CitySquare AmeriCorps is recruiting for Summer 2014!
spread the word about our summer of service opportunity by forwarding this
information on to friends, peers, family, coworkers and anyone else you think
might be interested! The application is available at www.citysquare.org/becomeamember.
1.Forward this Email!Word of
mouth is our best recruitment tool so forward this email to everyone you think
2.Post a Flyer!Help us
plaster the city with this awesome summer program! (Pull-Tab flyer available in
English and Spanish--just call number below!)
3.Invite us to an Event!We’re
happy to come out to your group and discuss our program!
commit to 300-450 hours of service during the summer, receive a biweekly living
allowance while they serve and upon successful completion receive money for
school! More details available in the “AmeriCorps Handout 2014” we'll send if you call us.
we have over 225 positions with following programs:
Food on the Move– Serve with a mobile feeding
program that provides daily meals to 10,000 children residing in low income
apartment communities in Irving, Dallas and Houston. Members must be willing to
serve outside all day in the heat, be energetic, have reliable transportation
and thrive in a team environment. Preference is given to applicants 21 or over,
bilingual (English/Spanish) and access to reliable transportation.
Education- Help eliminate summer learning loss with one of our
twelve community partner agencies; members support structured summer
programming to provide daily enrichment activities to youth in low income areas
of Dallas and San Antonio. Members must have reliable transportation and
interest in working with youth.
-Available full-time beginning June
4, 2014(exceptions will not be made for
-17 or older by June 4, 2014
-US Citizen or Permanent Resident (temporary
work or student visa does not suffice)
-Available all summer (Edu - August
8, FOM - August 15)
given to applications received byMarch 14, 2014and on a rolling basis until all summer positions
encourage applicants to apply early! Interviews will begin in mid-March!
Krys Boyd, host of the KERA radio jewel, THINK, interviewed me earlier this week. We talked about poverty and my assignment as chair of Mayor Mike Rawlings' new "Task Force on Poverty." During the course of the interview, she asked me about the poor who battle through and "make it" to a better life. I acknowledged that a very few do manage to find better lives on their own. I call them poverty's "poster children." The whole discussion reminded me of what James Baldwin once said about the idea. He was quoted in an Atlantic Monthly essay by Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Here's what Baldwin said:
The people, however, who
believe that this democratic anguish has some consoling value are always
pointing out that So-and-So, white, and So-and-So, black, rose from the slums
into the big time. The existence -- the public existence -- of, say, Frank
Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. proves to them that America is still the land of
opportunity and that inequalities vanish before the determined will. It proves
nothing of the sort. The determined will is rare -- at the moment, in this
country, it is unspeakably rare -- and the inequalities suffered by the many
are in no way justified by the rise of a few.
few have always risen -- in every country, every era, and in the teeth of
regimes which can by no stretch of the imagination be thought of as free. Not
all these people, it is worth remembering, left the world better than they
found it. The determined will is rare, but it is not invariably benevolent.
Furthermore, the American equation of success with the big time reveals an
awful disrespect for human life and human achievement. This equation has placed
our cities among the most dangerous in the world and has placed our youth among
the most empty and most bewildered.The
situation of our youth is not mysterious. Children have never been very good at
listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. They
must, they have no other models. That is exactly what our children are doing.
They are imitating our immortality, our disrespect for the pain of others.
From: Keith Ackerman
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 9:37 AM
To: 2CitySquare Management
Subject: Need of reading glasses for our Homeless Neighbors
As Larry and I were out at the Corner yesterday across from The OC, we discovered that there is a huge need for reading glasses. We were surprised by the feedback we got about how many folks truly need them. As a result, we are trying to gather up some reading glasses to distribute, so if any of you have access to any, please send them our direction. They will go to great people who will be truly appreciative.
Keith A. Ackerman, LMSW
Chief Operations Officer
511 N. Akard Street Ste. 302
Dallas, TX 75201
P: 214 823 8710
F: 214 824 5355
March 1, from 10 a.m until 5 p.m., the CitySquare Public Policy Department will host Dallas’
first young adult health insurance enrollment event at our CityWalk (511 N. Akard) location
in Downtown Dallas.
Though this city-wide Affordable Care Act education
and enrollment event is targeted at young adults, it is
open to the public.
partnered with nationally recognized groups like Enroll America
and the Young Invincibles,
as well as a statewide partner, TexPIRG Education
Fund (that works closely with university students) to make this event
largely visible and well attended. As a result, it has been recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C.!
Saturday will be a fun
filled day with local DJs, food trucks, fitness instructors, and Health Care
Navigators to help us deliver Dallas’ largest young adult enrollment
We expect to see a strong local and national media
presence, with local and statewide elected officials, university leadership,
not to mention some of the areas tastiest foods trucks!
would love for you to attend! As with any CitySquare event, we need as much help as possible!
