Faith Makes a Difference
As we have acknowledged in the past, we are encouraged by the number of individuals and organizations focused on eradicating poverty in Central Indiana, and we are inspired by those taking up new efforts to fight poverty and its root causes.
Even as we applaud these efforts, though, we are face to face with the facts from the latest Savi report, that shows Indianapolis is third among peer cities in the highest rates of increase in poverty. We hope that on Oct. 1 we can acknowledge that problem and dig right into a conversation about solutions. We want our local speakers to share with us their organizations’ approaches to addressing poverty and the impact they are trying to achieve. We will talk about how to increase the scale of those successful programs and how others might adopt them. And we are optimistic Van Jones will share with the audience his insights on opening opportunities and pathways for those confronting poverty.
As we prepare to be challenged in thought and action at the upcoming event, we take joy in the positive changes we’ve witnessed from our grant recipients and others in the anti-poverty landscape.
First of all, we continue to hear from people in the community that partnerships and collaboration are critical in addressing poverty and yield greater impact for our neighbors. Best practices, such as active listening and engaging those in poverty to better understand the existing barriers and how they can be eliminated, are helping to ensure we are building on the assets of our neighbors.
Second, we believe that the real answers to the poverty dilemma will require not just innovation and effort, but also compassion and faith. Since the Faith & Action Project was launched, we have heard repeatedly from our experts and speakers and those in the trenches, that these “soft” weapons are essential to humane change.
We believe that. We believe that communities of faith have an advantage in this fight, that they bring something to the table that governments and secular nonprofits cannot. And when we complement big ideas and established infrastructure with faith and compassion, we believe bigger things can happen than we can even imagine. That’s why we’re committed to driving solutions that embrace higher beliefs.
As Mayor Joe Hogsett said at one of the early Faith & Action events, “Defeating poverty will take our faith and our action.”
Lindsey Nell Rabinowitch
Project Director, Faith & Action Project
Schooled in Low-Income Learning
Anthony Abraham Jack had beaten the odds: He was a low-income student from Miami, Fla., who had gotten into a top-notch northeastern school and landed financial aid. So, he had it made, right? Not so fast. Jack quickly found himself in a world not at all prepared for the financial, social and cultural challenges of a low-income student. Poverty, he found, followed him to school, and its lingering effects threatened to limit his odds of success. Learn more about his struggles by reading his NY Times essay here.
Mayoral Candidates Offer Poverty Ideas
The point of a debate is not to agree, but when Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and GOP challenger Sen. Jim Merritt squared off on Aug. 29, they did agree that poverty is an issue that must be addressed in Indianapolis, that systemic racism is a driving factor in poverty and more. From there, however, their perspectives differed on some key points. While both want to address food desserts, for example, they have different plans for doing so. Read an IBJ summary of the debate here or view a video of the debate here.
Still time to register for fall event
Free tickets are still available for the Oct. 1 Faith & Action Project event, “Uncomfortable Truths, Healing Impact.” Listen in as TV commentator and author Van Jones discusses poverty and solutions with 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. The 7 PM. Clowes Memorial Hall event is free, but tickets are required. For more information or to reserve your free tickets, click here or visit the Clowes Box Office.
The Moment of Lift, by Melinda Gates. By lifting up women, Gates writes, you lift up the world: “No other single change can do more to improve the state of the world. … If you search for poverty, you will find women who don’t have power. If you explore prosperity, you will find women who do have power and use it.” The Moment of Lift is a description of Gates’ journey to realizing the role women have in driving real change in the world – and, through that change, the role that have in resolving some of our biggest challenges. While focusing primarily on her work in developing countries, her insight and experiences are relevant to Indianapolis.
Mark your calendar for this important date.
Oct. 1, 7 PM: Fall event at Clowes Memorial Hall
Oct. 17, 8:30 PM: Faith Leaders Breakfast at CTS
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