Indiana Community Action Network E-newsletter

June 2020

 

 

 

 

NEWS

In solidarity toward racial justice: What CAAs are doing in this moment of crisis, and how you can learn more

How you can help the nationwide paid-leave plan to continue moving forward

Brightpoint partners with the City of Fort Wayne and others to help prevent COVID-related evictions

Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition: Indiana is not making enough progress to avoid eviction crisis

COMMUNITY IMPACT

CAPWI awards scholarship to Covington High School senior

unGolf outing raises $15,000 and counting

 


 

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Friday, July 10


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What CAAs are doing in this moment of crisis, and how you can learn more

Recent events following the killings of several unarmed black individuals — including George Floyd, Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Breonna Taylor and many others — have sparked a nationwide awakening and awareness of systemic and interpersonal racism.

Indiana Community Action Association, its partners and its agencies stand in solidarity toward racial justice. The following are two statements from our network.

From the Indiana Institute for Working Families:
What our policymakers must do, and what we, ourselves, commit to


We join the country in its pain and outrage over the recent murder of George Floyd, which has led us to mourn anew so many other black lives lost to police violence and structural racism. All people, regardless of zip code, income, or race, deserve the opportunity to thrive and to contribute to their communities. For individuals like Dreasjon “Sean” Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many others, the systems that have been in place for hundreds of years in this country have created a reality where these crimes are not only far too common, but they pass by with far too little accountability. We stand in solidarity with the many Americans who have stepped forward these past few weeks and declared their commitment to racial justice.

Violence against Black Americans is part of the structural racism plaguing this nation. Severe economic disparities are yet another symptom of it. For example, Black Hoosiers were more likely to be pushed out of employment during the recession and recovery, and Black workers are twice as likely to be low-income (54.2%) than their white counterparts (26.7%) because they are more likely to be working in low-paying occupations. Our Black neighbors are less likely to earn paid time off and more likely to experience the death of their baby before that baby’s first birthday.

Our society can and must do better. Our leaders need to make concerted and honest efforts to tear down racist institutions and rebuild new ones that are informed by the communities most impacted by disparities. Clearly, they should ensure that ALL Americans can feel safe and protected by our law enforcement organizations. But we must go much further to co-create a more equitable and just economy and society for Black Americans in wealth, education, housing, health outcomes, and beyond.

While, as an institution, the Institute for Working Families (the Institute) strives to build a society of broad-based prosperity, we can and will keep pushing ourselves to understand our history, improve our processes, and advance anti-racist public policy.

  • We will recruit, seek counsel from, and deeply engage with members of impacted communities to learn from them and to co-create policy solutions with them.
  • We will disaggregate data to the fullest extent possible to help inform policymakers and the public of how communities of color and Black Hoosiers in particular are impacted by these inequalities.
  • Recognizing that Black Hoosier women experience the highest degree of disparities in many areas of their lives, we will center Black women in policy development.

We urge you to hold us accountable to these pledges, and to join us as we move forward.

From Northwest Indiana Community Action:
The Community Action Promise is rooted in loving the entire community


Northwest Indiana Community Action grieves and condemns the unjust and senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other people who have lost their lives due to the color of their skin. Systemic racism and racial biases continue to cause irreparable harm to black and brown persons and communities across our country. We stand with those calling for reforms of systems that devalue and dehumanize people and communities based on race.

Almost 56 years ago, Community Action was born as part of the civil rights movement, and we continue to denounce all forms of violence and any acts that dehumanize anyone. The Community Action Promise says, “Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.” These words express who we are and what we believe: We care about the entire community. We will challenge the injustices of this time and will continue to embody the spirit of hope.

At Northwest Indiana Community Action, our mission is to help people to be independent and to advocate for those who can’t. We envision communities that strive for equity and the flourishing of every neighbor. In many of the communities where we work, structural, institutional and interpersonal racism show up in many forms. These include housing discrimination, predatory lending practices, decades of disinvestment, inequitable educational and economic opportunities, and disparate health outcomes. This has been exacerbated by COVID-19. We extend sincere compassion to those who have been affected.

We cannot go back to “normal”. We acknowledge our responsibility to understand and confront racism and injustice in all their forms. We commit to elevating the voices and experiences of black/African American and other marginalized populations both within our organization and in the communities we serve. Northwest Indiana Community Action will persist in the fight to advance racial justice through advocacy, professional and community development.

We CAN do better. For all our sakes, we MUST do better!

Learn more:

To learn more about the policy changes needed to protect Black lives and dismantle systemic racial inequities, explore the resources below: 

  • Campaign Zero provides research on evidence-based policy solutions to end police violence including community oversight, independent investigations and limiting the use of force.
  • The national NAACP demands justice for recent killings and the passage of criminal justice, economic, health and voting policies needed to protect Black lives. Find Indiana's local NAACP units.
  • The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities lays out three principles to guide a racially equitable policy response to COVID-19, which is disproportionately killing and harming Black Americans.
  • Read up on racial equity with this suggested reading list

An invitation: Join the Institute's book club

The #TeamInstitute book club is reading How to Be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi, and will be discussing it via Zoom in an upcoming book club meeting (date TBD). To join the book club, simply make a contribution to the Institute. You will then receive announcements of upcoming book club meetings.

 

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How you can help the nationwide paid-leave plan to continue moving forward

We have something to celebrate! Congress recently took a historic step forward in creating the first national paid leave law, bringing the United States closer in line with its "family first" values, protecting our health and economy, and finally joining nearly every other nation on our planet in having a paid leave standard for workers. 