The secret essence of the soul that knows the
truth is calling out to God: Beloved … strip me of the consolations of my
complacent spirituality. Plunge me into the darkness where I cannot rely
on any of my old tricks for maintaining my separation. Let me give up on trying
to convince myself that my own spiritual deeds are bound to be pleasing to
you. Take all my juicy spiritual feelings, Beloved, and dry them up, and
then please light them on fire. Take my lofty spiritual concepts and plunge them
into darkness, and then burn them. Let me only love you, Beloved. Let me
quietly and with unutterable simplicity just love you.
When I first met Eddie, he sat in his wheelchair in front of the Downtown YMCA panhandling folks who walked by him on their way to workout inside. Lots of well-intentioned people, including me, gave Eddie money, meals and provided occasional nights in nearby hotels. My staff chided me and forced me to swear off helping Eddie in the manner I normally did.
So, Eddie became a friend of CitySquare. Or, maybe better, CitySquare became Eddie's friend. There were times when he likely didn't consider us his friend! Tough love can be difficult.
Eddie's had a misfire or two on his way off of the cold, hot, mean, lonely streets of Downtown Dallas. I won't go into anymore detail, it's really nobody's business but Eddie's. Still, I can't help but celebrate his victories and his hard-won progress. And, I can't resist the urge to tout the great work accomplished by our team of street workers here at CitySquare.
Here's a great set of photos of Eddie signing a lease to his new apartment before getting a "new look" for his new start. I gotta tell you, these photos made my day!
Our growing capacity to look the other way when
confronted by poverty in the public sphere lead us to accept not only the
segregation of our neighborhoods and public places, but also the segregation of
our consciousness and being. When we close the door or turn away from the
stranger, a door closes in us as well.
Providing leadership to a growing non-profit organization can be a maddening enterprise!
Don't get me wrong, I love the work I get to do every day. I love my team. I love our neighbors. I love our supporters.
But, and maybe it's my prejudice for a "full disclosure" approach to about everything, this job is the hardest one I've ever had, bar none.
A huge part of that "hardness" factor relates to funding. Forgive me, but it helps to talk about it--just to lay it out there for everyone to see. This approach is sometimes frowned upon by the experts in philanthropy. I mean, you just don't reveal everything when it comes to funding, development strategies or the financial threats that you inevitably face along the way if you are attempting anything worthwhile.
So, stay with me for a bit here as we consider a number of the realities of non-profit funding.
1. Every year you must find a way to virtually, completely recapitalize your business. This is especially true if you work in the human services/poverty space. Cash reserves are nice and important, and very difficult to grow in view of the pressing and expanding human need that one observes all around. Basically, in this sector you grow accustomed (almost) to having to build your wealth from practically ground zero every 12 months. Thank God for great, good, consistent partners who journey with you in this world!
2. The reality of differing kinds of funds with different uses can send you over the edge! Very little of the funding received is for general or unrestricted use. Especially as an organization grows, more and more of the funding comes in the form of contracts, grants, or bequests that restrict and designate just where funds may be legitimately deployed. So, an organization might have $1,000,000 in the bank, but none of it be available for use except in the special way its purpose is defined.
Imagine if your paycheck were restricted in such a manner. What if you could only use your pay for capital improvements or education or savings? How would you cover more general operating expenses? Possibly you would decide to get a part time job! Non-profit management can feel about that scattered and desperate at times. Hey, I'm just sayin'!
3. Then, there are matters related to sheer scale, as in the amount of funding that must be acquired on an annual basis. Let's say your organization crafts an annual operating budget, not including any special capital or reserve efforts, that comes in at $11,900,000. In real, pressing, "keep you on your toes and awake at night" terms, that budget calls for funding at an annual rate of $1,358 per hour calculated on a twenty-four hour/7-day week basis.
4. Meeting your financial objectives and goals demands the development of a sophisticated strategy complete with a variety of fundraising tactics. To raise $1,000,000 monthly you need some large gifts. You also must be working on a basis of hundreds of smaller gifts. Staying in touch with your supporters on their terms can be challenging, but essential, and not just because you need their gifts. Effective fundraising assumes that you are working to assist donors realize their individual giving goals.
More and more non-profit organizations are attempting to identify "widgets" to manufacture in hopes that social enterprises might provide some relief. Fee for services and sales can be helpful in rounding out a comprehensive funding strategy.
No one approach proves adequate.
More on all of this later, I'm sure.
Thanks for hearing me out. . .it helps, as I noted in the beginning.
But now, I've really got to get back to our daily goal: $32,592 and some change!
Just in from the Colorado Health Foundation. Move evidence of the interrelated complexity of poverty. This poverty is destroying our neighborhoods.
Health by ZIP Code
Where You Live Determines Your Health – for Good or Ill
By Sandy Graham
Opportunities for good health bypass far too many people, in Colorado and nationwide.
