Feb 15, 2023 | News
When you hear the name of our member group, Maine Council of Churches, what images come to mind? Do you think of advocacy on the frontlines of reproductive justice? Do you think about activism around indigenous sovereignty? Do you think about coalition work focused on environmental justice? Perhaps not. But if you do picture those things, you are aware of the amazing advocacy and activism provided by faith leaders of many denominations in our community, led by the fearless work of Maine Council of Churches (MCC).
The MCC began in 1938, and since then, has been a tireless voice toward justice, compassion, and peace. Its work is statewide, and happens among religious leaders, parishioners, and volunteers with many faith backgrounds. As summarized on the MCC website, “Despite our diverse histories and traditions, the member denominations of the Maine Council of Churches share these values: respecting the dignity of each human being; recognizing the duty to protect the Earth; and valuing a political system that encourages civil discourse.” Recently, the MCC co-hosted a public reading of the full text of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail, read by various justice leaders in the community and featuring space and music for reflection and contemplation. Over 500 attendees joined this event on the 2023 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to be in space together and listen to the powerful and relevant words.
This month, the work of MCC has focused on a Faith-Based Advocacy Series, inviting people of faith to build community, and to be inspired to begin or continue advocacy work toward a more just society. The sessions include practical tips for legislative advocacy and submitting testimony at the state house, as well as training on focused priorities that include housing and homelessness, tribal sovereignty, and banning solitary confinement in Maine’s prisons. The MCC has built great community networks to collaborate with around their advocacy efforts, partnering their Public Policy Committee with other state organizations focused on similar work.
The Maine Council of Churches, under the direction of Executive Director Reverend Jane Field, remains deeply committed to their values, and continues to be a bold, unwavering voice toward a more just and equitable Maine. They are also forward-thinking, and beginning a strategic planning process to determine their vision for the years ahead. MaineShare is so grateful to have the Maine Council of Churches as a member group, and to be able to support and partner with them in the amazing work they do in our community. I encourage you all to learn more about MCC through their website, http://mainecouncilofchurches.org/!
Jan 31, 2023 | News
Welcome to 2023! For me, the new year brings with it renewed energy to look forward, strategize, and gaze ahead at possibilities for MaineShare. We are planning for other ways to bring member groups together in 2023 and to strengthen relationships among us, as well as with community. This is also a great time to engage new stakeholders with the incredible work of our member groups, and how they can support this work through various MaineShare giving options. MaineShare is also pleased to share its latest round of funding to our member groups. This month, allocations checks went out to our members, totaling $137,333.68 in distributions. Our workplace and individual donors make it possible for us to continue providing unrestricted funding to our groups– over $6,637,000 since our inception— and we are so grateful! Don’t forget to read on to learn more.
Jan 16, 2023 | News
The Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund (MWLEF) is an asset and a resource in our community, building knowledge and engagement in feminist, anti-oppression-based advocacy and civic life. In July, I attended a MWLEF related event that allowed me to meet community members involved in and committed to feminist policy in Maine, and it was a wonderful learning experience for me, full of enthusiasm and hope.
MWLEF advocates for policy solutions to advance the security and well-being of girls and women, and provides opportunities for them to develop as confident leaders. This past fall, they reminded the community that “Care Work is Work,” advocating around policies to protect and support caregivers – both paid and unpaid – in our state. Care workers keep our economy running, but are often unfairly compensated, poorly protected, and are often women, contributing to gender inequity in Maine.
Recently, MWLEF has been leading the Maine Paid Leave Coalition, a group of stakeholders pushing for comprehensive change at the systems-level around paid family and medical leave for all Mainers. The Maine Paid Leave Coalition provides education and advocacy for policy that aligns with gender-inclusive universal paid family and medical leave, and ensures that such policies provide an inclusive definition of family. Reliable and accountable paid leave policies are essential to the economic security of Maine families and we cannot make steps toward greater gender equity without them. I am grateful to the tireless work of our member group, Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund, and encourage you all to learn more about them! You can also check out their fun legislative education videos on TikTok at www.tiktok.com/@mainewomenslobby!
Dec 22, 2022 | News
Wrapping up 2022, we are so grateful for a wonderful year here at MaineShare. Being a part of Maine Initiatives has been an amazing way to grow our community, capacity, and impact. Our 38 member groups continue their positive impact in the state (read more below!). We have had Workplace Giving campaigns with 50 partner workplaces in 2022, with a few more holding campaigns in early 2023. We have had donations to support our work from over 90 individual donors. For all this, and more, we say THANK YOU to our MaineShare community. Please read on for more news and updates!
Nov 30, 2022 | News
The ongoing impact made by each and every one of our member groups continues to astound me. We have members on the frontline of advocacy to better support Maine families. Others have immediately stepped in to help those impacted by PFAS chemicals found on Maine farms. And others work tirelessly to help Mainers secure appropriate and affordable health insurance for themselves and their families. I invite you to read more about our member work in our November newsletter– please click here! *Please also note that there is a correction to the phone number listed for Disability Rights Maine in the newsletter– it should be 207-626-2774!*