As people of God, our moral compass is informed by our faith and values. It points us towards a world that God envisions for us as we strive to ensure that all are fully included in the circle of human concern. We choose to put thriving children, families and communities at the center of our public decision-making. It is our hope that our work together can lead to victories that eliminate barriers, create new opportunities and repair the harm that has been done in the past.
Our legislative work for equity in education was launched late in 2012 with over 150 parents, teachers and administrators to discuss why education is an issue of faith and how to align funding with our values. Momentum from this energy-filled event led the Education Equity Team into one-on-one meetings with key legislators, who will directly impact decisions about education for all God’s sacred children. Members of all education committees in both the House and the Senate are being addressed.
While kids are at the center of our agenda, the importance of stable funding for education is being demonstrated through stories in discussions with leaders. The bi-partisan Integration Task Force recommendations are critical to building healthy schools, and early childhood education for marginalized children is another of our priorities. We are also working to implement ethical, sensible assessments of student achievement that equitably recognize meaningful educational outcomes.
As part of a coalition of organizations with similar missions, ISAIAH’s Education Equity Team is strengthening our voice and growing our power by leveraging the resources of multiple organizations. A letter to Governor Dayton, signed by organizations representing thousands of constituents, highlighted the importance of a stable and sustainable education funding plan. The next few months are sure to be critical in setting Minnesota on a better path toward a more equitable future.
To get involved in our Equitable Education Campaign or for more information, contact Phyllis Hill.
We are working with the legislature to re-imagine and re-purpose our transportation system as an engine for prosperity and equity.
To get involved in our transportation work or for more information, contact Matt Gladue.
We are working with the legislature to create financial integrity and economic development to promote an abundant life for all God’s children.
To get involved in our Economic Development work or for more information, contact Kate Hess Pace.
We are working with the legislature to advance systemic reforms that apply a comprehensive focus on health equity.
To get involved in our Health Equity work or for more information, contact Lars Negstad.
As people of faith, we believe in the inherent dignity of all God’s children, and we practice welcoming the stranger and protecting the poor and marginalized. Every human being has sacred worth and is created in the image of God. Too long have children of God lived in fear of deportation and separation from their families because of our unjust immigration laws. ISAIAH, working with PICO National Network, the largest faith-based organizing network in the country, is launching its Campaign for Citizenship to secure a just pathway to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans.
The aim of the campaign is to create a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants living in our communities and to create a more just immigration system. We believe the path to citizenship should include immediate residency and take no longer than seven years. People approved for the first phase of legal residency should be able to work, drive, attend school, and travel out-of-country for family or educational purposes. To help create a more just immigration system, spending on detainment and deportation should be reduced. Our immigration laws should promote reuniting families, strengthening labor rights, and providing employers and employees who follow the rules with a level playing field.
On Thursday, February 21, 2013, we are officially launching our Citizenship Campaign and are moving our leadership into organizing to make these goals a reality. We will be activating congregations with forums, online and paper petitions, phone calling, and in-district meetings with congressional representatives. By telling our stories and living our values, people of faith can create just pathway to citizenship.
To get involved in this campaign or for more information, contact Ben Anderson.
We continue our work to “break the silence in the pews” about domestic violence. We have participated in “health fairs” at various congregations and presented our “Domestic Violence Road Show” at several congregational and community venues.
This session our legislative “ask” is for three million dollars which is NOT replacement funding but funding for the basic needs of crime victims in Minnesota. For example, transportation to a shelter for a battered woman and her children – sometimes the shelter is many counties, and miles away – and the local program has no money and no means to transport.
The Task Force is active in lobbying our federal representatives to urge the reauthorization of the federal Violence Against Women Act which has done so much to enable training of law enforcement and prosecutors so that the response to domestic violence is swift and appropriate!
We welcome your comments and encourage your invitations for us to visit your congregation and continue the conversation “in the pews.” Contact Gwen Gmeinder.