If you live in a poor neighborhood, chances are that you are not as healthy as someone who resides in a more affluent neighborhood. Your address reflects your health – and more.
"There's a lot of information in an address," says Anthony B. Iton, MD, JD, MPH, senior vice president of healthy communities for The California Endowment. "It tells me about your income, your education, the health amenities you have access to and employment opportunities you can access. I can pretty much predict your life expectancy by where you live."
Iton has data to back his point. Mapping life expectancy in major metro areas by census track or ZIP code finds wide ranges even a few miles apart. In Philadelphia, for example, those in the city's center live 6.4 years less on average than neighbors 21 miles away in Chester County. Life expectancy in Oakland, Calif., is less than 74.3 years compared with more than 80 years in much of the rest of the county.
Assuring the highest level of health for all Americans is a goal that many experts believe makes both humanitarian and economic sense. But achieving what some call "health equity" requires tackling social determinants of health such as income, education, nutritious food, safe housing, affordable and reliable public transit, culturally sensitive health care professionals, health insurance, and clean water and air.
A Complex Problem "That's why health equity is so elusive," says Len Nichols, PhD, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University. "You can't push one button. You have to think about the totality of the social fabric of the community."
On February 27 @ 7pm KERA’s Krys Boyd
Moderates Free Public Forum
on Asset Poverty in North Texas at Dallas City Performance Hall
DALLAS/FORT WORTH – Imagine being so close to the financial
edge that a single life event could push you and your family over. According to
a study by the Corporation for Enterprise Development, 29 percent of North
Texans are classified as "asset-poor" – meaning they don’t have
sufficient assets to live for three months at the federal poverty level if they
lose their income. KERA,
the North Texas public broadcasting station, and Communities
Foundation of Texas (CFT) present One Crisis Away,
a free public forum discussing asset poverty in North Texas at Dallas City
Performance Hall on Thursday, February 27 at 7 p.m.
The free public forum is the culmination of the ongoing One Crisis Away
news series launched by KERA News in November 2013, following four families
bravely telling their stories of living on the financial edge. The news series
includes radio and video stories; conversations on KERA FM’s Think;
and a television program of the public forum scheduled to broadcast Thursday,
March 27 at 7 p.m. on KERA TV.
“KERA partnered with Communities Foundation of Texas to build awareness
around the growing issue of asset poverty,” said KERA President and CEO Mary
Anne Alhadeff. “Almost one-third of all North Texans are a step away from
financial ruin, which means it could be your friends, neighbors or family
members. Or, it could be you. One Crisis Away explores what living with ‘asset
poverty’ means and elevates public dialogue about this increasing reality.”
Moderated by KERA’s Krys Boyd, the One Crisis Away
event will feature an in-depth discussion on asset poverty with three leading
experts: Andrea Levere, president, Corporation for Enterprise
Development; Alfreda Norman, vice president and community
development officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; and Larry James,
president & CEO, CitySquare. Join the discussion by submitting questions
for the panelists on Twitter @keranews using the hashtag #onecrisisaway.
“Asset poverty extends far beyond those living below the federal poverty
line,” says Alfreda Norman, vice president and community development officer of
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. “One-third of those households that earn
$45,655 to $70,000 annually is asset poor or has less than three months of
savings, and one in five of those that earn $70,015 to $107,000 could not
weather a job loss without falling into poverty.”
"These stories of local families bring the data to life. They give a
startling revelation of how many of us are in or very close to serious
financial trouble," says Brent Christopher, president and CEO of
Communities Foundation of Texas. “We applaud KERA for creating programming that
educates and empowers families in our community with the skills to sustain
themselves through a crisis if or when the time comes.”
The One Crisis Away forum will begin promptly at 7
p.m. at Dallas City Performance Hall. The event is free but seating is limited
and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:15 p.m., so
arrive early for best seats. To attend the One Crisis
Away free public forum, pleaseRSVP
by Tuesday, February 25.
KERA’s One Crisis Away project is funded in part by Communities
Foundation of Texas, Allstate Foundation, Dallas Women's Foundation, The Fort
Worth Foundation, Thomson Family Foundation, and United Way of Metropolitan
Recently, Republican leadership in
the U. S. House of Representatives released a document titled “Standards for Immigration Reform”
outlining a set of principles to guide their negotiations on the issue in 2014.
Included in their framework are familiar
ideas such as securing the nation’s border to the south, implementation of an
entry-exit visa tracking system, employment verification and workforce
enforcement of the law, a special plan for addressing the status of under aged
youth brought to the United States by parents and a requirement that
undocumented residents be willing to “come forward” and honestly address their
current status. A requirement embedded in
the GOP plan would be the admission of a violation of the law by the undocumented,
submission to rigorous background checks, the payment of fines and any back
taxes, development of proficiency in both English and U. S. civics and the
ability to support their families.
