HOPE and its member congregations Share a vision for mobilizing all of our organized
power to confront systems that perpetuate injustices in the community.
Micah 6:8 and Matthew 23:23 and 24 are the Biblical basis for our vision.
Both passages state that the Lord requires us “to do justice, love kindness (mercy), and to walk humbly with our God (faithfulness).” Our congregations do a good job of reminding us to be faithful; we gather, at least, 52 times a year for worship. And our congregations do a fair job of showing mercy by providing services like tutoring and food pantries to the individual victims of injustice. Unfortunately, our congregations generally do a bad job of meeting the justice requirement to hold the political and economic systems accountable for fair policies and resources such as quality education for all students. Why? Well, to justice requires having enough power to hold the political and economic systems accountable for fairness in our communities.
As we learn from Nehemiah’s calling of a great assembly of people to bring charges against the unfair nobles and officials, there is power in numbers. And one congregation doesn’t have enough people power to hold the systems accountable So, we build our power by joining up with other congregations in our organization and together we exercise our power by turning out hundreds, even thousands, of people to a big Nehemiah Action to win needed changes.
Below is a description of one of the issue cuts we will be addressing at the 2009 Nehemiah Action. I hope it inspires you!
Extraordinary Opportunity for Every Hillsborough County Resident
If you want to spend a couple of worthwhile hours that requires nothing more than signing-in and watching a grassroots process that includes elected officials committing to a just cause, please mark you calendars for 6:30 PM, Monday, April 27, at Nativity Catholic Church. I am a community organizer for HOPE, Hillsborough Organization for
Progress and Equality, and at this year’s Nehemiah Action we will be addressing issues causing Hillsborough County’s middle-school children population to be at risk with gangs and violence, not learning at grade level, lack of supervision after school hours.
In the 2007-2008 school year, 10 middle schools in Hillsborough County
received a grade of C or D. Of those schools, an average of 46% or
less met the reading standards, 47% or less met the math standards,
and 24% or less met the science standards. Further, the 2000 census
revealed that there were approximately only 4,000 after school slots
available to middle school students and there were more than 41,000
middle school students. Only less than 10% of Hillsborough County’s
12 – 14 year olds could be served in the year 2000.
A lack of supervision can lead to children being victims and/or
perpetrators of bullying and crime. Beyond this violence there is
the risk of teen pregnancy, substance abuse, and no one to monitor
homework and studying, which all negatively affects grades, leading
to dropouts and the likelihood of substandard living as adults.
Please schedule the date and time, and invite friends, as well.
The more making their concerns for our children known to our elected
officials, the better the attention will be on this matter.