Faith Leaders & Our Role in the COVID-19 Crisis

As COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, grips the world with its devastating effects on families, cities and the economy, Faith in Indiana is working to bring together all people across race, class and other factors that usually divide us. We believe that protecting our most vulnerable will make us — our entire communities — stronger. And we know that we will all get through this together.

FaithIN will continue to fight for equitable access to truth, testing, treatment and financial support for vulnerable populations. We will also support our member congregations as they re-establish relational structures that support community, even amid a time of social distancing.

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Resources

Lo que Significa la Ley de CARES para las Familias y Comunidades Vulnerables

Posted April 17, 2020

A Guide to Creating Caring Circles

Posted April 9, 2020

Urgent Steps to Slow the Spread of the Virus in Jails, Prisons and Detention Centers

Posted April 6, 2020

What the CARES Act Means for Vulnerable Families and Communities

Posted April 6, 2020

National COVID-19 Messaging Document (Race-Class Narrative)

Posted March 20, 2020

What We Can Do Now to Slow the Spread of the Pandemic in Our Most Vulnerable Communities

Posted March 20, 2020

#WhoCaresForUs Digital Town Hall

Hundreds of us from across the state showed up to the #WhoCaresForUs Digital Town Hall because we care deeply about our Indiana families. During this COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen nurse’s aides, grocery store clerks and sanitation workers step up and keep us safe. Now, it’s time to urge Governor Holcomb to #CareForUs.

Free Them All Prayer Vigil

Approximately 300 people attended this online prayer vigil April 14, 2020, urging Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb to release low-level offenders, offenders with only 60 days or fewer remaining of their sentences, those who are only still in jail because they can’t afford to bond out, pregnant inmates and others due to the high risk of contracting the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, while incarcerated. The prayer vigil was hosted by Faith in Indiana and was attended by Hoosiers from around the state.

Clergy Call Featuring Dr. Jeffrey Brenner

On March 19, 2020, clergy leaders from across the state came together to hear some straight truth about what we are up against from Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., senior vice president of Integrated Health and Human Services for UnitedHealthcare.

Dr. Brenner stressed the need to speak honestly about the virus and the disease it causes. Watch the video of the recorded call with Dr. Brenner below.

Season of Encounter: Sacred Conversations on Race & Faith

Today, certain politicians exploit racial anxiety to divide working people and undermine faith in government for all—and rig the rules to benefit the wealthy few. Decades of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and voter-alienation have left regular people in Indiana marginalized from political power.

For Indiana’s families—Black, White, and Latino—the consequences are devastating.

  • While corporate profits are at an all-time high, 70% of Indiana jobs don’t pay enough to live on.
  • The leading cause of death for young black males in our state is homicide.
  • Incarceration rates are at an all-time high—rising 32% in just two years—the largest increase of any state in the last two decades.
  • The opioid crisis ravages our state.

Our religious traditions remind us that it doesn’t have to be that way. By joining together with people from all walks of life, we can create a just and inclusive Indiana where everyone belongs and every family thrives.

The Path Forward

Together we are building a faith movement to reshape Indiana’s priorities and advance a moral budget in 2021 that divests from incarceration and invests in families. We encourage our faith and community partners to shape this agenda and grow our collective power to enact our values. In 2020 we will:

  • Invite 10,000 people to weigh-in on priorities for a moral budget for 2021
  • Engage 52,000 voters of color, women, and youth to vote
  • Meet with 50 elected officials and candidates on our Families First Agenda and bring home change in our
    counties

Download the Toolkit

Indiana’s Race-Class Narrative Project

The goal of Demos’ Race-Class Narrative (RCN) project is to develop an empirically-tested narrative on race and class that resonates with all working people and offers an alternative to—and neutralizes the use of—dog-whistle racism.

Faith in Indiana partnered with Demos in 2018 to research connections between race and class and how specific messaging resonates with all people, while other types of narratives divide people along lines of race.

The findings form the basis of our messaging as we mobilize and activate working-class people of all races, women and people of color to get out and vote, run for office and drive change toward racial and economic equity in Indiana.

Learn more

Race-Class Narrative Summary Report - Preview

Race-Class: Our Progressive Narrative

RCN State Policy Summaries - Preview

State Policy Summaries

RCN Indiana Survey Report - Preview

Indiana Race-Class Narrative Survey Report

Race-Class Indiana: A Winning Progressive Narrative Faith in Indiana

Health Impacts of Mass Incarceration on Indiana’s Children

Promoting Social, Emotional, and Developmental Health and Well-Being in Early Childhood

From Interdisciplinary Research Leaders

RESEARCH PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The IRL Indiana team investigated (2016-2019) the impact of mass incarceration on the social, emotional, and developmental, health and long-term health equity of Indiana’s young children. The research included surveys and focus groups with members of communities affected by incarceration. Preschool directors and direct care providers were also surveyed and participated in focus groups to learn about their experiences and needs in serving children who have an incarcerated parent.

TEAM MEMBERS

Health Impacts of Mass Incarceration on Children - website preview

Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

Preview - Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity

This report from the National Academy of Sciences features Faith in Indiana (then known as Indianapolis Congregation Action Network, or IndyCAN) as one of nine community examples of promoting health equity nationwide.

The section featuring IndyCAN in-depth begins on page 261.

From the Preface

Our nation’s founders wrote that all people are created equal with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Therefore, the principles of equality and equal opportunity are deeply rooted in our national values, and in the notion that everyone has a fair shot to succeed with hard work. However, our nation’s social and economic well-being depends in part on the well-being of its communities, and many are facing great and evolving challenges. Across the country there are communities with insufficient access to jobs, adequate transit, safe and affordable housing, parks and open space, healthy food options, or quality education—the necessary conditions and opportunities to fully thrive. This lack of opportunity is particularly evident in the disparities that exist in health status and health outcomes between different zip codes or census tracts.

The People’s Agenda to End Mass Incarceration and Mass Criminalization in Marion County

Marion County has a long history of overly aggressive policing and prosecution strategies that have entangled far too many Black and Latino men and women in the criminal justice system, without making the community safer. County officials have long failed to follow best practices for preventing violence, diverting people out of the criminal justice system, and reducing the number of people behind bars.

Annual Summaries and Voter Reports

2018 Annual Summary

2018 Faith in Indiana Annual Report - EnglishFaith in Indiana brings people together across race, faith and place to advance new narratives and a bold agenda, for racial and economic justice in Indiana. In 2018, through faith voters, faith voices and a faith vision, we lowered recidivism in Indianapolis by 10 percent, blocked two immigrant detention centers, protected health care and much more! (View annual report)

2016 Annual Summary

IndyCAN is changing the narrative around race, equality and opportunity for all in Indianapolis! In 2016, we empowered 1,304 Hoosier residents — marginalized families, returning citizens, faith leaders and more — to make real change in our state. Our annual summary highlights our major accomplishments, including wins for economic dignity, criminal justice reform and immigrant inclusion! (View annual report)

2015 Annual Summary

IndyCAN had 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. (View annual report)

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