The Chippewa Valley Post provides news of area nonprofit organizations in order to increase public awareness of their missions and activities, and to provide information that otherwise might not be made available.
Our “6 of Substance” series is part of this effort. It will present answers from nonprofit organizations, in their own words, to six questions we asked about who they are and what they do. The responses will be edited only for length, grammar and style concerns.
This series will be updated regularly to introduce Chippewa Valley residents to the many nonprofit organizations and people working to serve the needs of our area. If you have a favorite nonprofit organization that you’d like to see featured here, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope
Who do you serve?
Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope (JONAH) works with people, agencies and organizations to help make our communities healthier, safer and more equitable places for everyone to live and work. We believe our work is about building community and capacity to address root causes of poverty and injustice. We come together for this important public work because when every one person does better, everyone does better.
We have been most successful where several essential conditions have been met:
- Organic – Issues or initiatives determined and embraced locally.
- Leader-led – People or constituencies most affected by the issue (those with ‘real world’ experience) have been at the center of the effort.
- Empowerment – Actions have been driven by a trained and well-equipped team of leaders.
- Relational – There has been an ongoing commitment to relationship development and building strategic public partnerships, alliances and partnerships.
How long have you been established in the Chippewa Valley?
JONAH was founded in 2007 and is celebrating its 10th year. We’ve been creating an interactive environment for children and their grown-ups since opening our doors in December, 2004.
What are the major issues you will be facing over the next 18 months?
Our major issue continues to be educating the community
on social justice issues that exist and affect everyone in the Chippewa Valley. We have made a difference by increasing funding for treatment alternatives and diversion programs in our criminal justice system; i
mproving transportation opportunities for our immigrant neighbors by passing driver’s card legislation and improving local bus routes; and providing opportunities for conversation about racial justice. The kind of changes JONAH addresses can take a lifetime; however, educating
and raising awareness are among our goals to help implement change.
Aside from financial support, how can the Chippewa Valley Community support you?
Community members can help by speaking with their spiritual leaders and faith communities and asking for more information on the organization; attending JONAH training and awareness-raising sessions; and following the JONAH website and our JONAH Facebook page.
Who are some of the key people in your organization?
Executive Committee: President, Sandra McKinney; Vice-Presidents, Andy Thompson and Jacky Miller; Secretary, Donna Raleigh; Treasurer, David Anderson.
The JONAH Board is made up of members from: 1st Congregational UCC, Spirit Lutheran, Friends Meeting, Immanuel Lutheran, Unity Christ Center, Unitarian Universalist, Temple Sholom and the Catholic Deanery (nine parishes).
What is the most important thing about your organization that people should know, but don’t?
The partnerships JONAH has created with the City/County Health Department and the Community Justice Coordinating Council bring attention and change in vital areas that affect the entire community.
— by Sandra McKinney, President
If you would like more information about JONAH, visit www.jonahjustice.org.
To download a copy of the “6 of Substance” questionnaire, click here.
To see earlier “6 of Substance” listings, click here for the Archives.
Sandra McKinney is also a member of the CVPost Board.