Religious Communities Advocate For Change

May 8, 2017. Tristate homepage.com.

More than a thousand people packed the Old National Events Plaza to tell local officials what they want done to better the area.

Congregations Acting for Justice and Empowerment (CAJE) is an organization that works to fight for justice in the Tri-State Area.

Each year the group researches different aspects of the community that they believe need attention and host an event to tell local government leaders.

This year, they asked for more funding to the affordable housing trust fund, for more officers to be equipped with Narcan and for more programs to be in place to assist the mentally ill.

“When you have 14 hundred people asking you to do something” said CAJE Treasurer Julie Dougan “and these are people that elected you to office and might re-elect you to office they tend to listen.”

View original article.

Faith group continues literacy push in Henrico schools

May 6, 2017. Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The time during the evening assembly had arrived for Henrico County Public Schools officials to approach the stage inside St. Paul’s Baptist Church.

“Are they here? Is the School Board here? Do they care?” pressed Ralph Hodge, the pastor of Second Baptist Church of South Richmond and co-president of Richmonders Involved to Strengthen Our Communities.

Knox County education leaders tackle race, gender and suicide in wide ranging meeting

May 4, 2017. WBIR.

Teen suicide, racial disparities and transgender bathrooms — all these topics were taken up Wednesday night by Knox County education leaders at the school board meeting.

Superintendent Bob Thomas addressed the deaths this year of three Farragut High students at the beginning of the meeting.

Justice Knox changes the nature of the game

May 3, 2017. Knoxville News Sentinel.

Civic engagement in Knoxville on April 24 wasn’t boring or tedious. It was exciting and unusual – as if one went to a chess tournament and chess boxing broke out. Many area church congregations and non-profit groups came together under the banner of Justice Knox.

The group had done research and strategic planning – and it showed to the capacity crowd filling the pews of Central United Methodist Church. Justice Knox, motivated by moral imperatives of justice and compassion, narrowed its focus to two specific changes.

Thousands demand end to ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline

May 1, 2017. WCMH-TV Columbus.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — 26,000. That’s the number of suspensions given out just last year alone in the Columbus Public School District, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Monday night thousands met in Columbus to demand an end to what they call the school-to-prison pipeline.

Of the 26,000 suspensions, we don’t know how many are from the same student. Still, it’s a shocking number. The B.R.E.A.D. Organization said it’s too many and that students who get suspended are more likely to fail, drop out and end up in prison.