National Faith and Blue Weekend – October 9-11, 2020

Dear Faith and Community Leader,

As our nation grapples with frayed relationships between law enforcement and some of our communities, while simultaneously navigating the unchartered coronavirus era, the leadership of the faith community is needed more than ever. It is clear, changes are needed in the ways in which police officers and citizens interact. However, public servants cannot make the necessary changes by themselves – they need the help of the community at large.

With houses of worship representing the diverse canvas of communities across the United States of America, local law enforcement agencies would benefit from the leadership of the faith community to facilitate innovative ways for law enforcement officers and residents to bring about positive change. For that reason, you and your organization are invited to take part in a powerful new solutions-focused initiative called National Faith & Blue Weekend (NFBW).

Scheduled for October 9-12, 2020, NFBW will power a movement where law enforcement professionals and residents build connections that break-down divides, decrease biases, increase familiarity and spur ongoing collaboration through community engagement activities. The activities will include forums and townhall meetings, community discussions, peace and justice walks, picnics, and other events geared toward fostering an environment of collaboration and reconciliation. For each activity, there are options for in-person, small group and virtual events.

Your organization is a critical part of the conversation and solution in your local community. Thus, we invite you to go online at to learn more and sign-up to organize an event during the Weekend. The website has great resources, including a downloadable toolkit with step-by-step suggestions for sample activities. The NFBW team will work with you every step of the way in your planning.

We invite the you to take these steps ASAP to get involved:

  • INFORM: Notify your congregation and surrounding community about NFBW.
  • ORGANIZE: Plan a NFBW activity by reaching out to your local law enforcement agency or individual officers in your congregation to co-organize and co-host an event. The toolkit provides tips on how to reach out to law enforcement.
  • REGISTER: Register your events at
  • ANNOUNCE: Announce your participation to your local media and on social media.

If you have any questions or require additional information after visiting the website, please contact the National Faith and Blue Weekend headquarters by email at or by telephone at (404) 605-7000.

Thank you,

Kevin Smith

Director, Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

How to Interact with the Police

CORE has released an animated video, fact sheet, and podcast on interacting with the police. The fact sheet includes a printable card refugees can carry and hand to police that lists their refugee status, interpretation needs, and any relevant medical conditions. 

Video: ArabicBurmeseDariEnglishKinyarwandaRussian, and Swahili (all videos also compiled in a YouTube playlist).

Fact Sheet: ArabicBurmeseDariEnglishKinyarwandaRussian, and Swahili

Podcast: ArabicBurmeseDariEnglishKinyarwandaRussian, and Swahili

FEMA Disaster Public Assistance Purchasing Webinars, Sept 8, 9. 10 & 11

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) scheduled six sessions of a free online webinar open to the whole community for Public Assistant applicants impacted by Hurricane Laura. This one-hour training will help participants understand how to purchase in compliance with federal rules during emergencies such as Hurricane Laura and other exigent circumstances. FEMA provides financial assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, houses of worship and other nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, and other non-federal entities. All FEMA grant programs are subject to federal procurement rules, which simplify and expedite the procurement process in order to more quickly meet recovery needs in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. A session already took place on Sept. 2, but the five remaining webinars are still available. Click on the linked date to access the Adobe Connect training link for the offering of your choice: Sept. 8, 10:00 a.m. EDT; Sept. 9, 11:00 a.m. EDT; Sept. 10, 2:00 p.m. EDT; and Sept. 11, 3:00 p.m. EDT. The phone-only conference line and access code for all webinars is 1-800-320-4330, 428092#.

The U.S. Immigration Policymaker-in-Chief: The Long History of Executive Authority over Immigration Webcast, Sept 10

1-2pm ET

The inability of Congress to enact any meaningful legislation on immigration during the past quarter-century has left the United States with a long-outdated immigration system that works for very few, leaving the president with enormous influence and control over U.S. immigration policy. While President Obama’s decision to protect DREAMers via the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was praised by some as an overdue action amid congressional stalemate, it also was the subject of major legal challenge and was criticized as presidential overreach.

Well into its fourth year, the Trump administration has undertaken more than 400 executive actions on immigration. President Trump has been able to dramatically reshape the U.S. immigration system through regulatory, policy, and programmatic changes, and his executive actions have prompted extensive advocacy and litigation in response.

Is executive action on immigration a recent development? And has it always been as controversial as it seems today? Two leading legal scholars, Adam B. Cox and Cristina M. Rodríguez, tackle this question in a new book, The President and Immigration Law (Oxford University Press). In it, they chronicle a long tradition of the president as immigration policymaker in chief. They also examine how the executive branch’s discretionary power on law enforcement has become a powerful vehicle for fashioning immigration policy.

Join us for this discussion examining the Trump administration’s substantial use of executive power to change the country’s course on immigration, and how the president’s role in immigration policy is a inevitability that should be carefully considered and reimagined in any blueprint for immigration reform or strategy for activism on immigration.  

