WHY ARE WE A MATTHEW 25 CHURCH?
Guided by Christ's unselfish and unending love for others, Anchorage pledged itself as a "Matthew 25" congregation in 2021. Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. In doing so, we are celebrating the many ways in which our church community already works toward our chosen foci: eradicating systemic poverty and dismantling structural racism. We also look to expand our current reach and pour our love, energy and action into new outreach opportunities that will help us work toward this vision.
By supporting organizations such as Eastern Area Community Ministries, Hope Health Clinic, PathLight International, Habitat for Humanity, Living Waters and others, we are working toward eradicating poverty through their missions of providing for basic needs, education, housing and healthcare.
We are also working toward dismantling structural racism by “fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.” Our anti-racism book study group remains committed to this cause through education and discussion, and we look forward to identifying hands-on ways in which we can expand our reach into the community.
A PLACE AT THE TABLE - THE STEERING COMMITTEE
Church members quickly answered the call to begin planning strategies to meet our Matthew 25 goals. The steering committee calls itself "A Place at the Table." In the video below, committee members explain why they're energized about this effort.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
7 - 8:30 p.m. - Place at the Table Series: Dr. Richard Axtell is the H.W.Stodghill, Jr. and Adele H. Stodghill Professor of Religion and College Chaplain at Centre College. He has received multiple awards for excellence in teaching, served as director of Louisville United Against Hunger, and has studied and taught the topics of hunger, homelessness, poverty, and peacemaking internationally.
Before coming to Centre 27 years ago, Axtell lived and worked in homeless shelters in downtown Louisville. This session will examine questions such as how poverty is measured, how many Americans are poor, and who is most affected by poverty. But why are so many people poor in the wealthiest nation on earth?
We will then focus on primary causes of poverty, looking at both systemic causal factors (employment, wages, housing and neighborhood, health care, entrenched patterns of racial inequality, federal funding priorities, etc.) and personal causal factors (addiction, mental illness, dropping out of school, incarceration, single parenthood, etc.) and how these factors intersect in complex ways.
This introductory overview suggests a more integral approach to poverty alleviation. This week’s session sets the broad context for the specific issues we will focus on in subsequent weeks.
7 - 8:30 p.m. - Place at the Table Series: Bill Wilson, a retired attorney and volunteer with Hand in Hand Ministries, local expert on the history of housing and redlining in Louisville.
Redlining affects West Louisville and similarly situated communities across the United States. In this conversation, we will first explore events which led to the implementation of the Residential Security Maps of 1934. We will then have an interactive discussion, using a property in West Louisville, to illustrate how the legacy of redlining continues to affect the community in many different ways.
Below is his presentation and Q&A.
7 - 8:30 p.m. - Place at the Table Series: Anthony Curtis, Executive Director of Metro Housing Coalition
Tony Curtis is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition (MHC). Prior to that, he worked for 11 years at the Kentucky Historical Society as a public historian and documentary editor. MHC is a coalition of about 300 individual and organizational members, including non-profit housing developers, financial institutions, service providers, and neighborhood and advocacy groups, which facilitate research-based advocacy for fair, accessible and affordable housing in the Louisville area.
See Tony's discussion in the video below. You can also see the slides used during his discussion by clicking hte PDF link.
7 - 8:30 p.m. This Sunday's Matthew 25: A Place at the Table discussion promises to be enlightening and powerful as local experts will take part in a roundtable discussion about the effects of poverty and racial disparities in education. It starts at 7 p.m. Speakers include:
Delquan Dorsey is currently Community Engagement Coordinator for JCPS Division of Diversity, Equity, and Poverty. He has served as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Minority Empowerment, the Director of Network Organizing for the Network Center for Community Change and the Center for Neighborhoods in Louisville, a policy advisor for former Jefferson County Commissioner Darryl T. Owens, and the Assistant State Coordinator for the NAACP Voter Empowerment Program.
Jim Beckett is the Managing Partner of Re:land Group, a certified MBE and mission-driven urban planning, design, and development group investing in under-invested neighborhoods beginning with the end in mind. He also founded a legal tech company, Qualmet, in 2016 and served as its first CEO. Prior to that, Jim worked as Chief Business Development Officer for Frost, Brown, Todd LLC and ran operations for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Puerto Rico. Jim also is a volunteer at the West End school.
