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January 13, 2007

Springfield News Sun

Poverty and foreclosures targeted at civil rights lunch

 

 

Living the dream Celebrating civil rights

Poverty and foreclosures targeted at civil rights lunch

Speaker says Ohio leads the nation in foreclosures, which can be caused by job losses, medical problems, divorces and predatory lending.

By By Samantha Sommer

Staff Writer

Saturday, January 13, 2007

 
Scattered pieces of a puzzle don't add up to much.

Put them all together and they make a beautiful picture, said the Rev. Eli Williams of Urban Light Ministries.

That's the case with many services to aid the poor, Williams said Friday at the city of Springfield's annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

"We must fit the pieces together," Williams said.

The event focused on poverty and foreclosures. Bill Faith, executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, served as the keynote speaker.

Ohio leads the nation in foreclosures, Faith said, which can be caused by job losses, medical problems, divorces and predatory lending.

He described a new state law to combat predatory lending and future goals, such as dealing with vacant homes and affordable housing.

"It is incumbent upon all of us ... to carry on the dream of Dr. King, not just for an open society that all people can participate in, but for economic justice and access to wealth building," Faith said.

The event also included the presentation of peacemaker awards to high school students and a poster contest for younger pupils.

Mayor Warren Copeland urged the more than 300 guests to focus on uniting the community behind the new combined high school, as he believes King would do.

On the same note, the Springfield High Gospel Choir held its first performance at the luncheon.

Arlin "Par" Tolliver, executive director of MUZIKA, started the choir of North and South high school students to get them in the mindset of one school.

"Music speaks to all cultures," Tolliver said. "This was just one way of getting them to come together."

 

 

 
 
 

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