Register at:

IAEM-USA addresses support for PPE and disinfectants to remain covered under PA for COVID-19

The International Association of Emergency Managers USA Council (IAEM-USA) President Teri Smith, CEM, CPM, sent a letter to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Pete Gaynor on Aug. 31, expressing IAEM-USA concerns about reports that FEMA intends to eliminate personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfectants as eligible reimbursable expenses under Public Assistance for COVID-19. Supporting a previous Aug. 25 letter from other emergency management related organizations, the IAEM-USA letter states that “PPE is a fundamental need for all COVID-19 related operations and is the definition of an ‘emergency protective measure.’ Shifting policy guidance in the middle of a pandemic is impractical, causes confusion, and disrupts operations in states and localities. It also imposes significant bureaucratic and administrative burdens at a time when state and local resources are critically strained. IAEM-USA maintains its long-standing request that FEMA waive the state cost share for COVID-19 assistance, which has not been addressed.” The association called on FEMA to retain its current guidance on emergency protective measures, while requesting clear guidance on eligibility of funding streams across the federal government.

FEMA releases interim policy on COVID-19 work and costs eligible for public assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sept. 1 released its interim policy, “FEMA Policy 104-009-19 COVID 19 Pandemic: Work Eligible for Public Assistance.” The interim policy defines the framework, policy details, and requirements for determining the eligibility of work and costs under the Public Assistance Program to ensure consistent and appropriate implementation across all COVID-19 emergency and major disaster declarations. Except where specifically stated otherwise in this policy and other disaster-specific COVID-19 policies, assistance is subject to Public Assistance Program requirements as defined in Version 3.1 of the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG). This interim policy supersedes the FEMA Fact Sheet dated Mar. 19, 2020, “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures,” for work performed on or after Sept. 15, 2020. This interim policy will be updated or revised as required by changes in the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pursuing Innovative Partnerships to Link Risks to Community Concerns Webinar, Sept 9

LEARN FROM THE PROS: Please log in Wednesday, September 9, at 1 p.m. ET for a live, 1-hour CERC webinar, “Pursuing Innovative Partnerships to Link Risks to Community Concerns.” Hear how FEMA Region II is pursuing innovative partnerships with groups in the arts, public health, and other sectors—bringing hazard mitigation to life by linking it to everyday concerns. Learn more about this forward-looking approach, hear case studies, and find out how the Region’s Guide to Expanding Mitigation series can help others explore innovative and emerging partnerships in mitigation.

On September 9, please CLICK (or COPY AND PASTE) this link to join the webinar:

– For audio, we suggest using the WebEx “call me” feature when you log in. Inbound phone lines may be limited. You can also try to connect by dialing 571-209-6390 and entering access code 991 501 822#.

* Please plan to sign in 10 minutes early. If you experience a problem, please send a description of the issue along with a screenshot, if possible, to We will try our best to troubleshoot before the webinar begins.

Shared Verified: Using Art to overcome COVID-19

At the start of this year it would be hard to imagine the world as it is now. As Coronavirus spread across the world turning our way of life upside down, the United Nations issued a global call to creatives. The UN SDG Strategy Hub extended a brief to artists, designers, illustrators and animators to find ways to communicate this new reality and what it would take for humanity to overcome the virus. This was the first of its kind, an unprecedented request for unprecedented times.


You can see all of the open call responses here.

Shared Verified: Misinformation relies on an Emotional Response

Often we share misinformation with the best of intentions. We learn something we think is useful and pass it onto others to raise their awareness. This is particularly true with health advice. People who are passing along misinformation about the Coronavirus think they are helping people to stay safe and well. When in reality what they are sharing can have the opposite effect.


Renée DiResta has spent years researching the way misinformation is transmitted. In this interview she explains how misleading content travels around the internet and what we can do about it.


Misinformation is powerful because it provokes an emotional response in us. Content that is exciting or disturbing travels fast online, in part due to social media algorithms.


Share Renée’s video today to increase understanding and encourage an empathic approach to misleading information.


If you are interested in Renée’s research you can read more about it here and follow her on Twitter.

Shared Verified: Trusted Voices are needed to battle Misinformation

Magdalen Fatima Amony has worked with northern Ugandan communities for years helping former child soldiers reconcile with their communities. Her organization, Grassroots Reconciliation Group has been quick to adapt its working practices in light of the pandemic. One thing they had not prepared for was the spread of misinformation about the virus, questioning everything from its origin to its very existence.


For Magdalen, countering misinformation takes place offline, in remote areas where information spreads by word of mouth and trust in government can be low. She talked to Verified about the ideas that are circulating about coronavirus and she is tackling them.


From Uganda to the United Kingdom people are spreading misinformation as rapidly as the virus. Magdalen’s experience highlights how important it is for trusted voices to combat false reports about coronavirus.