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.

6 Health Benefits of Meditation

6 Health Benefits of Meditation

If you’re looking for an easy and inexpensive way to improve your everyday life, look no further than meditation. Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. For centuries, people have been preaching the benefits of meditation. Keep reading to learn about some of the best advantages you’ll receive from frequent meditation.

Meditation can reduce stress.
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people meditate. It has been scientifically proven to decrease stress levels, especially in those with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Research has also found that meditation can alleviate stress-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. 

Meditation can help your mental health.
Many types of meditation can promote a more positive self-image and an improved perspective on life. Studies have shown that meditation has the ability to decrease levels of depression in adults. It often reduces inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress and can cause feelings of depression.

Meditation can improve your attention span.
If you have trouble focusing at work or school, consider trying out focused-attention meditation. It’s been proven to increase the strength and endurance of your attention. Researchers have found that not only can mediation help with maintaining attention, but it can also help with recalling specific details such as assigned tasks.

Meditation can help you sleep.
Many people struggle with falling or staying asleep at night. If this sounds like you, meditation may be able to help. A study comparing two groups, one that meditated before bed and one that didn’t. Researchers were able to determine that participants who practiced meditation were able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than their non-meditating counterparts. Meditating before bed relaxes muscles and redirects thoughts that can keep you up at night.

Meditation can decrease blood pressure.
People who struggle with high blood pressure can benefit from frequent meditation. High blood pressure forces your heart to work overtime to pump blood, which can lead to its poor function. Many different kinds of meditation have been proven to improve blood pressure. It relaxes your nerve signals that coordinate your heart function, tension in your blood vessels and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases your body’s awareness of stressful circumstances.

Meditation can fight off memory loss.
Memories are the most precious things you carry with you. In order to keep them fresh, consider periodic meditation. There are forms of meditation specific to memory recall, such as Kirtan Kriya, which has shown improvement in people’s ability to perform memory-related tasks. Meditation can also aid older participants’ mental quickness, improving their memory long term.

There are so many benefits to be found through meditation. It can improve both your mental and physical health. Meditation is accessible to anyone and requires no financial commitment. Try out different forms to find which fits your preferences best, and be prepared to see an upgrade in your quality of life.

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