Community AdvocacyJuly 19, 2011
Last month, there were two events in Missouri focused on raising awareness among faith communities on issues of poverty. Churchnet promoted both events, which fit within the "Community Advocacy" aspect of Churchnet's "Share Hope" emphasis. The first one was the "Poverty Summit: Empowering Communities for Economic Opportunity," which featured the adoptive sister of Michael Oher of the Baltimore Ravens as the main speaker. She challenged people to see the value in each person. The event was sponsored by Missourians to End Poverty and also included speakers like Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder and Catholic Charities of Kansas City CEO Mike Halterman. The second one was an event called "Interfaith Call to Action: Fair Lending for Missouri Families," which was sponsored by Communities Creating Opportunities. They noted several key themes from the event on their Twitter account. That event was focused on raising attention and encouraging advocacy for fighting predatory lending (such as payday loans and car title loans). Missouri has an especially poor record on this issue and so newer standards are needed. Hopefully these two events and future efforts will help faith communities engage in effective ways of working to reduce poverty.