Faithful Citizenship Forums 2014

Poverty forum photoIn 2014, the Faithful Citizenship initiative held a series of regional forums around the state, “Combating Poverty: Elevating the Debate.”

These events collectively gathered over 750 local religious leaders to look at the current state of poverty in Wisconsin and to participate in the public conversation on poverty reduction during the fall election cycle.

A sign-on letter with over 1,000 signatures from the religious community was shared with state and federal candidates running for office.

Faithful Citizenship: A Response to the Scandal of Poverty in Wisconsin

“We who have signed on to this letter are people of faith, faiths which inform our view of the world and the very meaning of our individual and collective lives….

“We are shocked and scandalized by the depth of poverty in Wisconsin: One in ten of us lives in poverty; in the best-off counties the rate is only half that — one in twenty lives poverty. Poverty is more visible in our cities, but it is everywhere in Wisconsin.  Poverty is closely related to racial disparities.  It is closely related to our unacceptably high rate of incarceration. Poverty’s greatest cruelty is that the poor live in the midst of plenty, and in a time when the wealthiest have more than ever before….”

Download the statement (PDF)

Media Reports on the Forums and Statement

Media stories“Milwaukee faith communities begin charting changes in fighting poverty,” Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • Includes a link to the PowerPoint presentation by Citizen Action and Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.

Should Poverty be a Priority Issue in the November Elections?Wisconsin Public Radio September 18, 2014

Local Event Targets Poverty,” Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, September 27, 2014

Religious community concerned about roadblocks people in poverty“, WKOW September 30,2014

Local Organizations to Look at Issue of PovertyStevens Point Journal, September 28, 2014

Summit Focuses on Better Ways to Serve PoorStevens Point Journal, October 1, 2014

Faith Community Leaders fight Against Poverty” Appleton Post Crescent, October 5, 2014

“Matter of Faith: Who sits at the welcome table?” Eau Claire Leader Telegram, October 11, 2014

Letter urges people of faith to make poverty a voting issue” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 26, 2014

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