The Way Forward
In October, when the Faith & Action Project held its third annual Fall Event, it effectively brought to a close its second year of working to reduce poverty.
Two years is a relatively short time when you’re seeking solutions to something as enduring as generational poverty, but, even as we acknowledge we have a long way to go, we also see reasons to hope. These include:
- Our 2018 grant recipients offered up exciting, innovative and promising initiatives (to learn more, watch this video).
- Many other organizations submitted proposals with potential, and countless organizations continued their daily work to walk with and support those living in poverty.
- Scores of passionate people attended our Spring Conference to learn, share ideas and push the community forward.
- Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has made poverty one of his flagship issues.
- The business community, led by Indy Chamber, has recognized the “business case” for turning back poverty.
- Organizations such as the United Way and CICF have increased their focus on poverty.
- Local media have highlighted the problem and possible solutions in wide-ranging and persistent coverage. (To see a round-up of coverage of the Faith & Action Project, click here.)
Certainly, we don’t take credit for all of the increased attention to poverty, but we are delighted to have played a role in facilitating real dialogue and pushing for meaningful solutions. We also are proud that we have increased debate about difficult issues at the root of poverty. Michelle Alexander helped in this effort with her insights at our Fall Event (watch highlights of her conversation here), and others have also pushed for conversations about factors such as race, mass incarceration, economic mobility and education.
With all of this progress, we look back at 2018 with both a sense of encouragement and a realization that much remains to be done. We look forward to working with you to continue the fight against poverty in 2019.
Meanwhile, to help you embrace this holiday season, we want to share with you a classic story many of us know well but might not have read for some time. It could well be a story about people who live each day in poverty in Indianapolis: It focuses on a couple living in dire conditions, working poor living so close to the edge that even holiday gifts seem out of reach. But this couple also, in this snapshot from their life, reflect the dogged perseverance, sacrifice and willingness to work we see so often among the poor. In addition, they reveal the simple and recurring truth that the most important weapon in the fight against poverty is a weapon we all can wield: selfless and deeply rooted love. We wish that for you this holiday season, and into next year
Please click here and take a moment to read – and absorb – O. Henry’s classic tale, “The Gift of the Magi.” Holiday blessings to you and yours.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project