Beyond therapy

"Beyond therapy" Continued...

Issue: "Cities of God and Man," March 27, 2010

Q: What's a better way to proceed? That money should have been placed in vouchers and competition. Give churches and others the seed money they need to start small schools. We need to have a thousand small schools started all over the country. Take a lot of these disaffected schoolteachers and let them work with some of these church groups to start small schools the way Marva Collins did in Chicago.

Q: What should individuals do? Become acquainted with grass-roots groups and have a servant's attitude: Be on tap, not on top. You've got to show up and say, "Use me, Lord." If you're a good writer, all of these groups need people who can edit and write and interpret what they do. Come in and make yourself available based upon what they need. The main thing is to be honest with people. Do not patronize them. Do not look at them as being pathetic. Do not come in as a liberator. Come in and say, "I have got some skills; tell me how I can make use of them in your service."

Q: And how should nonprofits function? We must operate in the social economy the way we do in the economy. Competence ought to be rewarded. In our market economy, it is not what your credentials are that determines who leads. It is what the outcomes are. In our social economy, this ought to apply also.

Q: How can conservatives win inner-city support? Concentrate on practical ways to demonstrate that conservative policies and principles create more livable circumstances. Go seek out people in troubled communities who are solving problems and find out how they can be a blessing to them. When a member of Congress sees an organization that works, why not have a fundraising reception for the group and invite some of his campaign funders to give to this organization? Why not use your position to point to others?

Q: Why do political conservatives receive so few votes from African-Americans, many of whom are socially conservative? Conservatives want to avoid government overreach because they think it will be an infringement on individual liberty. Blacks see and remember that we did not have the right to vote. It was the Supreme Court and the central government that intervened in the market place, that protected us, and that brought about desegregation. It was the federal intervention that protected kids trying to get into schools. They remember that legacy of government. If conservatives can acknowledge that central government in the '60s was useful and necessary in that way, then you can have more dialogue.

Q: What's your Center's biggest project now? Unless there is civil order there can be no activity in the city, so we have been concentrating on reducing youth violence: We are in six cities and 38 of the most dangerous schools. (For more information, see cneonline.org.)

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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