IndyCAN E-newsletter, April 2016



IndyCAN leaders meet with IndyGo CEO Mike Terry onMarch 29 to talk about the transit company's strategic-hire commitment. IndyGo's strategy will ensure that low-income communities of color and those who have been formerly incarcerated will have access to good transit jobs.

Ticket to Opportunity Coalition is rolling

IndyCAN leads city-wide effort supporting transit

As you know, IndyCAN is a leader in a city-wide effort uniting dozens of organizations in support of proposed regional mass transit expansion.

This March, IndyCAN was proud to launch the Ticket to Opportunity Coalition. Together with the Indiana Citizens Alliance for Transit (ICAT), Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Indianapolis, AARP and others, the coalition is a motivated, passionate gathering of organizations and leaders who are committed to strong regional transit in Indianapolis.

This initiative will be an engine of racial and economic equity. Expanded transit options will create good jobs, help businesses grow and link isolated workers to new opportunities. Similar programs in other cities have generated tens of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new economic activity.

More than 70 organizations have joined the coalition, and the number is still growing. Ultimately, a targeted 120 organizations will have pledged to hold 81,000 conversations with marginalized voters to build support for regional transit this fall. They already have committed to recruiting volunteers, contributing resources and registering voters.

An early, notable success

Mike Terry, CEO of IndyGo, has committed to sharing the benefits of transit expansion with disadvantaged communities. Working with IndyCAN, IndyGo will develop a targeted-hiring program that creates pathways to employment for thousands of people who have been isolated from good jobs, including returning citizens.

“Not only will transit triple access to good jobs for hard-hit communities, IndyGo can be a model employer by developing a pipeline to good jobs for those who need it most,” says Jaime Hinson-Reiger, worship leader for Unitarian Universalist Church.

What’s next

Proposition 145 calls for the authorization of a referendum to be placed on the November 2016 ballot that will allow for new funding for public transportation in Marion County. This is referred to as the transit ballot measure.

The ballot measure was introduced to the City-County Council of Marion County and Indianapolis in March and is on track for a first vote in the Rules Committee on April 26. The final vote in the full council is scheduled for May 9. Plan to be there for both of these important dates!

Pray with us as we show the council this is important to our city!

IndyCAN is hosting a prayer vigil on April 26 before the City-County Council meeting when the Rules Committee will vote on the ballot measure. We need dozens of people there to make a visual statement that this measure matters! Plan to attend, and tell us you'll be there!


Pastor John Davis of Sanders Temple COGIC Church (left) and Pastor Juard Barnes, IndyCAN community organizer, share concerns about corporate greed and racism during PICO national training.

IndyCAN team unites with national organizers to build #PICOPower

Thirteen IndyCAN leaders, clergy and staff attended the PICO National Network’s Power.Building.Training conference in Baltimore late last month, being inspired by organizers from many cultures, from states across the country and various faith backgrounds.

Several hundred people attended the conference, which was jam-packed with stories of how inequality across the country divides communities — and how working together builds power to change!

Topics focused on the Theology of Resistance, disrupting Empire (the power that opposes us), voter engagement, immigration, economic dignity, organizing a game plan and communications.

Our team presented IndyCAN’s goals for 2016 and major successes from 2015, including the major victory of stopping the $1.75-billion jail expansion, which drew a standing ovation from faith leaders who were inspired by our own successes.

The IndyCAN team came home ready to put practical ideas to work building power within our own community to move change forward for our city’s most vulnerable populations.


Welcome, Stacia Murphy!

IndyCAN is happy to announce the addition of Stacia Murphy, community organizer, to our staff.

"The first few weeks have been intensive and inspiring," says Stacia. "I've learned so much and made so many connections that have already challenged what I thought I knew about myself and the faith-based community in Indy. To see such a diverse group of individuals from such different backgrounds all working together for racial equality and economic dignity is edifying and emboldens me."

Stacia has 10 years of experience in business consulting, marketing and community relations, having worked for Indianapolis not-for-profit organizations like Indiana Black Expo, Inc., and City•Mosaic, as well as Word of Mouth, Inc., and G&S Research.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in sociology. Her education, combined with her personal and professional experiences, create a unique perspective on community that fires her desire to help foster change for good in our city.

In her time away from work, Stacia enjoys raising and learning from her 4-year-old son. She also makes time for music-making, playing trombone and acoustic guitar, and is an avid supporter of the local arts community.

Contact Stacia at


Who does what?

Understanding roles as our staff grows

With the recent additions of Nicole Barnes and Stacia Murphy to the IndyCAN team, our staff has doubled in recent months!

With growth come role changes, so an update on who does what is in order. Below are the staff members and their primary areas of work. If you have questions, you can always call the office at (317) 759-3370, and we’ll direct you to the right person.

Organizing Team

Rev. Juard Barnes, Community Organizer

  • Works with IndyCAN congregations on Indianapolis’ Westside
  • Supports organizing efforts to reduce mass incarceration and gun violence.

Stacia Murphy, Community Organizer

  • Works with IndyCAN congregations on Indianapolis’ Eastside
  • Supports organizing efforts surrounding economic dignity, including the expansion of jobs through regional transit

Executive and Operations Team

Shoshanna Spector, Executive Director

  • Leads the executive/oversight pieces of IndyCAN, including relationships with congregations, clergy, the board of directors and strategic partners
  • Leads efforts for fund development
  • Leads the Prophetic Leaders Institute

Nicole Barnes, Operations Manager

  • Uses data to provide oversight and direction for targeted organizing
  • Manages grassroots fundraising campaign
  • Manages office operations, including financial compliance, human resources, technology, communications support and executive support

Contracted Support

You might hear these names on occasion. Corie and Andrew provide regular services for IndyCAN.

Corie Farnsley, CorComm Creative

  • Provides digital and written communications and organizing support
  • Produces the e-newsletter, crafts e-mail campaigns and designs/writes printed materials

Andrew Kling, Communication Consultant

  • Provides messaging strategy and media relations support

Position Opening:
Bilingual community organizer

Bilingual, English-Spanish, 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.

Read more about the position.



IndyCAN applauds governor's commitment to career pathways

Two-thirds of the workforce in Indiana in 2020 will be hard-to-employ adults. IndyCAN was among multiple community partners who encouraged Governor Mike Pence's Career Council to focus training resources on paid on-the-job training for this population, so that they can access jobs in high-demand, growing industries like advanced manufacturing.

A new state program came out of those efforts and is feeding more than $22 million into job training for hard-to-fill job industries and hard-to-employ adults.

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development's Skill UP Indiana awarded $11.5 million in grants to fund programs in the manufacturing, information technology and health care fields in February. It just announced another round of grants that will award another $11 million to similar programs.

"Skill UP is about providing access to the right training, at the right time, and taught in the right way to increase skill attainment and career opportunities for Hoosiers," said DWD Commissioner Steve Braun in a statement.

IndyCAN applauds the state's efforts as an important step toward building economic dignity for all Indianapolis residents.

Developing and improving career paths, providing skills training and improving available transit opportunities are all part of IndyCAN's Economic Dignity Agenda.

Read more in an article in the Indianapolis Business Journal: "New state program spending $22M to boost job training." (Only a limited number of articles is available for free before subscription is required.)


Upcoming Events and Meetings

DON'T MISS THIS ONE! This is an important next step as we refine our plan for boosting support for regional mass transit and for moving voters to the polls this fall. We need you there!

The Coalition will continue meeting every month on the third Friday, from 9 to 11 a.m. at North United Methodist Church, 3808 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis.

We need large numbers of people here to show the Council that faith leaders are united, powerful and committed to transit. Plan to attend!