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Recent Funding Approval and April 9 Convening: Significant Steps Forward for Abuse Reform

The Abuse Reform Implementation Task Force (ARITF) is pleased to announce two pivotal developments in our ongoing efforts toward abuse reform within the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). 

First, we are grateful to the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) board of trustees for their recent approval of $250,000 in funding for the task force. This generous contribution provides vital financial resources to advance the work of abuse reform. This support underscores the shared commitment within our Convention to combat abuse and foster safer environments so that we can be an abuse-free family of churches. 

Second, we eagerly anticipate the upcoming April 9th convening in Dallas, TX for state convention leaders dedicated to abuse reform. At this gathering representatives from various states will collaborate, share insights, and learn from each other about abuse prevention and response efforts taking place across our Convention. With leaders from 17 state conventions already slated to attend, the ARTIF is eager to bring them together to encourage and help equip the state conventions in the good work that they are doing to combat the scourge of abuse, prevent future instances of abuse, and care well for survivors of abuse. 

Here is a brief overview of the agenda for this meeting:

  • Overview of the Essentials curriculum: Attendees will receive a comprehensive preview of the forthcoming Essentials curriculum, providing free tools and resources for local churches to prevent and respond to sexual abuse. 
  • Panel Q&A: This session is designed for leaders from each state to ask questions of other states and task force members. The ARITF knows that some states are further along in their journey of abuse reform, while others are not and both can learn from each other. 
  • State Pairings: Through extensive surveys, we have identified states at various stages of their abuse reform efforts. Attendees will be paired with counterparts from different states, enabling valuable learning and collaboration opportunities.
  • Tangible Outcomes: Our goal is for attendees to leave the convening equipped with actionable strategies and tangible steps to advance abuse reform efforts within their respective states.

We extend a warm invitation to all state conventions with an interest in abuse reform to join us for this event in Dallas, TX on April 9. If your state has a task force or is eager to send a representative, please fill out this form and a member of the task force will be in touch with more details. 

Photo above from a previous gathering with state convention abuse reform leaders.