taking control of one’s financial future.
Brooklyn is known the “Borough of Churches”. Its Clergy have a unique opportunity to help struggling homeowners and a deep commitment to the preservation of this historic African-American community that, for many, has been their lifelong residence.
Nationally, Brooklyn ranks number 41 among counties with the highest foreclosure rate. Central Brooklyn is part of Congressional District 10, where 20% of the home mortgages are over 90 days delinquent, placing $5.7 billion dollars in community wealth at risk, reported Kenneth Tiongson of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Rev. Valerie Cousin, the First Lady of the Bridge Street AWME Church, Reverend Waterman of the Antioch Baptist Church, and NYS Assemblywoman Annette Robinson were among the inspiring speakers calling for collective action. The Clergy Breakfast was organized by Bridge Street Development Corporation, working with the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant, with funding from NeighborWorks America.
"NeighborWorks America is proud to partner with Bridge Street Development Corporation and the Coalition for the Improvement of Bedford Stuyvesant to bring the important messages of Loan Scam Alert Campaign to Brooklyn's clergy and their congregations,” said Deborah Boatright, Northeast District Director.
"As a national corporation, NeighborWorks has worked hard to develop an educational campaign that resonates with the communities most at risk, but it is only through partners on the ground that those messages will be heard. We are thrilled with the strong response of the ministers, and we are looking forward with great enthusiasm to Empowerment Day on February 6," said Boatright.