At Empower, we believe the key to ending poverty lies in changing the policies that drive it. We can make changes that ensure a long-term, stable stock of affordable housing across the state, and expand safety net programs to support the nutrition needs of struggling families. We can fundamentally reimagine our criminal justice system, investing in alternatives to incarceration and removing barriers to reentry for those who have been incarcerated. And we can raise the minimum wage for workers and mandate safe, humane working conditions for all.
We know that the people closest to the problems are also closest to the solutions, and in this case, it is often the direct service organizations supporting communities in need that are best positioned to advocate for these changes. However, we know that this seems challenging, and many nonprofit staff and board members might not know where to start. That’s where our training, like our Advocacy Partners Program, comes in. We envision a nonprofit sector where every nonprofit organization is advocating for key policy changes alongside their direct service offerings, and we are here to support organizations to make that possible.
The program launched in 2022, and this year, thanks to generous support from Missouri Foundation for Health and Health Forward Foundation, we were able to grow the program to offer training to 27 individuals representing 13 organizations throughout the state. These 13 organizations are already doing essential work to improve access to education, nutrition, and healthcare and fight poverty, racism, and inequities in their communities, and will now be able to expand their impact as they get involved in the policy-making process and affect change at the systems level.
Please join us in welcoming these organizations to our Advocacy Partners Program: