The Two Communities We Call Home
Fact of the Month
More than a quarter of all Hoosier workers earn below-poverty wages, according to the Indiana Institute for Working Families’ Status of Working Families Report.
It seems like just about every day we see a new study or commentary suggesting that the gap between the poor and everyone is growing at an alarming pace. As a result, we often hear that there are two Americas, or two Indianas, or two Indianapolises: one for the very poor, and one for everyone else.
When the Faith & Action Project was launched, it was driven in part by a clear-eyed recognition of this gap, but also with the belief that the gap did not have to be accepted. On the contrary: We believe it is possible to shrink that gap, and we have been impressed and moved by the innovative ideas of the many people in this community who share that belief.
The task of combating poverty is daunting, but we are encouraged often. Most recently, we were inspired by the community’s eagerness to hear Michelle Alexander share about poverty’s root causes and provide a call to action.
It’s not just the fact that a lot of people want to come to our event that makes us happy. It’s that over 2,000 people have registered tells us that, in a city ripped in two by poverty, a great number of people want to come together to find a way to heal that rift.
In other words, in this place some describe as “two Indianapolises,” people are pulling together into one community, united to curb poverty’s momentum. In that, we see hope.
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Faith & Action Project’s fall event featuring New York Times best-selling author Michelle Alexander and a panel of local leaders on Oct. 23rd is a free, no ticketed event. As with all Faith & Action events, we want to welcome as many people as possible and strive to make the event as seamless as possible. We recommend arriving early to Clowes Memorial Hall, as it will be a first-come-first-served event. For those of you who will be unable to attend on Oct. 23rd or who don’t get a seat in Clowes Memorial Hall, next month’s Faith & Action Project newsletter will offer insights and highlights from the event.
Faith & Action in the Media
Indianapolis media featured the Faith & Action Project in a variety of ways in August and September. In case you missed the coverage, here are summaries and links to the stories:
- Midtown Magazine writer (and veteran Indianapolis journalist) Dan Carpenter took a look at the organizations in Midtown Indianapolis that have received Faith & Action grants and also offered an overview of the Project. Read his piece here.
- IBJ featured a guest viewpoint from Faith & Action founder Mike Smith, who suggested that a nation that put a man on the moon should be able to overcome poverty. Read his article here.
- IndyStar highlighted the work of Faith & Action grant recipient Heart Change Ministries and one of its leaders, Cindy Palmer, who moved from Carmel to the Brookside neighborhood with her husband to focus on their work efforts to combat poverty. Read the story here.
- WRTV-6 aired a segment on how a Faith & Action grant will help Outreach Inc. serve homeless youth in Central Indiana. View the story (and read a text version) here.
The (Poor) Status of Indiana’s Families
“In recent years, Indiana has gained the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of poverty-wage jobs and low-income working families in the Midwest.” This statement from the introduction of the Indiana Institute for Working Families’ recently released “The Status of Working Families in Indiana” sets the stage for a document that suggests that government policies have played a major role in putting the state at a disadvantage. Recommended actions fall under three categories: “Improve Indiana jobs,” “Strengthen protections for Hoosier families,” and “Increase economic mobility.” Read the full report here.
Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, by Gregory Boyle. A few months ago, we recommended , Tattoos on the Heart by Father Gregory Boyle, who will be keynote speaker for our May 2, 2019, spring conference. Now we’re encouraging you to pick up his second book, in which he highlights the ways compassion and simple humanity can improve the lives of the poor and downtrodden. “Stay close to the poor,” Boyle quotes Dorothy Day as saying to someone who asked how to live the gospel.
Mark your calendar for these important dates.
October 23 – Faith & Action fall event at Clowes Memorial Hall