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Minute for Mission: Self-Development of People


March 10, 2024

We’ve got SWAG

Why Not Prosper Inc. Facebook Page; May 19, 2023

Contrary to popular belief, the growing rate of incarcerated women has been twice as high compared to their male counterparts. In addition to their increasing population, women have a higher mortality rate. Despite these alarming statistics, women still receive the same services that were originally designed to serve men. These services are void of structure for gender-based violence such as issues surrounding assault recovery, financial literacy, custody and the intersectionality of race.

This gaping hole continues to be systemically overlooked, but a group of formerly incarcerated woman decided it was up to them to create the sanctuary they needed. Why Not Prosper, a grassroots nonprofit in Philadelphia, provides sustainable community for formerly incarcerated women by “Offering Women in Distress a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out.”

Since becoming a Young Adult Volunteer, SDOP has taught me the importance of having resources in our community that gives people independence by empowering their own voices. I believe this organization carries out this principle. Why Not Prosper offers services such as pre-release mentoring, employment, financial responsibility, family reunification, affordable housing, domestic violence education and certificate classes, thus creating tools needed to lower rates of recidivism.

The Philadelphia Presbytery Self-Development of People Committee and National SDOP funded Sisters With A Goal (SWAG) for projects that work to shape social education and dismantle policies that harm formerly incarcerated women. Their mission is “to advocate and educate by amplifying the voices of those women” while “healing trauma and creating policies to bring awareness to racial and social injustices.”

SWAG has been able to execute an anti-violence campaign pushing for residents to speak up and act whenever they see violence. In collaboration with Why Not Prosper, they organized the Doris Manning Campaign with a focus on health-care advocacy and continue to publish the Inspire magazine to educate the public on their amazing work.

When the needs of people are sustainably met, it creates a plethora of room to reimagine our lives with ideas on what our community needs. Sisters With A Goal is a product of what we can do when we fund those ideas and bring ownership back into the hands of the people.

Juliet Owuor, Young Adult Volunteer, Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People

Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, March 10, 2024, the Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year B)

Today’s Focus: Self-Development of People

Let us join in prayer for:

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Octavia Coleman, HR Generalist, Administrative Services Group, (A Corp) 
Heather Colletto, Administrator, Presbyterian CREDO, Board of Pensions 

Let us pray

God of our present trouble and promised triumph, open our eyes to see you in the midst of our struggles. Open our ears to hear your words of invitation and assurance. Open our minds to recall your wonderful works and miracles. Open our hearts to glory in your name and seek strength in your Word; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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