Mayor Adams Creates New Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships
February 10, 2022
The new office will be led by Pastor Gilford Monrose
NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today established the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnership (OFCP). The office — created with the signing of an executive order by Mayor Adams — will be led by Pastor Gilford Monrose, who will serve as a liaison between the city government, New York’s faith community and nonprofit organizations. The OFCP will seek to improve the well-being of all New Yorkers and will be housed within the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU).
“Our faith community has gone above and beyond for the past two years, working tirelessly to keep our people nourished, safe and healthy, mentally and physically,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s long overdue for the city to recognize the vital role it plays in uplifting people across our city. I had the privilege of working alongside Pastor Monrose for several years and saw firsthand his talent for building bridges between diverse communities. I thank him for joining our administration in this newly created office and look forward to working with faith leaders across our city to “get things done.”
“The faith community is a fundamental partner in the work our office does every day,” said CAU Commissioner Fred Kreizman. “I am delighted to work with Pastor Monrose to continue this partnership and work together toward our common goals.”
“I am honored to join the administration at the head of the OFCP,” said Pastor Gilford Monrose, Executive Director, Office of Faith and Community Partnerships. “Mayor Adams has always recognized the important work our city’s faith leaders do to help the most vulnerable New Yorkers, and this new office will engage those communities in addressing issues affecting our city, from gun violence to crimes of hatred, and to uplift people across the five boroughs.
“The Office of Faith and Community Partnerships reminds us that while we may travel separate paths to our respective places of worship, there comes a time when we of many faiths must walk together as one family in strength and support. for each other,” mentioned Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president, Council of Rabbis of New York. “We are a divided country but spiritually we are a united community.”
“I welcome Mayor Adams’ announcement of an Office of Faith and Community Partnerships in his administration,” said Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, Executive Director, Interfaith Center of New York. “Having witnessed firsthand, for many years, the power of grassroots faith leaders to strengthen New York City communities, I am confident that this Office of Faith and Community Partnerships will help ensure that diverse faith communities contribute to our vibrant democracy in the years to come.”
“The Muslim Community Network proudly endorses the important need for Mayor Adams’ new Office of Faith and Community Partnerships,” said Dr. Debbie Almontaser, CEO and Founder, Bridging Cultures Group Inc. “This office gives voice to New York’s multi-religious communities – an important voice that has not been heard. In partnership, we believers will stand shoulder to shoulder to care for beloved communities in all the neighborhoods of the city.
“I am very pleased to see the creation of the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships,” said Evan R. Bernstein, National Director, Community Safety Service; and co-founder of the New York City Interfaith Security Council. “Thank you, Mayor Eric Adams and New York City, for leading this crucial initiative at a time when we are seeing an increase in hate crimes affecting minority religious groups across the city. Partnership and dialogue are essential in the fight against hate and this office will help foster both.
“As a technical assistance provider for faith-based institutions and nonprofit organizations in New York’s five boroughs for the past 30 years, I am acutely aware of the disparities and lack of support and information needed to the survival and prosperity of these organizations at a time like this,” said Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver Durrah, Founder and President, Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic. “In his wisdom, Mayor Eric Adams has seen fit to create an office for Faith and Community Partnerships, where there will be a direct line to City Hall. The faith-based and nonprofit community has been talking to town hall on a party line for too long. We now have the direct number and are ready to help these organizations access resources. Thank you, Mayor Adams, for believing in spreading available City Hall resources to every neighborhood in New York City.
“Mayor Adams has always been a leader who has approached issues with a holistic perspective. The expansion of the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships further illustrates the Mayor’s leadership approach,” said the Reverend Charles O. Galbreath, Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Clarendon Road Church; and Associate Dean, Alliance Theological Seminary. “Our city faces historic challenges that demand an extraordinary response. The expanded role of the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships is one such response needed to galvanize New York City’s religious and cultural diversity. The challenges are great, but with faith nothing is impossible.
“As a rabbi in New York City, I am thrilled to see a vision of active engagement with the faith community through the Mayor’s Office of Faith and Community Partnerships,” said Rabbi Lauren Grabelle Herrmann, SAJ-Judaism which represents all. “This office will positively impact all citizens of our city and increase faith communities’ access to needed services and programs, thereby increasing equity and advancing civic engagement. My community and I look forward to being a part of these efforts and helping New Yorkers of all backgrounds thrive.
“The Buddhist Council of New York and the multi-ethnic communities it represents are extremely pleased to support Mayor Adams’ new Office of Faith and Community Partnerships,” said James A. Lynch, President, Buddhist Council of New York. “In this time of unprecedented uncertainty, change and challenge, the importance of the participation of all New Yorkers in the life of the city is more necessary than ever. Indeed, the religious communities and denominations that “they represent have always played an important role in the overall health and continued growth of the city. Mayor Adams’ bold and imaginative decision to establish this office is a clear recognition of the city’s ongoing partnership with various faith communities, as well a real way forward for those on the margins of our society, who too often feel silenced and forgotten. Thank you, Mayor Adams.
“As believers in the Supreme Universal Being, we all have a place in the community and a role in uplifting, caring for and protecting one another,” said Acharya Vijah Ramjattan, Founder and President, Madrassi Association Inc. “Although we rely on our individual faith traditions to guide us in our daily lives, collectively as residents of one city we cling to one truth, that we are each other’s custodians and trust that God is working through us.I commend and congratulate Mayor Adams on the establishment of the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships, as this office, among other things, will serve to ensure that we, a city of faith, lead with faith.
“A society is only as healthy as the people who compose it and the institutions created by the people,” said Pastor Warner A. Richards, Psy.D., MHC-LP., assistant to the president, Northeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. “The Seventh-day Adventist Churches of New York fully supports the Mayor’s expansion of the Office of Faith and Community Partnership. Because we believe that a healthy society is made up of individuals who enjoy a harmonious interface between their physical, mental, interpersonal and spiritual health. Therefore, an initiative like this will foster this seamless interface.
“In the year 2022, faith will be the force needed to free us from fear and encourage all to coexist in peace. This is the true path to happiness and peace,” said Venerable Youwang Shih, President, International Buddhist Progress Society.
About Pastor Gilford Monrose
Rev. Gilford Monrose is executive director of the Office of Faith and Community Partnerships. This office builds bridges between the city government, various faith communities, and nonprofit organizations to better serve all New Yorkers. He previously served as religious director in the Brooklyn Borough President’s office. He is the senior pastor of Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day and founding president of two Brooklyn-based nonprofit organizations, the 67th Precinct Clergy Council Inc. (“The God Squad”) and the Brooklyn Center for Quality Life.