Action of Greater Lansing was founded as Greater Lansing Association for Development and Empowerment (G.L.A.D.E.) in 2002 when local congregations came together to address justice issues in the Greater Lansing area. The organization changed its name to Action of Greater Lansing on June 4, 2007. Membership currently consists of 7 diverse congregations from Lansing and East Lansing.
ACTION of Greater Lansing addresses root causes of community problems by organizing for systemic change. ACTION is not a direct service organization, nor are we a political organization that endorses specific candidates. Rather, we hold public officials accountable to make needed systemic changes that will improve the lives of many in the community simultaneously. We accomplish these goals by building powerful relationships in the community and organizing for direct action. Each year begins with a Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast in January and ends with a Public Assembly in October.
Action of Greater Lansing follows the model of the Gamaliel Foundation, working alongside over 50 other congregation-based community organizations (CBCO) in various cities across the United States. Affiliation with Gamaliel brings numerous benefits Action of Greater Lansing, including national leadership trainings, staff development and support, consulting on issue work, and ties to a greater vision of congregation-based community organizing.
Who can be part of Action of Greater Lansing?
Any congregation or community organization in the Greater Lansing area with over 10 members can covenant with Action congregations. Individuals outside of the member organizations can be involved through a member congregation’s Justice Ministry Network.
Who controls Action of Greater Lansing?
The local community has complete control over the organization. Action’s board of directors is comprised of clergy and lay representatives from each member congregation. The board hires a staff to keep the organization together and to assist member congregations in developing strong Justice Ministry Networks.
How does Action of Greater Lansing decide what issues to work on?
Member congregations conduct hundreds of guided conversations every year in order to identify the most pressing community concerns. Congregations then gather at a ‘Community Problems Assembly’ to vote a problem priority for the upcoming year.
Member congregations work together in a three-step annual process following a timeline designed by the board of directors. Congregations organize a “Justice Ministry Network” within their individual congregations to improve communication and accountability. Through the “Justice Ministry Networks” member congregations aim to involve 100% of their average worshiping attendance in their “Justice Ministry” at least once a year at Action’s largest assembly of the year, the Nehemiah Action Assembly.