In Honor of Juneteenth 2020

The history of the Community Action movement is rooted in the belief that the experience of poverty is of fundamental concern to all Americans, that we are all directly and indirectly impacted by the existence of poverty, and only when our most marginalized community members thrive can we all thrive. The persistent existence of poverty is morally and ethically wrong, and for 44 years the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota has worked tirelessly within our communities to support struggling families work to achieve economic independence.

We know that despite our efforts, Black, brown, and Indigenous people in North Dakota make up a disproportionate amount of those experiencing low levels of social and economic well-being. This means that across the state our Black, brown, and Indigenous community members are more likely to live in poverty, experience economic insecurity, and that this reality impacts the wellbeing of us all.

With the killing of George Floyd a few weeks ago while in police custody, racial inequities and the resulting social and economic injustices can no longer be decentralized in our efforts to eradicate poverty. We must make the connection between systemic racism and persistent poverty and recognize that as long as one of these systems remains embedded in America, we will not be able to fully eradicate either experience.

Racism, whether individual, institutional, or systemic, is of fundamental concern to all Americans. We are all directly and indirectly impacted by the existence of racism. The persistent existence of racism is morally and ethically wrong. Only when our most marginalized community members are free from racism can we all thrive.

Today, on Juneteenth, we are especially reminded of the historical implications of our words versus our actions. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation formally ordered that enslaved people were to be freed. However, it was not until two-and-a-half years later, June 19th, 1865, that the news finally reached Galveston, Texas and the remaining enslaved people were freed. This disparate experience of freedom and justice continues today through enduring racial inequities.

We at CAPND know that inequity and injustice will continue until our actions match our words. We are committed to establishing more meaningful working relationships with those representing and advocating on behalf of our Black, brown, and Indigenous community members to further embed racial justice in our work. Within our own organization, we commit to training staff, board members and volunteers on the pervasive issues of racial discrimination, like implicit bias and white privilege, which directly impacts our day-to-day work of eliminating poverty.

There is no peace without justice and accountability. It is not enough to condemn racism. We must be actively anti-racist in all our pursuits. With the support of North Dakotan’s moved by the tragedy of George Floyd’s unnecessary death, the National Community Action Partnership, and CAP agencies across the country, we will continue helping people help themselves and each other.

- Community Action Partnership of North Dakota


The Promise of Community Action

Community Action changes people's lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

 


About Community Action

Community Action Agencies (CAAs) are nonprofits originally established under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 to fight America's War on Poverty. Today, North Dakota has seven CAAs on the front-lines of the battle. These seven agencies provide essential services to every region and all 53 counties of the state.

CAAs enable low-income people of all ages to secure the opportunities they need to obtain and maintain economic security.

How Volunteering Helps Your Mental and Physical Health

How Volunteering Helps Your Mental and Physical Health

When you volunteer, you get the satisfaction of knowing you helped someone out, even if only for a day. However, did you know volunteering also helps yourself? Studies have found that volunteering can positively impact both your body and your mind. We’re here to tell you all about the different ways doing good in your community can do some good for yourself.

Volunteering helps you stay physically and mentally active.
Many volunteer opportunities require you to be on your feet, which according to researchers, causes many volunteers to report better physical health than their non-volunteering counterparts, especially in those over 60 years of age. When you volunteer, you’re moving and thinking at the same time, stimulating your brain and keeping your mental health in shape. Some volunteers even report higher levels of life satisfaction.

Volunteering decreases your risk of depression.
Continuously volunteering increases your social interactions and gives you a support system of those with common interests. These factors are proven to lead to lower rates of depression, particularly for those 65 years and older. 

Volunteering can help you live longer.
Researchers have found that those who volunteer have lower rates of mortality than non-volunteers, even when factoring in gender, age and physical health. Volunteers with chronic or serious illnesses also have reported decreased pain intensity and depression when they help others in pain. 

Volunteering allows you to form meaningful relationships.
Meeting new people while volunteering is often many people’s favorite aspects of it. Whether it’s someone you served or a fellow volunteer, donating your time is a great way to expand your social network. You can also volunteer with those you know to strengthen existing relationships. Social skills and friendships are essential to positive mental health. 

Volunteering can reduce stress levels.
When you volunteer, you often feel a sense of purpose and appreciation. It can come from yourself, as well as from those whom you serve. This feeling of meaning has the ability to reduce your stress levels. The social relationships you form while volunteering can also alleviate feelings of stress and anxiety.

Volunteering can improve your confidence.
As you continue to volunteer consistently, you become more sure of yourself in your role. For example, if you regularly volunteer at your local nursing home, you know what you’re doing and how to best help each individual. This self-assurance can translate into your daily life. You become more comfortable speaking to new people and dealing with conflict. Confidence is key to good mental health, so if you feel it’s something you should work on, try volunteering. 

Volunteering is a great way to improve your community, as well as your body and mind. If you’re looking to do some good in more ways than one, check out volunteering opportunities in a field that interests you.

  • National CAP
  • National Community Action Foundation
  • NASCSP
    NASCSP
  • Community Action Program Legal Services