People of faith are called by that faith

to speak for all children.

August 12, 2008

ICM Celebrates Seven Years of Advocacy

 

Be a part of  THE POWER OF SEVEN
   
The Power of Seven membership campaign celebrates ICM's seven years of advocacy.  We know that our ability to sustain and grow our advocacy depends upon growing our numbers.  So, we have developed The Power of Seven campaign to "Grow the Movement."   The target goal is to have 1,000 active individual members and 100 active faith communities by December 31, 2009.
 
This is a lofty goal, but achievable (and indeed can be exceeded) --if everyone pitches in.  The plan for achieving this goal is pretty simple:  Each existing member recruits seven additional members.   Each of those new members then recruits seven additional members.
 
This year, there's an added incentive to reach our goal.  A generous donor has issued a challenge that will match all membership contributions -- up to a total of $25,000.  This matching contribution will make a big difference because, as you know, membership contributions and grants are what keep ICM afloat and on the job for Georgia's children.
 
Why do I need to join ICM in order to be an advocate for children?  While there is power in ONE voice and while the individual advocate's efforts are needed and necessary, as the old adage goes, "There is strength in numbers."  This is why The Power of Seven membership campaign is vital. ICM needs an educated and committed multitude of advocates ready to visit a senator or a congressperson, write a letter, make a phone call, send an e-mail, hold a forum . . . a rally . . . a meeting or gather at the State Capitol.  Simply put, the more members we have, the better equipped we are to create a voice too strong to ignore.
 
What has ICM been doing these Seven Years?   Each year's achievements have built on those of the year before.  In 2008, alone, we truly have been about the business of improving the well-being of Georgia's children.
 
With support from the Sapelo Foundation, we have embarked on a juvenile justice campaign in support of JUSTGeorgia and a new Juvenile Code in Georgia.  We are traveling throughout Georgia, raising awareness and building a network of support of faith communities and advocacy groups.
 
We advocated successfully at the Capitol for the remaining $560,000 for a regional assessment center for girls who have been the victims of prostitution.  With the recent budget cuts, this funding is now in jeopardy, which means that we have to go back stronger than before and advocate on behalf of those children who will be left without any type of care.
 
We collaborated with a coalition of advocacy groups to gain approval of $20.3 million to subsidize childcare for parents entering the work force (that's approximately 5,600 new childcare "slots").  
 
Through our Faith in Action initiative, we have developed a collaborative working relationship with Hispanic/Latino faith communities and the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials (GALEO) to address and develop solutions to some of the unique issues of immigrant children.  
 
What do our members do?  Membership in ICM demonstrates to all sectors of our community that faith communities can "work as one, speak with one voice and act with one focus" to improve the lives of all our children.  There are many ways you can help ICM advance the cause for children:
 
·         Become a contributing member of the Interfaith Children's Movement. Host fundraisers and personally pledge your own financial spport to sustain the work of ICM.
 
·         Mobilize your faith community to PRAY for children across our state.  Host a Children's Sabbath, prayer vigils or special sacred services to honor children and draw attention to their needs.  Make children a top priority!
 
·         Join the "ICAN" (Interfaith Children's Advocacy Network) Committee and partner with local child advocacy groups to advocate for policies that benefit children and families.  Generate change!
 
·         Work with our Faith in Action team and start a Faith in Action group with neighboring faith communities.  Learn of the issues that are affecting children, then pray and act on them together!
 
·         Attend ICM's general membership meetings which provide educational programs about issues impacting children.  Answer the calls for HELP!
 
·         Work with our ICM Networking Team to keep members and ICM partners up to date on what's going on, how we're doing and where we need help.
 
What do members receive?  
We want to recognize you and your faith community.  At our annual prayer breakfast, ICM recognizes faith communities which have consistently walked the extra miles to improve the well-being of children in their communities and beyond.  ICM also recognizes individuals who have supported ICM and our advocacy priorities with unyielding efforts. 
 
In The Power of Seven campaign, we will be recognizing each member who recruits seven additional members at our general membership meetings, on our Web site and in our newsletter.  A special recognition will go to those who recruit beyond the target goal of seven members.
 
But more importantly, members of ICM receive the assurance that children across Georgia are healthier, safer and better equipped to realize their potential because of their efforts.
 
The time is now...  The time to grow this movement is now.  The time to commit to active membership and to invite others to ICM is now.
 
