About The Institute

Rev. Pat BumgardnerExecutive Director of the Insitute.

Rev. Pat Bumgardner
Executive Director of the Insitute.

The Global Justice Institute began as the Moderator’s Global Justice Team of Metropolitan Community Churches, and held its first meeting in New York City, May 9th, 2006.  We were originally comprised of MCC spiritual activists from around the globe who came together to work on a plan to coordinate our work under the umbrella of MCC’s founding vision {salvation, community and social action}.  We were passionate about the Gospel as a radical social manifesto and about the belief that Queer rights are human rights.

Our work quickly expanded to include projects or partnerships in Pakistan, Malaysia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, parts of the United States, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa.

We were committed to the Yogyakarta Principles and to general guidelines that stipulated we would

*go only where we were invited

*assume we had a lot to learn

*listen to our hosts

*forge partnerships

*respond when required

*understand that our priority was always the furtherance of the human rights effort on the ground

We adopted a Mission Statement that read in part:  to be an agent of change by building bridges that liberate and unite voices of sacred defiance. …in acts of justice.

Safe space emerged quickly as the overwhelming need of almost everyone we were in contact with.

We had an amazingly small budget, and a big heart — and often resembled a human rights triage unit.

We had some “successes” in Pakistan, Malaysia, and Jamaica, for example, and some efforts like that of MCC Toronto to resettle refugees  were natinally recognized.

Our partnerships included GLSEN, HRW, ILGHRC, UN AIDS, Marriage Equality groups in the US, Canada and the Philippines, HIV/AIDS organizations, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, IPAJA {a sexual health organization in Africa}, INCREASE {reproductive rights organization in Africa}, and the Council for Global Equality.

We produced a periodic Global  Justice newsletter, Action Alerts, Press Statements, and a Global Justice Day or 2 at MCC’s General Conferences.

Eventually, we realized that the structure we were operating under was not the best for the work we were envisioning ~ a bit like “herding cats.” — At some point, largely as the brainchild of MCCers who worked in or around the federal government and its agencies in Washington, DC, a Public Policy Team emerged as the arm of Global Justice in the United States.  It remains operational and highly productive.

Office

Offices of Metropolitan Community Church in New York City

BIRTH OF THE GLOBAL  JUSTICE INSTITUTE:  In December of 2011, after approximately two years of work, the Global  Justice Team of MCC became The Global  Justice Institute, a separately incorporated 501{c}3 that is housed in the offices of Metropolitan Community Church in New York City.

The Rev. Pat Bumgardner transitioned from Chair of the original Team to Executive Director of the Insitute.  An originating Board of Directors included The Rev. Nancy Wilson, Rev. Pat, Scott Long {then of HRW}, Grace Poore of ILGHRC, and Bradley Curry {who served as staff to the Institute}.

The Insitute is incorporated in New York State and its bylaws comply with requirements therein.