Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

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The Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), was established January 29, 2001, when President George W. Bush "issued two executive orders related to faith-based and community organizations. The first executive order established a White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The second order established centers to implement this initiative at the Department of Justice, along with the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Housing and Urban Development."[1]


The OFBCI website states that it "will be aggregating and disseminating information about the new office and its programs. Our Vision is to educate and assist new and existing Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to apply and qualify for competitive Federal Funding. Please note that we are an informational website and not the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives nor are we affiliated with OFBCI in any manner.

"Effective immediately, the Federal Government has adopted a new attitude to honor and not restrict faith-based and community initiatives, to accept rather than dismiss such programs, and to empower rather than ignore them.

"In welfare and social policy, the Federal Government will play a new role as supporter, enabler, catalyst and collaborator with faith-based and community organizations. The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has been established to make Federal programs more friendly to faith-based and community solutions and to make federal funding more accessible.

"By Executive Order, effective immediately, each of the following Cabinet agencies will create its own Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives to work in tandem with the White House OFBCI, to make federal grants available to Faith-Based and Community Initiatives nationwide."

  • Cabinet Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives:
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of Labor
Department of Justice
Department of Education

Charitable Choice

"Creation of the office is in concert with Bush's pledge to spend $8 billion in expanding 'charitable choice', in which churches and religious groups receiving federal funding to provide social services may now proselytize. Bush's transition spokesperson Scott McClellan said on Jan. 7 [2001]that 'reaching out to faith-based groups that have a proven record of saving and changing lives is a top priority of President-elect Bush.'

"The primary engineer of 'charitable choice' was John Ashcroft, Bush's controversial nominee for Attorney General, who as U.S. Senator pushed through a 'charitable choice' amendment to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act at the eleventh hour." [2]


  • "America is rich materially, but there remains too much poverty and despair amidst abundance…In this blueprint, I outline my agenda to enlist, equip, enable, empower and expand the heroic works of faith-based and community groups across America." President George W. Bush, Rallying the Armies of Compassion, January 30, 2001. [3]


On January 30, 2001, it was announced that President Bush had created the new White House office "to give religious groups a role in the delivery of government social services, and ordered agencies to figure out ways to work with such groups." Bush appointed "University of Pennsylvania Professor John J. DiIulio Jr. to head the new office and named former Indianapolis Mayor Stephen Goldsmith his advisor on faith-based issues. Bush also appointed Goldsmith to the board that controls the Corporation for National and Community Service, the agency that oversees the AmeriCorps program." [4]

DiIulio left the position in August 2001. [5] Also see the Washington Post, June 25, 2002.

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