The members of the Interfaith Children's Movment are on the precipice of bringing about great change--
    -  in advocating for a new Juvenile Code;
    -  in challenging our legislators to place a priority on 

       ending child prostitution and trafficking in Georgia;
    -  in continuing the call to provide fully-funded pre-K

       education and adequate healthcare for all children;
    -  in reminding our faith communities that we are called

       by our faith to love all children and to nurture and

       protect them and to decry the injustices of social

       inequities.  
The time is now to realize the power of seven years of advocacy.

ICM on the Road for Juvenile Justice

 ICM has become a very active partner in the JUSTGeorgia Coalition, which is a collaborative of Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, Georgia Appleseed and Voices for Georgia's Children working to overhaul Georgia's antiquated Juvenile Code.  ICM received funding from the Sapelo Foundation to spread the advocacy voice for a new juvenile code throughout Georgia's faith communities.  

 

Georgia Appleseed Executive Director, Sharon Hill, describes the progress in 2008. "This year will be one of gathering the massive amounts of input, marshalling the facts and opinions, publishing the common wisdom and pertinent questions of the people around the state impacted by the current juvenile code, crafting with our partners a draft legislative package, and working with legislators on the best approach to secure passage. Then we will share with the stakeholders how their input is being used to make a structural, foundational change for the benefit of all Georgians."
 
The Interfaith Children's Movement is committed to adding the voices of faith communities all across Georgia in advocating for passage of a new juvenile code by the Georgia legislature. 

 

Support ICM's Juvenile Justice Campaign

 -  Collect stories in your faith community from families who have had experiences with the juvenile justice system.  Send them to us at: info@interfaithchildrensmovement.org

 

-  Contact your state legislators and let them know you support Juvenile Justice reform. 

 

-  Join the JUSTGeorgia Coalition and its e-mail list.  Their Web site, www.justgeorgia.org, contains the justification for a new juvenile code and a link to the Georgia State Bar's Young Lawyer's Division draft of a model code.ICM says: "Now is the time

to contact your state legislator!"

 

We are advocates for children.  Children can't vote, and so their voices are not heard.  Faith communities need to stand in the gap and speak for them on issues such as the need for a new Juvenile Code in Georgia, fully-funded pre-K for three and four-year-olds, sufficient healthcare for all children and the elimination of child prostitution and trafficking.

 

Contacting Policymakers is Vital
On many issues, your legislators and other elected officials hear very little feedback from their constituents. Being contacted by even a few voters is often enough to mold or shift a policymaker's stance on an issue, especially if they have not had much voter contact on that issue before. Every visit makes a differene.  Each letter counts.  One call is another voice.

 

Perceived Priority
When you contact your legislators, be aware that they and their staffers tend to "rank" communiques based on the format, and based on who you are. It is a political reality. 

 

In order of MOST to LEAST effective, these are the means of contacting legislators: 
-  personal visit to the legislator's Washington DC office or 

   home-state office;

-  personally handwritten but LEGIBLE short letter;

-  personally typewritten or word-processed letter;

-  phone call to a key staffer in the office;

-  phone call to the reception staffers in the office;

-  personally written fax;

-  personally written e-mail;

-  an obvious form letter or an obvious form e-mail.

In This Issue

"The Power of Seven" 

ICM on the Road for Juvenile Justice

The Best Time to contact your state legislator is NOW

Worthwhile Upcoming Events

ICM Mission and Goals

Important Event: 

ICM Annual Meeting

Tuesday, August 19

Kick-off for New Program Year and Board Election


When: Tuesday, August 19 

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Where:  Druid Hills United Methodist Church
 1200 Ponce de Leon Ave. 

Click here for complete information  

 

Let's create a voice for children that's too large to be ingnored.  Please come yourself and invite others to this meeting.   

Fundraiser and Fun:

Bluegrass Festival Benefit 

 

Bring your family and friends for a toe-tapping good time! 

The 5th Annual Cliff Valley Bluegrass Festival will be held Saturday, August 23rd

 from 3:00-10:00 p.m.

 

Proceeds from the festival go to the Interfaith Children's Movement.  

 

It's a family-friendly event with live bluegrass music, dancing and BBQ. Complete details at www.cliffvalleymusicconspiracy.org. 
The festival is being held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way, Atlanta. (Directions on-line at www.uuca.org)
 
Tickets are $15 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free. Childcare (for infants through 11 years) will be provided from 3:00- 9:00 pm. You must make a childcare reservation on-line www.uuca.org (click on childcare) - at least one week in advance - absolutely no drop-ins.

