The West Ohio Conference Office of Diversity Initiatives will support:
- A) West Ohio Connectional Ministries will partner with GCORR to lead 10 cabinet members, 9 Connectional Ministry Staff and up to 50 Connectional Ministry servant leaders through the Intercultural Development Inventory to increase our intercultural competency to acceptance and adaptation thereby creating capacity to work with 30 congregations who will connect effectively with inmates, ex-offenders and neighbors primarily in urban core communities & Appalachian contexts; develop strategies that will result in more diverse leaders and participants in all connectional ministry programs, and align connectional ministry resources to these ends.
- B) To build upon West Ohio’s partnership with its’ community partners to build mutual and trusting relationships between inmates and leadership teams of 30 United Methodist congregations in order to build cultural competency of congregations and inmates to connect authentically with each other. Inmates will become leaders and guides to congregations, coaching congregational leadership teams throughout the 24 month process to develop effective, incarnational relationships with neighbors who come from the same communities and conditions as inmates. Congregations, in turn, will connect with families living within a five block area of the congregation.
- C) By May 30, 2017, build upon the leadership training of the West Ohio paid and servant leaders (19 staff members and 40 servant leaders) and the 30 returning citizens to develop congregational specific community outreach plans designed to connect with children, their families and community leaders. We will identify 30 congregations in five districts with whom to work. These congregations will be identified from Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and the Shawnee Valley District. Each congregation will impact a least a five block area of their neighborhood.
30 For 30
Goal B and C of the GCORR grant has been named the Reentry and Community Engagement Initiative, also known as “30 For 30.” West Ohio will work with community partners such as Horizon Prison Initiative and Kindway (EMBARQ) to identify 30 inmates who have undergone cognitive behavior therapy while incarcerated. These 30 inmates will be matched with 30 United Methodist congregations in the inmates’ home neighborhoods in order to build authentic relationships. The congregations serve as a source of support and a path to discipleship for the inmates. The inmate serves as a guide for community engagement in their engagement. These relationships continue as the inmate transitions post incarceration to a returning citizen. The congregational support serves as a primary tool in the prevention of recidivism.