Uprising Updates: People power is creating change across the state
INDIANAPOLIS —Last month, thousands of Indiana faith leaders held a Procession for Racial Justice, calling on Mayor Joe Hogsett to lead our nation by taking steps to end state-sanctioned violence against Black people. Since then, leaders and clergy have held three meetings with the mayor’s office to move forward concrete reform and to press the mayor for a public commitment to fully implement the seven-point LIVE Free Law Enforcement Agenda.
On June 5, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans to revise the use of force policy, fully fund the Group Violence Intervention strategy and enforce a progressive discipline matrix. The mayor publicly credited the Faith in Indiana clergy, leaders and community for consistently raising this issue. We are making moves in the right direction, but we won’t stop until liberty and justice is for all of us, no matter our race, accent or zip code. Watch the CBS 4 coverage here.
On June 7, The Indianapolis City-County Council unanimously passed a proposal Monday night to declare racism a public health crisis in Marion County. Faith in Indiana spokesperson Sa’Ra Skipper applauded the proposed declaration, while still awaiting more specifics on what it will do for the community. Aside from physical health, Skipper hopes the resolution will also address the mental and emotional health of African Americans in Indianapolis.
“It is exhausting to be black,” she told WGN news. “It is exhausting to have black or brown skin just because you never know who may look at you as a threat.”
SOUTH BEND —For more than a year, South Bend clergy and leaders pressed elected officials to implement public safety reforms. South Bend Mayor James Mueller is finally listening to the community and taking long overdue action. He committed to release a revised police discipline matrix, ban chokeholds and revise the SBPD use-of-force policy. As Alfred Guillaume of St. Augustine said, this is an important "first step." We will stay engaged to make sure there is follow-up. Read the WSBT report: Mayor's announcement and Faith in Indiana response.
FORT WAYNE —Hundreds of people took to the streets in peaceful protest and to call for law enforcement reform.
"Loving our country, our city, means cherishing life and liberty for every single person in it," the Rev. Karen Staton of Destiny Life Center Church told the Journal Gazette. "We cannot allow those entrusted to serve and protect our communities to target, detain and kill black people. Real change starts at home with Mayor [Tom] Henry's public commitment to reform law enforcement, starting with a use of force policy. There's power in numbers. One or two can't do much," she said, "but together — we can all do it together."
The march was organized by the Allen County chapter of Faith in Indiana and Fort Wayne Changemakers. Read the full story.
#WhoCaresForUs COVID Equity: Indy Victory, push to Governor
After more than 2,000 people across the state met with Mayor Hogsett as part FaithIN’s #WhoCaresForUs Digital Town Hall, Mayor Hogsett is making good on his promise to put equity at the center of our covid response. The Indianapolis Council passed a $76 Million COVID Relief Fund that includes $25 Million rental assistance program available to every city resident, including our undocumented neighbors, and millions to scale up testing and contact tracing in communities of color. Learn more.
During this crisis, we've seen healthcare workers, public school employees, and grocery store clerks, pastors, and more step up and keep us safe. More than 150 clergy signed and delivered a letter to the governor demanding that he act now mitigate racial inequity that is exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis. Now, it’s time our elected officials step up and care for those who care for us. We are already seeing communities of color hit harder. Gov. Holcomb has to invest in our local governments - starting with the hardest hit zip codes, so that they can invest in us. Learn more about what is at stake.
DACA is here to stay!
Last week, the Supreme Court protected DACA, a victory that many people across the country - including Faith in Indiana leaders - fought and organized for. DACA was a victory delivered by undocumented youth after years of pressure and fearless organization, because Congress has failed for decades to offer what the American people want: citizenship for immigrants and an end to cruel and massive application. DACA has helped hundreds of thousands of young people finish school, get better jobs and access healthcare.
June 2: Primary Election Spotlight: St. Joe County leaders pass local school referendum
Residents voted in favor of a school referendum that will enable the school district official to expand pre-kindergarten access, move forward with building maintenance projects and security upgrades, offer teacher raises and add counselors and social workers. South Bend clergy and leaders helped to educate voters on the issue and their efforts paid off. School Board President John Anella, calls the win the people’s victory.
“They came out, voted and showed they care about our community and kids during a very dark time. It shows that we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Join us for Race Class Narrative training. The Race Class Narrative has proven to successfully achieve electoral victories and advance a progressive policy agenda from big cities to small towns across America and the world. If we are to be victorious in 2020 and beyond, we need to build the choir of activists and campaigns mobilizing our base and persuading the middle. To do this, we need more of us skilled in how to implement the Race Class Narrative in our campaign work.
At the training, we will learn the anatomy of a winning narrative, how dog-whistle politics can be defeated, and how to animate our base to persuade the middle and amplify a worldview that can change the conditions for how decisions are made in Indiana.
Please help us to welcome Maria Duenas to the Faith in Indiana team. She will support immigrant organizing in Central Indiana. Maria is the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Political Science. As a student, she lent her leadership to work for immigrant rights through the Dreamer’s Alliance, Faith in Indiana, and Mayor Hogsett’s Hispanic Advisory Council.
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Faith in Indiana is a 501(c)(3) organization. Faith in Indiana and its chapters are strictly non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for public office. We are not affiliated explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party.