We also need VOLUNTEERS! Free admission for volunteers. Contact Sarah Lee at skeuplee@cdc.gov or 404-421-5611 for more information on  volunteering for a two-hour shift!

With a Little Help From Our Friends . . . .

Complete an On-line Volunteer Skills Survey

 

The Interfaith Children's Movement has a big mission, but limited staff.  So, we need committed volunteers to fill a variety of roles.  There are places for "leaders" and places for "do-ers."  

 

CLICK HERE: The Survey takes less than 3 minutes.  

 

Mark Your Calendar

Worthwhile events by ICM and Partners

Tuesday, August 12,  

noon-1:30 p.m. 

The Red Oak Community Faith in Action Coalition Quarterly Meeting.  SPEAKER is HENRY MUHAMMAD,  ALPHA PHI ALPHA FRATERNITY
TOPIC: REACHING OUR BOYS.  Location: The Renaissance Center, 4800 Campbell Drive
College Park, Georgia 30349.  R.S.V.P. contact Kathryn Stanley at (404) 755-5646. A light lunch will be served. 
 
Thursday, August 14

noon - 2:00 p.m. 
ICM/GALEO follow-up meetingwith Hispanic/Latino faith communities at Druid Hills United Methodist Church.
 
Friday, August 15th  (Tifton - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.; Macon - 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.):  Bright from the Start:  Economic Impact and Workforce Development Study - Child Policy Partnership.  RSVP to publicrelations@decal.ga.gov.

 
The Georgia Family Connection Partnership will begin a statewide tour in August to present the 2008 KIDS COUNT data, a detailed, county-by-county picture of the condition of children in Georgia which is funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.   Tour locations: Atlanta (Aug. 21), Rome (Aug. 26), Gainesville (Aug. 28), Tifton (Sep. 10), Waycross (Sep. 11), Statesboro (Sep. 17), Macon (Oct. 9), Americus (Oct. 21), and Augusta (Oct. 23). Go to www.gafcp.org for more details and to register for this free event.

Tuesday, August 19

6:30-8:30 p.m.

ICM Annual Meeting And kickoff for new program year.  See info above.


Tuesday, August 20

9:30-11:30 a.m.  

The Zero to Five Coalition, a dynamic group of early childhood advocates. Keynote Speaker is Harriet Meyer, a national thought leader in early care and learning. Sponsored by Voices for Georgia's Children. Location: The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation at 3223 Howell Mill Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327.  RSVP Joann Yoon @ jyoon@goergiavoices.org or at (404) 521-0311.
 
Saturday, August 23

3:00-10:00 p.m  

Bluegrass Festival Bluegrass Fundraiser; Bring your family; ICM Gets the Proceeds.  Details above.
 
Thursday, September 11

noon-1:30 p.m.
City Council President's Annual Prayer Luncheon. "Strengthening our Communities" with Keynote Speaker: Reverend Otis Moss, III, Trinity United Church of Christ. Chicago, IL. Location: The Georgia Freight Depot. Information: 404-330-6035.

 

October 17-19,

2008

Children's Sabbaths Observance Weekend, a time when all faith communities can learn, pray and act together in calling for a new Juvenile Code for Georgia. 


Friday, October 29

7:00-9:00 a.m. 

ICM Call to Action Prayer Breakfast


Tuesday, November 4
Election Day 

 

Friday, November 7
Big Voice for Children Award sponsored by Voices for Georgia's Children 

 

Tuesday, Nov. 11

6:30-8:30 p.m. ICM General Membership Meeting

 

 

 

ICM Mission and Goals

The Interfaith Children's Movement was formed in 2001 as an intentional association of individuals and communities of faith from all religious traditions.

  
The Interfaith Children's Movement strives to be a voice for all Georgia children, but especially the poor and marginalized whose voices are often unheard.  

 

ICM works closely with Georgia's policy-oriented child advocacy organizatons, such as: 

  • Voices for Georgia's Children, 

  • The Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic at Emory University, 

  • Georgia Appleseed, 

  • JUSTGeorgia, 

  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia and 

  • A Future Not a Past (child prostitution prevention).  

These organizations set the agenda for our advocacy work for children.  

ICM's faith community members provide a megaphone to the legislature about what needs to be done for children.

Doing what we are called to do. 

 Doing what we are able to do.  

 Doing what must be done! 

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