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What’s Faith Got To Do With It?

Economic Equity

Confronting the Status Quo in the Covid Era

The Micah Fellows Program is a new, exciting strategy to advance a faith-based narrative of economic equity and anti-poverty in Arkansas. Click Here to learn more.

Micah Fellows Homepage Screenshot

WHAT WE’RE THINKING ABOUT

There has been no more difficult time to remain a person of faith than during the pandemic we have found ourselves in since the spring of 2020. However, faith and faith bodies are still the fuel that feeds the passionate flame in the fight for equity. American history is filled with people of faith, who defiantly broke the vessels of tradition to serve up necessary social change. At WRF, we believe this kind of faith-rooted social change must be harnessed if we are to move the needle toward a more equitable, prosperous Arkansas.

WHAT WE ARE DOING

WRF, in partnership with the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas and Faith Matters Network, is recruiting faith leaders in Arkansas to reimagine an economy where poverty no longer exists and to create the moral imperative for progress towards that reality. The recently launched Micah Fellows Program will build the capacity of a powerful group of faith practitioners to catalyze economic justice and anti-poverty efforts in their communities.

Over the next year, 20 to 30 faith leaders from across the state will:
  • Participate in a peer learning journey that will contribute to research and resources for faith-based advocates
  • Engage in advocacy, media, and narrative training
  • Have opportunity for a mini-grant to advance economic equity and systemic change for ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) residents in Arkansas


WHY THIS MATTERS TO US

In his lifetime, Governor Winthrop Rockefeller’s favorite scripture was Micah 6.8. The charge to “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” was embodied in his ethic and the resources he brought to Arkansas during his tenure. In 2021, we still believe Arkansans deserve these things and people of faith do too.

statistical bar graph about region and politics

Research confirms, across party lines and demographics, people of faith largely agree that the government can and should do more to decrease the economic wealth gap in America. But beyond the government and their role in helping stimulate the economy, what’s faith got to do with it?

According to recent polling, 79% of Arkansans identify as Christian. Yet, when nearly 1 out of 2 households in Arkansas are ALICE, meaning they are struggling with poverty despite working several jobs, it begs the question - “Do people of faith believe that poverty is a social issue that can be overcome or a personal issue that should only be addressed through charity?” Micah Fellows will be better equipped to help Arkansans of faith answer that question!

Click here to learn more about the Micah Fellows Program, the exciting new strategy to advance the narrative of economic equity and anti-poverty in Arkansas.