The Think Tank Mission
The Think Tanks on Poverty give voice to working and poor people to challenge the systemic issues that keep them in poverty and to build local groups to carry out this mission.
The Vincentian Ohio Action Network (VOAN) supported the development of the Think Tanks on Poverty with infrastructure support, leadership development, coaching on coalition building, strategic planning, and helping each group develop the power needed in the community to make the changes they seek to address poverty -- one step at a time. We helped leaders with the Think Tanks on Poverty obtain seats at the table on various issues across Central Ohio, including addiction and recovery, housing and homelessness, criminal justice, reentry, and broadband expansion.
Systemic change is of two kinds -- We may change a policy or law, but the most important and long-lasting systemic change is when we change how decisions are made so they include working and poor people. While doing this primary work, we also attempt to address hunger, employment, transportation, housing, injustice, and other basic needs of our organizing members so that they may continue building the community.
The Think Tanks on Poverty are now independent entities operating in local communities.