In 18 Days, we will launch #MAP18 to take a stand against systemic poverty and racial division.
Terence will walk 386 miles from Atlanta, GA to Memphis, Tennessee to the motel where King was assassinated to bring attention to poverty and division (two of the triple evils that King stood against).
Through this journey Johnny & Terence hope to model what in means to walk together in unity and stand against an issue that plagues millions of lives.
Will you join us in the March Against Poverty 2018?
This week, Love Beyond Walls got an amazing opportunity to support many students experiencing homelessness at Frank McClarin High School. We recently learned that many students in this school are fighting homelessness as they try to gain an education to better their lives.
The school is located less than a mile away from our Center in College Park.
With the support of many generous donors, we were able to provide resources to single teen mothers and the daycare housed at the school.
As days go on, we will continue working with this school and among its students. Why? Because we see education being a tool that can be used to overcome the plight of poverty.
Thank you for you continued support of our work!
The official countdown to the March Against Poverty 2018 campaign has begun. In 26 days, Terence & Johnny will set out on a journey to unify us against systemic poverty.
Terence will walk 386 miles to the motel where King was assassinated to bring attention to poverty, and to take a stand for reconciliation. Guess what? The Lorraine Motel is partnering with us and has added #MAP18 to their calendar of events.
Through this journey we hope to shed a light on systemic poverty, racial division, and join the national conversation on reconciliation.
Will you join us in the March Against Poverty 2018?
Follow the conversation or attend the send off! The tickets are almost gone.
Simply click the button below.
In leading a movement of doers, we want to equip you in how to create your own movement or how to bring awareness to an issue close to you.
The world changes and problems are solved through communities of people coming together to commit to the change. Love Beyond Walls would not have any impact if it weren’t for our volunteers, followers, partners, and everyone who engages with our story and mission.
The same goes for every cause. If you’d like to gather people around your idea, solution, or mission, here are some first steps to follow.
1. Identify With It
The cause needs to be something that you personally identify with it. It ties into your story. That doesn’t mean you have had to go through it but it has had to have an impact on you.
For example: If you overcame an illness, you might find joy in working with people who are also overcoming an illness. Or, you could have had a friend that was touched by this, and you were affected as a result.
Whatever the cause, it should burn in your heart. It’s not a hobby or trendy topic but something that motivates you to get out of bed in the morning.
2. Get Involved
In order to make an impact towards the cause you’re fighting for, you’ll need to become familiar and knowledgeable about it.
Maybe there is an organization or group already doing something in this area you could learn from.
Take time to volunteer, do research, and hear speakers. Engage with the community that is already working towards making a change.
In developing your own idea, never bring a solution or prognosis to a community without first hearing the symptoms from the people you plan to service.
You wouldn’t have a doctor who prescribes medicine without listening to the symptoms, the same goes for this. Out of the need comes the prognosis.
If you are going to be a social scientist, you can never meet the needs of the people you’ve never met. Additionally, you’ll find out how to tailor your idea to meet the need you found.
4. Get Active
Once you have listened and become knowledgeable, this should provoke action.
You will begin to give your time to it. Create a rhythm in your life where this time is ongoing. Most people normally ask how to do a one-off event but if you are really committed to cause, you need to make service a lifestyle and consistent rhythm in your life.
How often are you going to make sure people have blankets? What days? It’s easier to invite others into the cause when you’re consistent in your idea and service.
You’re applying the knowledge, serving the burden, and actually figuring out the need.
5. Invite others
Start with those who are closest to you. People will believe in you before they believe in the mission or cause you are fighting for. You will become the bridge needed to connect people to your cause.
Try to gather them in a social setting. For example: If your idea is to provide blankets for the homeless community, then you need to invite 5 or 6 friends around an actual activity.
Instead of just collecting blankets and dropping them off, have the people serving with you do something around the blankets. Tell them, “we’re going to write notes.” Or, create tasks that educates those who are donating the blankets. This will help your audience understand why they are needed more than just one time, and must give a part of themselves to the cause.
Begin to match the people who are giving with the people who have the need.
Help forge relationships between people who have resources relationships and time and those who need them.
While you begin to bring people around a cause, the leading factor should be storytelling. Everything you do should fall under this umbrella.
The need may be blankets, but what story inspired you to want to start collecting blankets? Ask yourself questions like these. This is what will bring people along the journey.
There are 4 P’s to tell a great story: person, plot, place, purpose.
Instead of, “we need blankets for the homeless!” Try and tell a story like this:
“Yesterday, I met John. He sleeps outside and it’s 15 degrees. He was behind a building downtown trying to take cover from the wind. We need to ensure that if he is sleeping behind this building he at least has these blankets.”
