Prepare for Impact
Unacceptable Fact of the Month
Indianapolis has only 27 affordable rental homes for every 100 extremely low-income renter households.
As the Faith & Action Project prepares to gather national and local experts, leaders and front-line workers for the April 26 Pushing Back Poverty Conference, we look forward to the opportunity to inspire, inform and equip those who work to take away poverty’s power in our communities. (If you haven’t registered for the conference, or need more information, click here.)
Last year, we were overwhelmed by the energy, ideas and creativity that defined the conference from beginning to end, and we were humbled by the response to the grant process that followed the conference. This year, of course, we want the event to be even more informative and inspiring. As such, I’d like to make a few suggestions about how you can get the most from your day.
- Bring friends and colleagues. Invite your co-workers, committee members or fellow worshippers to attend with you so you can get fired up together.
- Come prepared to engage. The more willing you are to engage, the more you’ll benefit.
- Network for impact. Look for opportunities to learn from other attendees and to find potential collaborators.
- Share your successes. If you have an opportunity to share your success story, share it. Others can learn from it.
- Listen for practical tips. We’re encouraging speakers to share practical tips so you have takeaways you can put to work.
- Think about your Faith & Action grant application now. That will allow you to listen with a purpose, and to sharpen your ideas based on what you learn.
I look forward to seeing you all in April, and to being inspired, informed and equipped by your work.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Last July, when 160 high school seniors received diplomas at Jennings High School, every graduate was either headed for college or had a good job. With an official graduation rate of 97 percent, the St. Louis school that recently was better known for its challenges than successes has posted a remarkable turnaround. The secret? Some say it’s former Superintendent Tiffany Anderson, who, at a school where every child qualifies for free or reduced lunches, recognized that educational achievement is impeded by poverty. Now Anderson is taking the same approach in Topeka, Kansas, where the schools won a national award for equity and where she summed up her guiding vision this way: “Imagine if poverty did not impact young people. Imagine every child had a home to go to and food and security was not an issue.” Learn more about Anderson and her approaches here.
Society says it wants to give people emerging from incarceration a chance to get back on their feet. Unfortunately, the reality is that poverty is usually a reality for prisoners even if they get jobs and stay on the straight and narrow. The facts in a new study from Brookings are sobering. “Almost half of ex-prisoners have no reported earnings in the first several years after leaving prison,” study co-author Adam Looney wrote in an online Brookings article. “Among those who do find work, half earn less than $10,900 a year.” The study’s conclusion: By accepting that poverty, race and incarceration are interconnected, we can design programs that help to reach more ex-prisoners and provide real opportunities.
The April 26 Pushing Back Poverty Conference marks the official beginning of the 2018 Faith & Action Grant application process. The conference will end with a grant information session that is required for all grant applicants, and then those interested in applying will have until May 9 to submit a Letter of Intent and Program Summary. Making this process easier this year is an online submission form, where each applicant organization will answer a few questions and upload a copy of its Letter of Intent and Program Summary. The site offers “guiding questions” to help applicants know what to include in their letters and summaries, as well as an overview of the complete application process.
Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools, by Jonathan Kozol. Despite being published more than a quarter century ago, Kozol’s book offers an enduring view of how the gap between the quality of schools serving the poor and the wealthy perpetuates poverty. In the book’s final lines, he describes standing on top of a hill overlooking the Ohio River and being struck by the beauty of the country. “Surely,” he writes, “there is enough for everyone within this country … All our children ought to be allowed a stake in the enormous richness of America.”
Mark your calendar for these important dates.
April 26 — Push Back Poverty Conference at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
May 9 — Grant program letters of intent due by noon
October 23 — Faith & Action fall event at Clowes Memorial Hall