IndyCAN E-newsletter, November 2015 issue

40 Days of Faithful Action. We Prayed. We Voted. We Acted.


40 Days of Faithful Action comes to a close


The Papal visit began it all

Pope Francis’ visit to the United States in September inspired a local and national movement, 40 Days of Faithful Action, by IndyCAN and other members of the PICO National Network. His visit made our cause visible to the entire country, as he called Americans from all faith traditions to love one another as God loves his own children.

The pontiff's message drew attention to the need for criminal justice reform and the importance of truly seeing one another, especially those who are often filtered to the margins of society — immigrants, low-wage workers and individuals who have been incarcerated.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, clergy from diverse faith traditions gathered at the Marion County Jail II to wash the feet of the inmates and call on the next mayor and council to make Jobs Not Jails their first priorities. The prayerful act was in solidarity with the pope's visit to the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia, where he humbly bowed down to the wash the feet of the incarcerated, the same weekend.

Read more about the Papal visit in our October e-newsletter.

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Our prophetic voter program motivated thousands to get out and vote

Over the course of three weeks leading up to the election, IndyCAN ushered in a new voting block of individuals who care about faith and values. Volunteers held 5,000 conversations reaching 3% of everyone who cast a ballot. IndyCAN's Prophetic Voter Program focused on people of color and others that don't usually vote, urging them to use their voices and their votes to show the incoming mayor of Indianapolis and City-County Council that the IndyCAN Jobs Not Jails platform saves lives and saves families.

People were talking — in gathering places after worship services, during 20 phone banks, and at the front doors in local neighborhoods — reminding one another that every voice, every vote, has the power to end criminalization and mass incarceration of people of color, expand good jobs and living wages, and keep families together.

"In this election, IndyCAN united a beloved community of those most likely to vote and those least likely to vote. People are tired of this polarizing political climate. We were inspired by Pope Francis' call to end a 'throw-away culture' and made a conscious choice to reach out to those who feel most overlooked in our society — to working families who are typically ignored by partisan politics — to say, 'Your lives matter. Your vote matters," said Kenneth Sullivan, IndyCAN leader and pastor of New Direction Church.

IndyCAN continues to build the voices of marginalized citizens, uniting to flex our voting muscles in an effort to lift up our values of inclusion (no one left out), abundance (the wealthy making decisions that negatively affect the working poor) and keeping families together (stopping the revolving door for returning citizens).

We extend a passionate "thank you" to all who have shared in conversation with neighbors, friends and strangers during the season leading up to the election. You make a difference!

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District Attorney Minkler commits to work with IndyCAN on Jobs Not Jails

Nearly 300 faith leaders and prophetic voters gathered in October for a LIVE FREE Town Hall event featuring US District Attorney Josh Minkler, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Richard Hite and mayoral candidates to lift up an agenda that eliminates racial inequities in our communities.

The town hall event follows a national series of meetings with United States attorneys and public officials designed to advance criminal justice reform.

In Indy, Attorney Minkler committed to work with IndyCAN to implement proven strategic initiatives that lower incarceration rates and connect those most at risk of being either a victim or pepetrator of gun violence with good jobs, especially in some of the nation's hardest-hit neighborhoods. In addition to advancing the Jobs Not Jails platform, he committed to work with IndyCAN to land a meeting with US Department of Justice (USDOJ) Attorney General Loretta Lynch about uniting local clergy and the USDOJ to end gun violence, cut mass incarceration rates in half by 2020 and reduce recidividsm.

IndyCAN congratulates all candidates, sucessful in their campaigns and looks forward to working with the newly elected mayor of Indianapolis, Joe Hogsett, and the new and returning members of the City-County Council as we move forward, together.

News coverage

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President Obama removes one barrier to good jobs for the formerly incarcerated by banning the box

President Obama announced Nov. 2 that the Office of Personnel Management would immediately 'ban the box' that requires individuals convicted of a felony from having to declare that conviction on federal job applications.

IndyCAN board co-chair Charlie Davis praises the president's decision but notes that there is more work to be done:

As people of faith who worship a God of redemption, and formerly incarcerated men and women struggling to rebuild our lives, we are grateful to President Obama for taking steps to remove some of the obstacles that prevent people with criminal records from finding work. 

The announcement is a major victory for returning citizens and our nation. It’s also just a first step toward removing unnecessary barriers that prevent people who have served their time from finding work and rebuilding their lives. We continue to believe that no one should be defined by the worst thing they've done in their lives.

The federal government is joining Indianapolis and other cities who have led this charge. Indy "banned the box" in February 2014; more than 100 cities and states have taken actions to promote fair hiring of formerly incarcerated men and women.

IndyCAN joins President Obama and millions of people of faith to call on Congress to pass redemptive legislation that secures fair hiring for ALL by banning the box, without exception, on federal applications and contracts, so our loved ones can find their paths home bursting with opportunities and second chances.

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What have we learned?
How can we be more powerful?

Join IndyCAN's closest leaders, clergy, funders and community partners on Nov. 19 at 7pm  to share the results of an organization-wide assessment conducted by experienced organizers with the PICO National Network.  

What we have learned impacts everyone — from the marginalized citizens for whom we are battling, to the political leaders who make decisions — so we invite you to attend our Community Assessment and Leader Listening (CALL) Meeting and listen in as together we reflect on what they've learned, the critical decisions that lie ahead and the opportunities to further build power through the uniting of IndyCAN's faith leaders.

Join us Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. 

Friendship Missionary Baptist Church,
1301 North Goodlet
Indianapolis, Indiana 46222.

Register here.

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Want a career that can change the world?

IndyCAN is still looking for a bilingual community organizer to join the team.

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

Read more about what it takes to be a successful community organizer.

Read the complete job description and apply online.

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Mark your calendars

Dec 3 Clergy Council

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