We always try to tell stories in this way because it’s indirect asking. It’s a way for people to get involved without directly telling them what to do.
Leave enough space for people to find out that they’re the extra character in the story. Once they figure that out, they’ll come through in even bigger ways than you might have initially imagined.
We try to create “low hanging fruit” where anyone can see themselves as the hero of the story because the level of entry is so low. Don’t exclude people by asking for a blanket factory or people that can only donate $10,000.
This way anyone can get involved because the premise is not based on material but rather involvement.
This month we had the opportunity to talk to Wanda Mosely from My Vote Matters GA.
The political climate lately has been difficult to navigate.
It’s hard to believe that there are still systemic conditions that keep people from voting. The most underrepresented group are the marginalized and vulnerable. Minorities are still struggling to make it to the polls.
What consequences does our country see when voices are not represented? And how does this affect the policies in place?
More importantly, how can we help create change?
Wanda offers a uniquely hopeful position on what we can do to make a difference.
Listen to the full episode here.
Sometimes we are unable to put into words how we feel doing this work at Love Beyond Walls —
I (Terence) met James a little over a month ago. He was homeless, jobless, hungry, and without a place to stay.
We welcomed him into our #lovebeyondwalls community and surrounded him with tons of people who saw his worth and value.
In a little over a month, he joined a church, got a place to stay temporarily, started volunteering with us, and yesterday we celebrated that he got a new job less than a mile away from our Center.
Not only does this affirm his dignity, but it reveals to us ALL the importance of the “one.” It’s not always about huge numbers!
Sometimes it’s about the impact you can make in someones life right in front of you.
We are giving our lives to see people’s lives transformed.
Here are some basic facts on poverty in America:
- In 2015 there were 43.1 million people in poverty. (Proctor 2016, p. 12-14)
- The 2015 poverty rate for Blacks was 24., for Hispanics 21.4, and for Asians 11.4 percent. For non-Hispanic whites, the poverty rate was 9.1 percent (Proctor 2016, p. 12-4).
- The poverty rate for children under 18 was 19.7 percent in 2015, and the number of children in poverty was 14.5 million. Children represented 23.1 percent of the total population and 33.6 percent of people in poverty (Proctor 2016, p. 14).
- 19.4 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line or about $10,000 a year for a family of four. They represented 6.1 percent of all people and 45.1 percent of those in poverty.
Terms to know:
Income inequality refers to the extent to which income is distributed in an uneven manner among a population. In the United States, income inequality, or the gap between the rich and everyone else, has been growing markedly, by every major statistical measure, for 30+ years.
The difference in rates of pay between two groups of people. For example, the difference in pay based on gender and race.
The systematic mistreatment of people within a social identity group supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group. For example, schools in a lower-income neighborhood have fewer funds, more students, and as a result, receive a poorer education.
The legal process that lasted from 1934 until 1968 that refused to back loans to black people or even other people who lived near black people. Redlining destroyed the possibility of investment wherever black people lived.
(Read this article for more info on redlining.)
Hurdles to Overcome:
- Question: Do you believe that you have contributed to systemic racism?
Discuss your answers and read the following idea as well as watch the video.
This is the idea that because you did not own a slave, you do not contribute to oppression or racism. In fact, if you most likely have benefited from a system that oppressed a group and race to boost the privileged.
(Watch this video with Soong-Chan Rah on this idea.)
- Question: Have you benefited from a system that has oppressed others?
- Question: What is a healthy way to respond to racism?
Discuss with a group and read the following idea:
A popular response to racism became the idea of “color-blindness” where some claimed not to see color, but just people. While this concept probably came from good intentions, it perpetuates misunderstanding and racism further. “Color-blindness” strips minorities of their individual culture and assumes that everyone has had the same experience. It pushes aside the critically important narrative of oppression for the minority when in fact this narrative is vital to the understanding and improvement of the systemic oppression.
(Read this article for more info on this topic.)
What does it look like for a society to care for the poor and eliminate systemic oppression?
A large movement behind this campaign is reconciliation. In light of that, who could you start a conversation with that might believe or think differently than you?
An Awareness Campaign:
Create a public awareness campaign based on an issue you discussed.
The campaign may include posters, flyers, banners, etc. that would raise awareness around the world. What would it be? Why?
What are some of the needs of your own community?
What are conversations you can start with your community?
When is the time to start making an impact?
To learn more about our campaign, please visit lovebeyondwalls.org/map18
Looking to learn more about the topics we’re creating awareness for? Here are some of our most recommended books on racial division, poverty, and Christianity and poverty.