FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 2, 2018
CONTACT: Jennifer R. Farmer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202.306.0136
Nation’s Largest Network of Faith-Based Groups and Congregations Selects New Executive Director
WASHINGTON – The nation’s largest network of faith-based groups and congregations today announced the selection of a new executive director. After a four-month search process, PICO National Network’s Board of Directors chose the Rev. Alvin Herring as the third executive director in the organization’s 40-year history. He takes the helm of the sprawling organization on May 1, 2018. Rev. Herring succeeds Scott Reed who will retire on June 1, 2018, ending a 40-year-tenure with the National Network.
Founded by Father John Baumann, S.J., a Jesuit priest, PICO National Network comprises 200 local groups in 21 states, and 150 U.S. cities and towns. Under Reed’s leadership, the organization grew from a handful of groups in 11 states to have a presence in 21 states as well as in Rwanda, Haiti and El Salvador.
“I am pleased to announce that the Rev. Alvin Herring has been tapped to shepherd our organization by leading our faith-based organizing, our National Network and our state-based federations,” said Ron White, chairman of the PICO National Network Board of Directors. “While applicants for the position were equally remarkable, Rev. Herring is best equipped to help us transform the country and ensure a strong moral voice that will serve our children and grandchildren.”
Rev. Herring currently is the director of racial equity and community engagement for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the fifth largest foundation in the world. He previously held positions as PICO’s director of training and formation, dean of students/assistant vice president for student life at the University of Louisville, executive director of the Working Interfaith Network, and executive director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice.
“Alvin Herring is a resourceful problem-solver, a careful administrator and a faith-rooted advocate,” said Reed, PICO National Network’s outgoing executive director. “He is a unifying presence, yet demonstrably unrelenting in the pursuit of racial and economic justice. In all that he does, he is able to center the experience of persons living closest to the pain of oppression. Shunning personal or political expediency, he lives out his faith calling, often going directly into struggles sparked by police brutality, mass incarceration, gun violence and immigrant injustice. I am confident he will set a trail-blazing path for our National Network that will reverberate across the country.”
“Over the course of my career, I have been humbled by the faith so many have placed in me,” Rev. Herring said. “I have worked hard to build bridges across racial, ethnic, religious, class and faith lines, and I am excited to have been granted the opportunity to lead this massive network. I am eager to step into the legacy that was begun by Father John Baumann and Scott Reed. It goes without saying that I will work tirelessly to elevate faith-based organizing as a powerful force in contending for the future of this nation.”
In addition to mapping the overall strategic direction for the organization, managing its senior leaders and supporting state-based groups and congregations, Rev. Herring will manage the final phase of the group’s rebrand process. Effective May 1, the nonprofit organization will change its name from PICO National Network to Faith in Action. The change more clearly reflects the organization’s desire to raise a moral critique of harmful policies and center faith-based organizing. He will also lead the charge to invest more resources in PICO’s state-based groups.
For more information, or to speak with Rev. Herring or Scott Reed, please contact Jennifer R. Farmer at email@example.com or 202.306.0136.
PICO National Network is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. PICO works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 60 local and state federations. PICO and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office. PICO urges people of faith to consult their faith traditions for guidance on specific policies and legislation. Learn more at www.piconetwork.org.