History & Background
Faith Coalition was founded in 2008, and incorporated as an Illinois not-for-profit organization in 2009 to address the injustices of racism and poverty in the central Illinois region. It was founded because a group of faith and community leaders believed in a vision for the common good. This vision is being realized, not through social service and charity, but through leadership training, relationship development, issue identification and public action. Faith Coalition is comprised of 35 congregations, non-profits and union labor organizations. It provides a means for members of religious congregations and community organizations to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their communities. The issue work or Faith Coalition focuses on workforce diversity and economic equity, reform of the criminal justice system, equitable education funding for all, civic engagement and immigration reform.
Where do we serve?
Springfield (population 115,888), the capital city of Illinois, is a city exemplifying a great disparity between those who live on the east side, largely minorities and low income people, compared to those living on the west side of the city.
What is our leadership structure?
One delegate represents each of 35 member institutions. Task force chair persons represent each of the five issue task forces. In April of each year, delegate members elect 15 persons (including the five task force chairs) to serve as the Board of Directors. At least 50% of board members must be low income and/or minority individuals who are actively involved in the issue work of Faith Coalition. Board officers are elected by the Board of Directors and serve a one year term, with an option to serve three additional one year terms. The Faith Coalition Board of Directors makes decisions for the organization regarding staff, budget, and procedures.
The Board of Directors meets monthly. The Executive Board (four officers) meet monthly, prior to each board meeting to plan the agenda and to prioritize action items.
Core teams are created within each member institution to help strengthen the base of that church/organization and work within its framework to organize its members to act publicly.
The majority of Issue task force members are low income individuals who are personally impacted by the injustices in which they are working to change. Each of our four issue task forces meet at least once a month and task force committees often meet more than once a month. Issue task force members are responsible for strategic planning; they decide which issues to address, the actions to be taken, and build relationships with public decision makers. Issue task forces and core teams advise the Board of Directors regarding their current activities, issues and actions. Task force co-chairs serve on the Board of Directors to keep the board members involved in the work. Issue task forces and core teams are the heart of Faith Coalition for the Common Good. They move Faith Coalition into the public arena and truly impact systemic change.
Our beginnings organizing in Springfield:
Efforts To Rebuild After Springfield’s 1908 Race Riot Still Ongoing
By Rachel Otwell, August 22, 2018
"It's been 110 years since the 1908 Race Riot erupted in Springfield. The violence and its aftermath inspired the founding of the NAACP, the prominent civil rights organization. A number of groups in the city recognized and remembered the violence and lives lost in a series of public events earlier this month. There are also plans to ensure more recognition in the future of a violent period many residents say deserves more attention.Also look for photos on their FB page to illustrate the stories below. A photo or map of the dig site would be great....
"Four years ago, archaeologists set out to see if any remains from the 1908 blaze were under a parking lot that would be affected by construction on a nearby railroad. Brick foundations were found, some from multi-story residences, as were artifacts that paint a picture of what was lost by those who fled—pieces of dishware, a toilet, clothing, and a cross....
"Leroy Jordan and others, including the advocacy group he is with called Faith Coalition for the Common Good, have called for the consecration of those building remains since they were first found."
Read the full story at NPRIllinois.org...