Faith in Texas is a Texas-based organization with an interfaith structure focused on advancing a left-leaning approach to social matters. It is a member of the national Faith in Action coalition of religious-left community organizing groups.
Faith in Texas has four primary campaigns: Live Free Texas, LA RED, Voter Engagement, and Moral Economy. Live Free Texas focuses on reducing incarceration and gun violence by changing police training, ending money bails, reforming criminal justice policies, and building communities of trust. 1 The LA RED (Liberation, Action, Respect, Equity, Dignity) campaign focuses on leadership development in immigrant communities, training immigrants on measures to take in the event of deportation, and supporting liberal expansionist immigration policy changes. 2 The voter engagement campaign aims to inform participants, through a left-wing approach, on electoral issues including immigration, criminal justice reform, and education. 3 The moral economy campaign seeks the elimination of short-term loans and focuses on housing and healthcare for lower class communities. 4
Daves v. Dallas
In 2018, Faith in Texas joined Texas Organizing Project Education Fund in support of the plaintiff in Daves v. Dallas. The case, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), argued that pre-set bail rates made it impossible for many pre-trial defendants to afford their release and that their extended detentions contributed to losses in their personal lives. The plaintiffs further argued that since bail amounts are already secured and not relative to the equity of the detainee, the system violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States Constitution. 5
As of May 2022, Dr. Jaime Kowlessar is the executive director of Faith in Texas. Dr. Kowlessar is also the senior pastor of Dallas City Temple in Dallas, Texas. 6
Akilah S. Wallace was the former the executive director for Faith in Texas. Wallace has worked in public advocacy and philanthropy for much of her career. 7 She was a founding chair of HERitage Giving Fund, which provides grants to organizations that, according to their website, must serve African-American women in Northern Texas, must be led by African-American women, must demonstrate initiatives to take down alleged socio-economic obstacles for African-American women, and must seek strategies that provide opportunities for African-American women. 8
- “Live Free Texas.” Faith In Texas. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://faithintx.org/our-work/livefree/.
- “LA RED.” Faith In Texas. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://faithintx.org/our-work/la-red/.
- “Voter Engagement.” Faith In Texas. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://faithintx.org/our-work/voter-engagement/.
- “Moral Economy.” Faith In Texas. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://faithintx.org/our-work/moral-economy-1/.
- “Daves v. Dallas: Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse.” Daves v. Dallas | Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Accessed May 10, 2020. https://www.clearinghouse.net/detail.php?id=16413.
- “News: Faith in Texas Executive Director, Dr. Jaime Kowlessar.” Faith in Texas, Accessed January 24, 2022. https://faithintx.org/2022/05/06/faith-in-texas-executive-director-dr-jaime-kowlessar/
- “Akilah Wallace Named Philanthropist of the Year by YBGB Institute.” Faith In Texas, August 28, 2019. https://faithintx.org/2019/08/28/akilah-wallace-named-philanthropist-of-the-year-by-ygbg-institute/.
- “HERitage Giving Fund at Texas Women’s Foundation.” Texas Women’s Foundation. Texas Women’s Foundation. https://www.txwf.org/heritage-giving-fund/.