IndyCAN E-newsletter, January/February 2016


In this issue


IndyCAN makes plans to grow collective power

Late last month, clergy, lay and staff leaders from 23 IndyCAN congregations gathered for the annual meeting, celebrating success, commissioning new leaders and making plans to grow our collective power in 2016.

Together, we set goals to build an even more powerful movement for racial and economic justice.

Carrying forward the vision developed through our organizational assessment last November, IndyCAN will focus on the following goals in 2016:

  • Secure a plan to cut mass incarceration and deportation in half.
  • Win equitable regional transportation — first by working with the Mayor of Indianapolis and City-County Council members to put a measure on the May ballot that creates jobs for the hardest hit, and then winning at the ballot box by activating 25,000 marginalized voters of color.

In order to get there, IndyCAN will:

  • Strengthen its 20 congregation teams led by youth, returning citizens, immigrants and struggling workers directly impacted by inequality
  • Amplify the prophetic voice and activate religious power statewide by growing a core of 50 multi-racial, multi-faith clergy in deep relationship with more than 150 religious leaders and adjudicatory partners.

Read a complete summary of the annual meeting.


Successes in 2015A look at 2015: Celebrating success

IndyCAN has much to celebrate when looking back on 2015. We prayed. We voted. We acted!

We saw the power we can generate when we come together, united in our faith and our belief that all men and women are created equally in the image of God.

If time has slipped by too quickly and left you wondering what, exactly, 2015 looked like for IndyCAN, we have you covered. Take a look at our success sheet.

We enter 2016 feeling inspired and motivated to continue working for good. Thank you for being part of an incredible year. We eagerly look ahead to 2016. What can we do this year?

(Click graphic to download our success sheet in both English and Spanish.)


Leaders ready to act after PICO week-long training

"When I hear someone else's story and feel their pain, I no longer have to just be motivated, but also I'm inspired, because I feel the same fight. And now the fight is mine, so we will fight together," says James Michael Collier, IndyCAN leader with Community Alliance of the Far East, who attended the most recent training.

A team of seven IndyCAN leaders just returned from a week of training led by PICO National Network in Nashville, Tenn. The intensive seminar provides leaders with an in-depth review of the theory and practice of congregation-based organizing.

Taking time out to deliberately pray over, meditate on and learn more about being involved in the work of PICO federations like IndyCAN on a personal level builds enthusiasm, confidence and momentum in our leaders. These leaders then bring back what they have learned and infuse it with the hearts and drive of their fellow parishioners. Together, we are further empowered to implement real change in our communties.


Indianapolis Metro Ministerial Alliance of COGIC joins IndyCAN; together, we 'Celebrate the King'

Event celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and a new partnership

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, IndyCAN partnered with the Indianapolis Metro Ministerial Alliance (IMMA) of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) for a special “Celebrate the King” service on Friday, Jan. 15, at the Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Center (ECFC) in Indianapolis.

Pastor Tom L. Glenn, superintendent of ECFC, hosted the event, which celebrated King's legacy of racial and economic justice — as well as IMMA COGIC's new commitment to work with IndyCAN and live out our faith by improving social justice in Indianapolis.

Bishop J. Drew Sheard, General Board member of the national organizing body of COGIC, Inc., and senior pastor at the denomination's second-largest church, the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ in Detroit, Mich., offered blessings to IndyCAN and IMMA.

IndyCAN welcomes IMMA COGIC to the army of empowered Hoosiers working toward racial and economic equality for our communities — in the fitting footsteps of great leaders who came before us.

Photo courtesy of


IndyCAN honored with Power of Peace Award

IndyCAN was honored to accept the 'Power of Peace' Award at the Peace Learning Center’s 18th Annual Martin Luther King Community Festival on Saturday, Jan. 16.

The Peace Learning Center gives this award each year in recognition of extraordinary work that furthers peace and justice within the Central Indiana community.

Thank you, Peace Learning Center, for this incredible honor and our ongoing partnership to advance racial and economic equity!


IndyCAN has two open positions

Lead Community Organizer

IndyCAN seeks a Lead Community Organizer to support grassroots leaders to build a powerful movement for economic and racial justice in the Central Indiana Region.

IndyCAN is pioneering innovation in the field of community organizing. We are looking for an experienced organizer to be part of a dynamic team, deeply committed to developing powerful community leaders, activating marginalized voters, and winning large-scale transformations of racial, economic and social systems.

The ideal candidate would bring three to four years of community organizing experience, as well as experience in the African-American faith-based context and with communities of color.

Learn more:

Bilingual Community Organizer

Bilingual Spanish/English required

The community organizer engages people of faith and congregations to deepen their prophetic ministries. He or she will oversee Indiana's multi-faith movement to uphold the dignity of families and end criminalization of immigrants and people of color. A great candidate will have a true desire to reform local, state and national policies for the betterment of all people.

The ideal candidate is highly experienced, energized, self-motivated and dedicated to promoting racial, economic and social equity. He or she should have a track record of building bridges across cultures, especially among immigrants, African Americans and the working poor.

A successful organizer will have:

  • A passion for changing people's lives and communities
  • Respect and belief in all people
  • Anger at injustice
  • An understanding of power
  • A comfort with faith
  • Self-awareness of one's own barriers
Learn more:


Strengthen your capacity to lead justice ministry

Join the FREE IndyCAN Prophetic Leader Institute.

The IndyCAN Prophetic Leader Institute is a year-long opportunity for lay and clergy leaders to strengthen their capacity to lead prophetic ministry for racial and economic justice.

This course provides a foundation for movement base-building, leadership development and organizing. It is designed to encourage meaningful discussion around building effective social-justice ministries or teams within our faith institutions.

Throughout this course, participants will chart their progress as they plan and lead effective campaigns to address issues affecting the local community. The objective of this course is to grow leadership teams from our faith institutions to engage in a sustained organizing fight that uses the collective power of organized people to bring about change in our community.
Through interactive sessions, participants will:

  1. Be able to form a bold analysis of systemic racial injustice, intersected by economic class and gender, and identify how organizing will challenge those dominant narratives.
  2. Understand power and be able to build and weld it through the fundamentals of organizing.  
  3. Be able to tell their individual and collective stories in ways that challenge the dominant narrative and builds the leadership of the individual and the organization. 
  4. Be able to build powerful personal and public relationships across faith, race and class lines. 
  5. Be able to build structures, develop strategies and participate in actions and campaigns that channel power.      

Sessions will include special guest lecturers from the field of public faith and justice.

Cost: FREE — and dinner is included!

Where: Central Christian Church, 701 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis, IN 46204


  • Mondays*, 6 to 9 p.m. (*Excluding the first session which will be on Thursday, Feb. 11) 
  • Thursday, Feb. 11th
  • Mondays, March 7th, April 11th, May 9th, June 13th,
    July 11th, Aug. 8th, Sept. 12th, Oct. 10th, Nov. 14th


Mark your calendar

Prophetic Leader Institute

Strategy Team Meeting Feb. 16, 2016

Feb. 25, 2016 Clergy Council

March 1, 2016, Leadership Assembly