IndyCAN E-newsletter, August 2015 issue

August 2015 En Espanol

 Newsletter header - IndyCAN News



'Season of Encounter: Sacred Conversations
on Race & Faith' launches in 29 congregations

The final retreat is this weekend. Register today!

Since June, IndyCAN leaders and clergy attended three regional day-long retreats, launching Sacred Conversations on Race & Faith in 29 congregations across central Indiana. If yours was not one of them, there is still time to attend: Our final retreat is this Saturday.

The Season of Encounter retreats are designed to equip congregations to build strong relationships across race lines and understand the impact of race and structural racism on families in Indianapolis.

Participating congregations are holding hundreds of sacred conversations throughout the community in the coming weeks, allowing the people here to build relationships across race, both within and across our congregations. The conversations encourage community members to weigh in on a set of racial-equity strategies that IndyCAN will share with mayoral candidates at a public forum this fall.

There is still time to register for the final retreat, to be held this Saturday, Aug. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Christ Church Cathedral, 125 Monument Circle. If you cannot attend the retreat but are interested in participating in Season of Encounter, download the Congregation Toolkit for information about how you can encourage conversations on race and faith within your own congregation.

For more, contact Shoshanna Spector at

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Meeting with Governor Pence - 1

IndyCAN meets with Governor Pence to urge keeping families together

“The biggest challenge facing the church today is the separation between faith and life. In our society, we are encouraged to privatize our faith; what IndyCAN encourages is that our faith should guide our lives. Exodus 22 teaches us that we shall not persecute the foreigner in our midst."

Archbishop Joseph Tobin in conversation with Governor Pence

A delegation of IndyCAN immigrants, returning citizens and faith leaders met with Indiana Governor Mike Pence in July, in an effort to take steps to keep families together.

The delegation of the Indiana Campaign for Citizenship, a project of IndyCAN & the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, represents 17 of the largest faith denominations in Indiana, as well as business leaders and law enforcement officials, who urged Governor Pence to withdraw Indiana from the lawsuit that challenges the deferred action programs President Obama announced in November 2014. Those programs would have provided relief for 5 million aspiring Americans.

"A few months ago, I got in a minor traffic accident. Even though I wasn't at fault, when I saw the approaching lights of the police car, I was paralyzed with terror. I looked back at my sleeping baby and wondered, 'What will I do if they take me away because of my immigration status?' If deferred action had gone through as planned in February, I and 43,000 other Hoosiers would be able to come out of the shadows and no longer live in fear."

Miriam Reyes, Holy Spirit Catholic Church, in conversation with Governor Pence

At the meeting, Governor Pence committed to attend a public meeting hosted by IndyCAN in the fall of 2016 and to continue working with IndyCAN to protect families, reduce over-incarceration of people of color and improve the pathways to family sustaining jobs.

"The penal system was created to establish reformation, not retribution. ... I want Indiana to be the best state in the country to get a second chance."

Governor Mike Pence to the IndyCAN delegation

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Meeting with Governor Pence - 2

Our work to end mass incarceration continues behind the scenes

After helping to put the brakes on a plan to build a $500-million Criminal Justice Center, which would have intensified the over-incarceration of people of color, IndyCAN is working behind the scenes to get the City of Indianapolis to develop a strategy to reduce over-incarceration before planning any new jail facility.

IndyCAN wants the City to:

  • implement proven diversion programs for the mentally ill, the addicted and the homeless 
  • allow people charged with low-level, non-violent crimes to be released on their own recognizance, rather than having to pay bail or wait in jail until their trials
  • invest in proven programs that reduce recidivism.

IndyCAN leaders are reaching out to City-County Council President Maggie Lewis, mayoral candidates Chuck Brewer and Joe Hogsett, and other public officials to discuss how we can work together to reduce unnecessary, counter-productive incarceration that hurts families, individuals and our whole community.

Sign up (by filling in the form field at the top of our home page) to let us know of your interest in staying informed about IndyCAN's work to end mass incarceration. Or email Alex Slabosky at

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SAVE THE DATE: Leadership Assembly is Sept. 1

7 p.m. • Friendship Missionary Baptist Church

As the Season of Encounter conversations continues, IndyCAN leaders will gather together at a leadership assembly to share what those conversations have taught us about working across race lines in ways that foster a community of inclusion.

Plan to attend to learn what hundreds of members of the Indianapolis community have shared about building relationships across race, about implicit bias in our lives, and what we can do to stop structural racism.

Ultimately, we will come together to shape a prophetic vision for Indianapolis that moves our city toward racial and economic equity. All of IndyCAN's future campaigns will be developed while keeping in mind what we learn from this assembly.

We will also be sharing the impact of these conversations with mayoral candidates on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Don't miss it! Register for the Leadership Assembly by clicking here. 

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Upcoming Events

Calendar - Leadership Retreats Calendar - Leadership Assembly

Strategy Team Meeting
Thursday, Aug. 13, 7 p.m.
Central Christian Church, 701 N. Delaware St., Indianapolis

See the full calendar listing
in list/event-type view (highlights) or month-at-a-glance view.

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