Poverty is eroding the foundations of Indianapolis. In response, Christian Theological Seminary, with support from the Mike and Sue Smith Family Fund, has created the Faith & Action Project to inspire collaboration among faith communities, nonprofits and government agencies in order to reduce poverty in the city.
Through annual public events and financial awards, the Faith & Action Project is designed to ignite a solution-oriented movement in Indianapolis and beyond.
Every year starting in 2017, three projects will earn awards of $50,000, $20,000 and $10,000. These juried awards will fund the most promising, innovative programs that can be expanded and replicated.
The project’s inaugural event brought national thought leaders Tavis Smiley and David Brooks to Clowes Memorial Hall for a discussion of poverty, equality and opportunity on September 29, 2016. At the event, CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton announced that the Faith & Action Project's Spring Conference will be held March 14, 2017. This day of workshops will bring together professional and volunteer leaders for training and networking, plus a review of Faith & Action Project guidelines and award criteria.
Indianapolis’ poverty rates are staggering and unacceptable. Both the city’s general poverty rate (22 percent) and its child poverty rate (33 percent) are above national averages, according to the POLIS Center at IUPUI. Moreover, from 2005 to 2013, Indianapolis experienced one of the nation’s largest increases in the percentage of children living in poverty, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
“As we respond together, people of faith can and must play a galvanizing, sustaining role,” said Matthew Myer Boulton, president of Christian Theological Seminary.
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CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and CTS Vice President of Academic Affairs Leah Gunning Francis at the September 7, 2016 news conference announcing that the City of Indianapolis is joining Christian Theological Seminary as a community partner in the groundbreaking Faith & Action Project.