Dear Alliance Family,
We'd like to thank all of you-our members-for encouraging your staff, board members, constituents and other stakeholders to vote in Tuesday's election. Voter engagement is a critical part of the work we do as nonprofits, not only because it empowers the people and the communities that we serve, but also helps to further our missions, makes us part of critical public policy discussions, and enhances our ongoing advocacy efforts. We've just concluded a very divisive national election focused on some polarizing issues. Some of you may be feeling discouraged, fearful and anxious about what the future has in store for our country and our communities. As nonprofits, our work becomes more important than ever. We provide safe spaces for people to begin to improve their lives, to heal and move forward, and to connect with the community.
In an article in yesterday's Nonprofit Quarterly, nonprofits were encouraged to:
At the Alliance, our work around building a collective voice for the local nonprofit sector also becomes even more important. We are here to help shed a light on those sector-wide issues that impact all of us. In January, we'll be convening field of service committees to engage the sector in determining public policy priorities. We plan to share the information and recommendations we receive from these committees with the City's 3.0 comprehensive plan.
Here are the committees:
Arts & Culture
Chair: Elizabeth Rouse, ArtsMemphis
Includes: Visual and performing arts, museums and music
Children, Youth, & Education
Co-Chairs: Marlon Foster, Knowledge Quest, Richard Graham, JIFF
Includes: Early childhood, extended learning and out of school programs, pre-K through 16
Community and Economic Development
Co-Chairs: Tim Bolding, United Housing, David Jordan, Agape Child and Family Services
Includes: Includes, housing, blight removal, neighborhood improvement, economic development, and poverty reduction
Employment, Workforce Development & Adult Education
Includes: Job training, women and minority business development, personal and career development
Environment, Conservation, Parks and Animal Welfare
Chair: Tina Sullivan, Overton Park Conservancy
Includes: Clean water, air and city, recycling, greenways, biking, parks, community gardens, agriculture, and well-being of animals
Health & Wellness
Co-Chairs: Pete Conerly, Synergy Treatment Centers, Dr. Barry-Lewis Harris, Common Table Health Alliance
Includes: Includes medical care, mental health, substance abuse treatment, research, and biomedical
Human Services, Public Safety, and Legal Assistance
Co-Chairs:Sally Heinz, MIFA
Harrison McIver, Memphis Area Legal Services
Includes:Basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing, transportation, disaster preparedness, and accessibility
Diversity, Inclusion & Equity
Chair: Mauricio Calvo
Includes: Civil and human rights, social justice and equity
If you'd like to serve on a committee, please email me and let me know.
The Alliance will also host its second Nonprofit Day on the Hill to continue educating our state legislators about the impact of the sector and the importance of the work we are doing across the state of Tennessee. February 15th is the date for this, and we hope that many of you will want to participate again once we open registration. This past February, over 50 nonprofits joined us, and this year we hope even more will join.
There's no doubt we will have more work to do over the next few years as we fulfill our missions to address the needs of marginalized communities and people living in poverty. Whatever challenges we might face, we will face them together. Please know that the Alliance is here to support your efforts and to help project that voice for the sector that is so important for creating strong and healthy communities.
All the best,
Chief Administrative Officer