In March, Zakiya Jackson and Aaron Jenkins of The Expectations Project traveled to Indianapolis, IN to provide advocacy and education training to The Indianapolis Ministerium, a group of local clergy focused on education issues.
The Ministerium invited clergy to the training, the goal of which was to train local leaders on advocacy and connect clergy in order to develop specific approaches to influence early childhood education and juvenile justice bills before the Indiana General Assembly for the 2019 Legislative Session.
The first bill involved an expansion of ‘On My Way Pre-K,’ a program that provides subsidies to help low-income families access high-quality preschool education for their 4-year-olds. This bill would expand the program from 20 counties in an around Indianapolis to the entire state.
The second bill, which the Ministerium opposes, sought to allow juveniles as young as 12 years old to be tried as adults in court.
As a result of the training with TEP, clergy were informed about the importance of early childhood education and the connection of education to juvenile justice issues. The training closed with a plan to meet again to decide which specific advocacy actions the Ministerium would engage in as a group in order to influence the Indiana General Assembly on the two bills ahead of the votes to take place in late April.
The leadership of the Ministerium consists of these Indianapolis clergy:
- Dr. Preston Adams, Pastor of Amazing Grace Christian Church
- Ivan Douglas Hicks, Ph.D., Pastor of First Baptist Church North Indianapolis
- Rev. Richard Reynolds, Pastor of New Revelation Christian Church
- Rev. Timothy Taylor, Pastor of Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Convener