EmpowerWest Guiding Statements
Vision Statement: EmpowerWest, a coalition of Louisville area pastors and churches, seeks to unleash the educational, economic, and spiritual power of West Louisville residents so that they might maximize their God-given potential and capacity.
Mission Statement: In order to make our vision a reality, EmpowerWest will:
Lift a prophetic voice that advocates with and amplifies the voices of those in West Louisville in places of power.
Help change the hearts of people in and outside of West Louisville so that people will see the importance of West Louisville and her people in all parts of Greater Louisville.
Find ways to increase economic and educational opportunity for residents of West Louisville.
Build bridges of reconciliation between our churches and among our members
Continually educate ourselves and others as to how to bring our hearts to this in a long-term productive way, rather than settling for the shorter-term benefit of “client relationships” and what is too often “toxic charity.”
Planned Activities and Events
Study and meal groups and special events (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend event in January)
Support of Simmons College (Simmons College Sunday during Black History Month in February)
West Louisville bus tours (March)
Map the assets already present in West Louisville (ongoing)
West Louisville-owned business patronage and support (ongoing)
EmpowerWest, a coalition of Louisville area pastors and churches, is committed to insuring that development and the infusion of capital into West Louisville will be primarily for the empowerment and sustainability of West Louisville’s current residents and secondarily for the profit-making of investors.
In the tradition of the prophets of the Bible EmpowerWest will advocate in places of power on behalf of residents to resist colonialism (the practice of doing business in the area only for the benefit of outsiders), as well as gentrification (the practice of pushing people out of neighborhoods so they can be utliized by outsiders).
Based on our shared Christian orientation EmpowerWest will stand with those most easily ignored in business dealings because they have neither voice nor place at the bargaining table, and yet their lives are most affected by potential business decisions.
As followers of Jesus we have a preferential option for poor, and more specifically, for many blacks in West Louisville who continue to languish in our economy. While there are many inter-related causes for this languishing, key among them is subtle forms of conscious and unconscious racism which perpetuate the inability for the majority of blacks in West Louisville to operate on a level playing field with white Louisvillians. Frankly put: we believe there has been and continues to be an unjust distribution of wealth, power, and resources in our country, which violates our American values and our Christian ethic. Thus, while other minorities have their valid grievances, we view blacks in West Louisville as our “priority minority.”