Coach Joe Kennedy shares morning devotions with the Statesmen Academy and Family Policy Council Alliance after his big win at the Supreme Court in June.
In July, your partnership with Family Policy Alliance’s sister foundation made it possible to host 40 state family policy council leaders and nearly 40 state legislators at the 2022 Statesmen Academy and Family Policy Council Conference. These leaders in your states are committed to making your state safer for children in the womb and their mothers, protecting parental rights, advancing religious freedom and passing pro-family policy.
Based on attendee comments, it was the best yet!
This year’s Statesmen Academy was also the largest event to date with 39 legislators and 18 spouses in attendance. These statesmen joined leaders from nearly 40 state Family Policy Councils and many national allies for a terrific week of training, encouragement, and renewal.
State legislators and leaders gleaned much from Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries who taught on worldview and how to effectively communicate biblical truth. Dr. Matthew Spalding of Hillsdale College provided a historical perspective on statesmanship and the value of prudence in politics. Statesmen received in-depth media training and time to practice their interview skills with FPA’s communications team. They listened and learned from experienced Christian statesmen, including former Ambassador, Governor, Senator, and Congressman Sam Brownback (R-KS).
A row of state lawmakers listen to engaging and impactful speakers at the 2022 Statesmen Academy.
Of course, no Family Policy Foundation event would be complete without equipping on current pro-family policy issues. This year’s agenda included panels on Help Not Harm legislation to protect minors from “gender transition” drugs and surgeries, pro-life legislation in the After Roe era, and parental rights in education legislation.
For the first time, the prestigious Coburn Statesman Award was given to a Statesmen Academy alumna, Rep. Robin Lundstrum of Arkansas. Rep. Lundstrum is the author of the first-in-the-nation Help Not Harm law and has been a pro-life champion in her home state, carrying more pro-life laws than any other legislator in Arkansas over the past decade. FPF President and CEO Craig DeRoche sat down with Lundstrum just after she received the Coburn Award.
Watch their interview here.
Robin Lundstrum (center) Receives the Coburn Award. Pictured L to R: Jerry Cox – Arkansas Family Council, Tom Lundstrum, Arkansas State Representative Robin Lundstrum, Amanda Banks – Statesmen Academy Director and Craig DeRoche – Family Policy Foundation President and CEO
Participants started each day with worship and devotions. Among those presenting were Dr. Wayne Grudem from Phoenix Seminary and Coach Joe Kennedy who recently won a major religious freedom victory at the Supreme Court after he was fired by his school for praying on the 50-yard line after football games. After perhaps the most pressure-filled and consequential season in the history of the pro-life movement, Christian legislators and leaders relished the opportunity to learn and fellowship together while receiving much-needed refreshment.
One legislator commented that the Academy provided “exactly the equipping this country could use much more of,” and said, “the genuine relationships built with others who share the same heart and beliefs will be lifelong.”
Another statesman remarked that while he “always tried to put God first, it doesn’t always go over well in the political world.” However, he explained, “this week taught me ways to allow Him to shine through when it’s not popular and how to tackle hard issues head-on rather than leave them for someone else to handle.”
Finally, a participant said, “the encouragement from champions of faith and policy is instrumental to our success, and practical help with legislation makes our job easier and achievable.”
These results and the incredible week we shared would not be possible without the generosity of our ministry partners who faithfully give financially and prayerfully to Family Policy Alliance and Family Policy Foundation. We sincerely thank you for your partnership with us!
Director, Statesmen Academy
Vice President, Education