A study conducted by Brad R. Fulton, assistant professor in the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, identifies a “pathway” that can help marginalized individuals become more integrated into civic engagement: faith-based community organizing coalitions. Fulton points out:
These coalitions bring together groups from different religious backgrounds to address social, economic and political issues.
…such coalitions can help integrate marginalized individuals into the larger society, and they promote a compelling narrative that poor and working-class communities can improve their quality of life through broad-based organizing.
While Fulton’s study was born out of Anti-Muslim rhetoric in political campaigns and questions about the marginalization of Muslim Americans, he makes a widely applicable case about faith-based coalitions:
Unlike some coalitions that form in response to a particular issue and then dissolve, these coalitions are enduring structures,” he added. “They are there for the long haul, and their ongoing presence allows them to be nimble and responsive to new issues as they arise.
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Contributor: Brian Stewart, Pepperdine School of Public Policy, MPP Candidate ’15.