All of the Above
Too often, conversations about poverty come down to arguments about which sector of society is responsible for creating change. Some say it is the government’s responsibility to uphold each individual’s right to economic security. Others believe a vibrant business sector will raise everyone’s standard of living. Still others suggest that faith communities should continue its traditional job of caring for “the least of these.” Finally, many point to the nonprofit sector, saying it was created and has been funded to address needs that the government and for-profit sectors cannot. What we see affirmed almost daily is that the true answer is, “All of the above.” That is why we at the Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary advocate so strongly for collaborations between faith communities and nonprofits, and why we include political leaders in our conversations. We know that lasting solutions will never come from within a silo. What’s challenging about this need for collaboration is that it creates complexity where we all wish for simplicity. It confirms that there is no magical cure-all, and that no single sector can wave a wand and make poverty disappear. As we enter our fourth year of the Faith & Action Project, we are encouraged. Watching grant recipients implement their visions, we see evidence of collaborations that might not have occurred without the grants’ encouragement … we see relationships that might not have formed if not for a connection at one of our conferences … we see impact that might not have been realized if organizations had been determined to “go it alone.” I mention those points of progress not to seek credit for Faith & Action. Instead, I mention them to highlight what is possible, and to encourage even broader engagement across even more boundaries and barriers. In that spirit, we invite you to join us at our Oct. 1 event, “Uncomfortable Truths, Healing Impact” (learn more below, or click here to order free tickets), even if you think your organization isn’t big enough, equipped correctly or sufficiently staffed to make a difference. The Faith & Action team is confident, whether you’ve attended every Faith & Action Project gathering or none, the fall event will give you new insights into the challenges of poverty in our community and solutions. At the same time, we believe it could facilitate a connection within our community that sparks a fresh idea, a new initiative, or a game-changing opportunity … and that you just might be a key element in that connection, initiative or opportunity. We hope you’ll join us on Oct. 1st to find out.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Uncomfortable Truths, Healing Impact
The Faith & Action Project continues its effort to challenge our community to think about the factors behind poverty with its Oct. 1 event, “Uncomfortable Truths, Healing Impact.” TV commentator and author Van Jones will be joined by Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. of Eastern Star Church, Center for Leadership Development President Dennis E. Bland and Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana Vice President of Mission and Education Initiatives Betsy Delgado for a candid conversation about poverty, race, opportunities and solutions. The 7 PM event will be held at Clowes Memorial Hall. For more information or to reserve free tickets, click here. Tickets can also be picked up at the Clowes Box Office here.
Do low-income families choose to live in low-opportunity neighborhoods, or are they prevented from moving to better areas? A recent Harvard study examined that question, challenging the notion that low-income families prefer areas of concentrated poverty because of the low-cost housing and other attractors. The study found that, given resources to support a move to an area with higher upward mobility, 54% of families made the move. Meanwhile, only 14% of a control group made similar moves during the study period. Read more about the study here.
Child Care Subsidies Fall Short
Child care can be a costly barrier to employment for many familes, so they rely on Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) assistance to cover the cost. Unfortunately, that CCDF support seldom covers the need, according to a new study from the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services. It turns out that the majority of child care providers nationwide charge more than the amount covered by states’ CCDF funds, the study found.
For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty, edited by Anne R. Bradley and Art Lindsey. A product of the conservative Institute for Faith, Work & Economics, For the Least of These offers a collection of essays on poverty by economists, theologians, academics, practitioners and historians. While the content ranges in focus and tone, most of the essays carry two common themes: scripture holds keys to the fight against poverty, and overcoming poverty will require multifaceted, market-based approaches.
Mark your calendar for this important date.
Sept. 10: 9-11:30 AM: “Walk the Talk” – Diversity and Inclusion, A Nonprofit Learning Center Workshop will focus on the tools organizations can use to assess their internal culture (policies, practices, and norms) and how to implement strategies that are more culturally responsive to communities’ breadth of diversity (race, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, and physical/mental ability). The workshop is hosted by United Way of Central Indiana and presented by Michael Twyman, managing principal of InExcelsis, a consulting firm serving nonprofit organizations. Click here to learn more.
Oct. 1, 7 PM: Fall event at Clowes Memorial Hall
Faith & Action Project at Christian Theological Seminary 1000 W. 42nd Street | Indianapolis, IN 46208 Phone: (317) 931-2336 | Fax: (317) 923-1961 | Email: LRabinowitch@cts.edu | Web: www.cts.edu