“We All Do Better When We ALL Do Better,” the focus for the 11th Annual JONAH Celebration, drew people from all walks of life to celebrate social justice work. Attendees enjoyed delicious food, including pie and cheesecake, competed for silent auction items, enjoyed the wonderful music of Kai Ulrica, and heard about great social justice efforts currently underway.
JONAH leaders including Lynn Buske, JONAH organizer; Sandra McKinney, JONAH President, and Julianne Lepp, Celebration Organizer, reminded participants of the role JONAH plays in the social justice arena. JONAH’s role is not that of providing charity to those in need (as important as that is) but rather to ask the hard questions. Why? Why are people in need? What policies and legislation affect people negatively? What can be done about it? JONAH’s current work is focused on answering those questions related to immigration, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform.
Joe Luginbill, Eau Claire Area School District Board President, spoke about the dignity deserved by all children and the role of the school board in extending that dignity. In recent months, the school board has passed 115 new policies aimed at increasing dignity for all school children and providing restorative justice in the schools. He encouraged JONAH supporters to develop a personal mission statement, to remember that in tough times we are not alone, and that we can all do better when we can agree on aspects of issues and build upon that agreement. Joe stated, “Never stop trying!”
Other speakers clarified social justice work underway in our local areas:
- Becky Linderholm addressed the use of Family Conversation kits to help children understand diversity
- Sarah Ferber explained the work of the Criminal Justice Reform Task Force and ExPO
- Lee Hennick described the work underway to address the affordable housing crisis
- Donna Raleigh made a plea for participation in the End Child Poverty Campaign
Representatives of JONAH’s faith institutional members participated in covenanting ceremony.
The Chippewa Valley Youth Choir brought the evening to a song-filled end with their rendition of “We All Do Better When We All Do Better” and by leading the entire community in “This Little Light of Mine.”
JONAH extends its gratitude to all who came and who support of the work of social justice in our communities!