During my travels on behalf of the Department of State, people sometimes ask, “Why does the Department of State expend so much effort to chronicle the status of religious freedom around the world?" Because religious freedom matters. In a world where 84 percent of the population claim a religion, it matters that people be free to make personal choices regarding their faith: to believe or not to believe, as well as to change one’s religion without fear. Religious freedom matters not only because it is a universal human right, but also because it is essential for peaceful and thriving societies.
A lifelong resident of Harlem and the Bronx, Suzan Johnson Cook understands the unique challenges and opportunities that our families face, including the fact that many of the district’s African-American and Latino residents are finding it more and more difficult to continue to reside and work in the communities which they call home.
When she is elected, her focus will be on the people she serves-not on advancing her own political agenda.
Suzan Johnson Cook is different. Throughout her career in the ministry, a published author and policy advisor to President Clinton and as the first African-American and the first woman to hold the diplomatic post of Ambassador-at-Large for international Religious Freedom representing President Obama and former secretary Clinton in dozens of nations around the globe, she has proven herself as a person who brings people together.