Now the bad news. It doesn't cover all workers*, and it's temporary. But working together to fight for paid leave brought us here, and we can—and must—go further.

What you can do now:

*Who is covered, and who is left out of Families First paid leave? The Indiana Institute for Working Families blog has the answers.

     

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Brightpoint partners with the City of Fort Wayne and others to help prevent COVID-related evictions

The City of Fort Wayne’s Office of Housing & Neighborhood Services is giving $200,000 (funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development as part of the CARES Act) to a financial-assistance fund focused on helping low-income residents with rent, mortgage and utility payments.

Brightpoint will manage the fund and will work closely with Indiana Legal Services, Volunteer Lawyer Programs and local township trustees to help vulnerable residents stay in their homes.

The financial assistance fund is part of the overall program Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced in early June to prevent evictions and homelessness. The City is also investing $150,000 to create a Tenant Assistance Legal Clinic to provide legal support for vulnerable Hoosiers.

Read an article by WANE-TV 15 about the programs.

     

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Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition: Indiana is not making enough progress to avoid eviction crisis

When Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb’s June 30 moratorium on evictions and foreclosures arrives, members of Indiana’s housing-security advocacy community fear renters affected by COVID-19 will fall off an “eviction cliff.”

In April 2020, members of that advocacy community formed Hoosier Housing Needs Coalition (HHNC) to support advocacy and education related to housing and homelessness prevention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Indiana Institute for Working Families is a charter member of the steering committee.

The HHNC:

  • advocates for immediate, and medium- and long-term housing stability policy solutions
  • conducts education and research to achieve federal, state and local policies for an equitable response and recovery to the pandemic and beyond.

The pandemic is disproportionately harming and killing Hoosiers of color, and unemployment is impacting low-income renters, women and Hoosiers of color most. Without a clearly communicated, comprehensive, statewide COVID-19 policy response in place, HHNC says ending the eviction moratorium would inflict even more harm on the most disadvantaged Hoosiers, undoing all of the strides made by the state’s COVID-19 response to date.

More than a quarter million Hoosier renter families affected by COVID-19 will need emergency rental assistance when temporary stimulus measures expire. In order to prevent upending the state’s economic recovery with a wave of evicted Hoosiers, the HHNC urges Governor Holcomb to take immediate steps to extend the eviction moratorium for Hoosiers, ultimately enact a plan and pledge that no Hoosier is evicted or made homeless due to the pandemic.

In early May, the HHNC issued a set of recommendations, based on best practices from states across the country, for Governor Holcomb to include in a plan to address housing stability for Hoosiers affected by COVID-19.

While state agencies have proposed promising ideas, and some cities have been moving forward with rental assistance plans, these efforts will fall far short of the need. Additional measures are now necessary to stem the potentially devastating housing impact statewide.

Read more about the looming housing crisis, including Census data that show black Hoosiers were nearly three times as likely to not have been able to pay May rent on time compared with white Hoosiers, how unfilled unemployment claims are making the situation worse, and why Governor Holcomb should include black- and brown-led organizations in the state’s plan to address the crisis at prosperityindiana.org.

 

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CAPWI awards scholarship to Covington High School senior

Recent Covington High School graduate Corinne Moore will receive $1,000 a year for up to four years as she pursues a college degree in physical therapy at Danville (Ill.) Area Community College. The Joan Cline Memorial Scholarship is awarded by Community Action Program, Inc. of Western Indiana, to a student in its six-county service area (Benton, Fountain, Montgomery, Parke, Vermillion and Warren counties).

The scholarship is offered in memory of Joan E. Cline, who was the executive director of CAPWI until her passing in December 2004. Joan dedicated her life to helping families and individuals become self-sufficient and believed education was the primary tool to achieve that goal. She also understood the need for individuals to have financial assistance when pursuing higher education. Through this scholarship, CAPWI continues Joan’s work in helping these outstanding young students attain their individual educational and career goals.

Corinne Moore lives in Covington with her parents, Andy and Sally Moore. She played softball, golf and soccer in school and was the manager of the boys’ basketball and football teams. A member of the National Honor Society, she volunteers at Covington United Methodist Church, as well as for the city’s youth baseball, softball and soccer leagues. Corinne was chosen as the winner of the scholarship because she demonstrates integrity, courage and productivity in the community.

CAPWI extends its earnest congratulations to Corinne for a successful high school career and wishes her well in her pursuit of higher education!

 

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unGolf outing raises $15,000 and counting

This year, Brightpoint’s annual golf outing was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic — but the organization didn’t accept complete defeat for this key fundraising event. Instead, it asked for sponsorships and donations to support COVID-19 relief efforts, keeping June 4 as the day to raise awareness of the needs of the community and celebrate sponsorships. And it was successful!

Brightpoint unGolf 2020 has already brought in more than $15,000, and donations are still being accepted. Gifts of any amount are being used to support those who are suffering economic hardships during the nationwide pandemic.

While the virtual unGolf event has passed, the need is still very present. You can make a donation today, from anywhere, and take a swing at poverty by donating FORE! a Brighter Future.

 

 

 

 

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Indiana Community Action Association
1845 W. 18th St., Indianapolis, IN 46202
317.638.4232 or 800.382.9895 phone
317.634.7947 fax
© 2019 All Rights Reserved
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