By Rochelle Habeck and Allan Hunt
That is more than a statement about injustice in our current environment and the importance of ISAAC as a medium for social change. As the hymn says that we often sing together at ISAAC events, “I need you to survive”. When Reverend Rachel, our minister at People’s Church, reflected in a recent sermon about the way she heard these words at our last ISAAC Public Meeting, I understood my connection to ISAAC in a deeper way. This statement summarizes simply and profoundly our interdependence and thus our need for each other’s wellbeing … I need you to survive, because I need you (for me) to survive. This is what I find in ISAAC – countless opportunities to experience this truth in action, to learn it in challenging and humbling and fulfilling ways, and to practice it again and again in diverse community – in the connections, relationships and commitments that have grown from being part of this beloved organization for nearly 20 years.
We started learning this interconnectedness in our Church, as we moved further into living our values and the work of social justice. And then our Church brought us into ISAAC, where the learning curve has been very steep, sometimes scary, always compelling, and deeply fulfilling. The issues work in ISAAC has provided a means to link arms in collaboration with a great variety of partners to impact policies at local, state, and national levels: in support of early childhood development; access to high quality preschool; funding for K-12; addressing infant mortality and the impacts of structural racism revealed in the 4-fold disparity in black babies’ deaths; developing community understanding about the lifelong impacts of toxic stress and trauma on our children; and addressing racism in ourselves, our congregations, and our community.
From many voices of wisdom across time we learn that true joy comes from fulfillment through purpose, more than from pursuing moments of happiness. So, like you, we invest in ISAAC – our time and our treasure. True to our natures, Rochelle invests her time in the issues and the relationships; and Allan, economist and introvert, invests our money. We end up giving both to ISAAC and are fulfilled, individually and together, by this. We are very grateful to be part of the ISAAC family, as Dr. Charlae patiently calls us, and for her determined vision to become the beloved community that this work serves.
Editor’s note: Rochelle and Allan are GEMs (donors who Give Every Month) and are also ISAAC Endowment Fund donors. Please join them!
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- “Be a GEM” and support our current work on Anti-Racism, Anti-Poverty & Affordable Housing.
- Give to the ISAAC Endowment Fund to create annual interest income when we reach our goal! We’re over 81% there! Make your check payable to Kalamazoo Community Foundation, with “ISAAC Endowment Fund” in the memo space, and mail it to Kalamazoo Community Foundation, 402 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, Mi 49007