Friends and Family,
Faith in New Jersey is pleased to announce the search for an Executive Director has come to a successful conclusion. We are proud to announce Charlene Walker as the next Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey. Charlene is a New Jersey native, a powerful woman of faith, and a past community leader with Faith in New Jersey. She has a consistent record of fiercely advocating for racial, immigrant, economic and social justice. On all occasions, Charlene challenges leaders and institutions to better unite our social movements and to work towards dismantling systems of hate and oppression. She reminds us of the need for Black, Brown, and poor communities to work closely together to build more power to win on the pressing issues that support the families of New Jersey. As a firm believer that justice begins at our intersections she insists that those with disabilities have a voice. They experience a magnified level of injustice yet are often unseen within movements, which is to the detriment of all people.
Charlene was born in Trenton NJ, immediately placed for adoption at 4 days old and raised in a foster home during her early childhood. She learned that family was those you choose, not just those of shared DNA. Her mother built a family adding those often rejected by their own kin, those that had runaway from abusive situations, or that had no one else in this world. “We stick up for the underdog in this house,” her mother would remind her at times. A lesson Charlene would take to heart making it her life goal to make this world a better place, not just for her but for everyone.
Charlene brings with her a wealth of knowledge, with over 15 years of management experience primarily in the non-profit sector. In her various management roles, she has managed large fiscal budgets, engaged in fundraising, maintained state regulations, performed crisis management, and actively participated in leadership development.
Charlene has supported the LA RED immigration campaign. She helped launch the Invest in Love Campaign in Washington DC and used the stories of our undocumented immigrants in New Jersey to push lawmakers to view our budget as a moral document, telling them to stop investing in immigration detention and start investing in our communities. She has worked with demand Driver’s Licences for All, Fair and Welcoming policies and helped to expand our accompaniment team to stand with immigrant families in New Jersey.
Charlene has supported our Live Free campaign for racial and criminal justice addressing gun violence in our communities. She is passionate about dismantling systemic racism, serving in multiple groups throughout the state of New Jersey that address policing, the penal system, education, and civic engagement. Charlene has proven that she will stand for her beliefs and will not be deterred even by freezing temperatures; having stood outside on one of the coldest days of the year to urge Governor Murphy to sign the Independent Prosecutor bill. While there she fearlessly reminded him of his promises to the 94 percent of Black Americans that put him in office.
We the members of the Faith in New Jersey Board of Directors are excited about Charlene Walker’s vision for this organization and her plans to help us grow as a more powerful faith-based organizing network in New Jersey. She will officially start in her new role on Monday, September 30, 2019. Help us welcome her to the family by sending her a welcome message at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rev. Heyward Wiggins III, President
Camden Bible Tabernacle Church
Rabbi Joel Abraham, Secretary
Deacon Omar Aguilar
Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral
Rev. Geralda Aldajuste, Senior Pastor
St. Paul United Methodist Church
Bro. Saffet Catovic
Islamic Society of Central Jersey
Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz
Temple B’nai Abraham
Rev. David Ford
St. Matthews Baptist Church
Rev. Ronald L. Owens
New Hope Baptist Church
Rev. Carmine Pernini
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church