Dwight Bransford is Head of School at West End School, which is a private, independent school for boys (grades PreK-8) in Louisville. He has successfully led schools through seasons of significant change, crisis, conflict, and cultural transformation by assembling and coaching community stakeholders to exceed educational objectives. In the community, he served as an Education Cluster mentor for the YMCA Black Achievers Program.
Dwight has also served on several activities/athletics committees while he was an athletic director for Jefferson County Public Schools. In addition, he serves as an Advisory Board Member for, Inside The Lines Training, a non-profit organization, which help enrich student-athletes with tools to excel academically; to develop characteristics of leadership while enhancing their athletic foundation.
Mayghin Levine, Program Director for College Scholars at Cabbage Patch, will join the conversation as well.
Delquan Dorsey Presentation
Mayghin Levine Presentation
7 - 8:30 p.m. Place at the Table Series: We will be looking at the effects of race and poverty on healthcare access. The conversation will be moderated by our own Dr. Jim Jackson, Chief Medical Officer of Family Health Centers (FHC). Things get started at 7 p.m.
Here are our speakers:
Dr. Kelly McCants is the executive medical director of the Norton Heart and Vascular Institute Advanced Heart Failure and Recovery Program and executive direcor of the Institute for Health Equity, a Part of Norton Healthcare. He is passionate about serving patients facing difficult health challenges and addressing health disparities. Dr. McCants earned his medical degree from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee, and completed his internship, residency and fellowship at the University of Louisville.
As an African American and a physician, Dr. McCants is deeply aware of structural racism and inequities, as he has experienced them personally. This helps him understand issues and concerns from a patient and provider perspective. Through work with heart failure patients, Dr. McCants learned the power of addressing socioeconomic dynamics to help patients achieve recovery.
T Benicio Gonzales, MSW, PMP, serves the residents of Louisville as Director for the Center for Health Equity. He began working of the Center for Health Equity in 2010 to coordinate the department’s Racial Healing and Equity Initiative. T supports the department’s strategy to deepen its focus on the root causes of health through authentic community engagement, strategic partnerships, addressing data gaps and challenges, and through policy analysis and development.
T is originally from Texas and has called Louisville, Kentucky, home since 2006. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences. T is a graduate of the University of Houston where he earned a Master of Social Work with a policy concentration.
Elizabeth (Liz) Edghill, BA, RN, BSN is the Manager of Refugee and Immigrant Services at Family Health Centers, Inc (FHC). She also supervises the Community Health Worker Program and is the agency’s Title VI Compliance Officer. Liz served for three years as a health education volunteer with the U.S. Peace Corps in Guyana, South America. She later earned her BSN from Bellarmine and worked at University of Louisville Hospital before transitioning to primary care and patient education.
Liz provides direct health education and health systems orientation to newly-arrived refugees. She coordinates services at FHC-Americana, which is the pilot site for Refugee Health Assessments in Kentucky and houses the Survivors of Torture Services program as well. Liz has been an active member of the national Association of Refugee Health Coordinators for over ten years, holding leadership roles on their Executive Board and Health Education Committee.
Liz works to advance culturally and linguistically competent care, improved health literacy, and customer service throughout FHC. She helped form and co-facilitates the Healthy Ideas (HI!) Group, a patient and family advisory committee. Liz is the current Chair of Health Literacy Kentucky, a statewide organization working to improve health communication and health systems navigation across the commonwealth.
Homelessness and Housing with George Eklund, Director of Education and Advocacy at Coalition for the Homeless.
George joined the Coalition for the Homeless in 2019 as the Director of Education and Advocacy. He grew up in Morehead, Kentucky, and attended Western Kentucky University. Upon graduating, he moved to Louisville where he spent three years doing community organizing for the Network Center for Community Change (NC3). Following his tenure with NC3, he spent four years traveling, consulting with non-profits, and biking across the country to raise money for affordable housing.
George returned to Louisville in 2016 to work with the ACLU of Kentucky and earn a Masters in Public Administration. The Coalition for the Homeless has over 30 member agencies that serve the needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community by providing housing, food, clothing, healthcare, legal services and more to thousands of Louisvillians each year.