Finally the “Standards” state, “Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex
offenders and those who do not meet the . . . requirements will not be eligible
for this program. In addition, none of this can happen before specific
enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the
American people that from hereon, our immigration laws will indeed be
This clear statement of the Republican
position provided encouragement to those of us who have been working hard and
clamoring frequently for Congress to take action to define, reform and pass
comprehensive immigration reform that will benefit millions of our undocumented
neighbors by providing them legal status and the protection and opportunity
that they so richly deserve but presently do not enjoy.
Protection is essential because
currently many of my undocumented friends work, study and serve without assurances
provided by law or regulation.As a
result, workers are forced to live with the exploitation of unscrupulous
employers who take advantage of their immigration status to underpay or, in
some cases, to not pay for work performed.Furthermore, in many of the most demanding work settings safety, human
resources standards and fair labor practices are not simply neglected; they are
largely ignored or completely dismissed.
Dedicated, hardworking students complete
degrees at our universities with absolutely no pathway to full employment. Individuals and families are forced to live
in what amounts to an underground society defined by limitations and the very
real fear of deportation and separation from loved ones.
I understand the fears of parents well
thanks to the fact that for several years I’ve worked with a family whose son
was deported to Mexico, even though he was brought to the United States as a
very young child with no knowledge of immigration law. Jose, now sent away to a village in central
Mexico, knows nothing but his experience and self-understanding as an
city like Dallas would be hard pressed to function without the presence and labor
of the undocumented, like Jose’s father.
Comprehensive reform would bring everyone into the light of day. The overall local economy would benefit. Our schools would improve dramatically, as
now documented parents felt more confident in engaging with public
schools. Law enforcement, labor
relations, business development, home ownership, community strength and
enhanced social stability would improve the quality of life for us all in virtually
every neighborhood in town.
Beyond the clear economic return to
Dallas as a result of immigration reform, we need relief from the injustice and
immorality of the current state of affairs that weighs on our city’s
self-understanding, as well as its vision for a bright future. No city aspiring to become a world-class
community built on fundamental democratic ideals, the power and beauty of human
diversity and the promise of a people’s innovation can achieve its goals when
so many of its people cannot function as fully vested partners in the
enterprise of hope and justice.
Unfortunately, the Speaker of the U. S.
House of Representatives has now come out to inform us that he will not take up
any effort to enact reform this year.
Claiming that President Obama “cannot be trusted to enforce the law,”
Speaker Boehner has decided no action is the proper approach to this pressing
Texas is special. So much of our history, hope and heritage connect
to families south of our boarder. For
generations the real immigrants to Texas, and more particularly to Dallas, have
benefited greatly from this Latino connection.
The time has come, and is long past due, to honor our centuries old
joint heritage. Providing a way for our
hard working, undocumented neighbors to more fully embrace our community, its
opportunity and its promise makes sense for us all. To fail again in addressing this clear and
immediate challenge seems unthinkable. Clearly, it is time for action.
As Lent draws near, I would like to offer some helpful thoughts on our path of conversion as individuals and as a community. These insights are inspired by the words of Saint Paul: 'For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich'. The Apostle was writing to the Christians of Corinth to encourage them to be generous in helping the faithful in Jerusalem who were in need. What do these words of Saint Paul mean for us Christians today? What does this invitation to poverty, a life of evangelical poverty, mean to us today?
This ad moved me deeply. The role of the United States as a great welcoming land must never be lost. This same spirit translates into every plan, aspect, dream and action that we take in the inner city here in Dallas. All are welcomed! The party needs to grow larger, not smaller!
Larry's new book, now available from Amazon.com! Also, now in Kindle format! To place your order visit Amazon.com today! Also, available at Barnes and Noble bookstores and on the web. Click on the image above to order!
Larry James' Urban Daily
A repository of ideas, resources, commentary and opinions concerning the issues facing low-income residents of the inner cities of the United States and how mainstream America largely forgets or, worse, ignores the day-to-day realities of urban life for the so-called "poor." Written and edited by the President & CEO of CitySquare. Please visit CitySquare.
Today and throughout 2013, we need your support to continue our life-changing work in inner-city Dallas. Every day hundreds of our wonderful neighbors arrive at our doors seeking our assistance, offering their help and prepared to pursue a better life. Frankly, the folks we "serve" make essential contributions to the scope, nature and soul of the work we attempt. At CitySquare we honor and recognize the amazing value and richness of our low-income neighbors. During 2012, almost 55,000 different people received the benefit of our wide-ranging services designed to assist in the process of building better lives. We need your help TODAY as we continue to respond to the needs of our community. Even more, we need you to become our PARTNER in the work of compassion and community renewal--work that continues day after day at CitySquare.