Joining Our Neighbors, Advancing Hope -- or JONAH -- held a special 10th anniversary event at the Eau Claire Children's Theater this evening. Fox 25/48's Tajma Hall attended the celebration and has more on how the organization has impacted social justice in the community.
"I went from felon, incarcerated, feeling like nothing to empowered and I have purpose, I have community and I couldn’t have done that without JONAH." Speakers share inspirational testimonies of how the local organization, JONAH has impacted them.
With ten years of working for justice and peace in the Chippewa Valley, JONAH continues to see support from the community.
"When JONAH first was talked about in the community, we were part of 11 affiliates in the state of Wisconsin under an organization called Wisdom. When they first came to see if we wanted to create an affiliate here in this area we were excited and that was ten years ago."
Community members gathered to support JONAH while enjoying food, entertainment, inspirational speakers, and a silent auction to raise money for the organization. On this 10th anniversary, JONAH’s mission is still clear.
"Our goal is to advance hope in the community by addressing causes of inequality, injustice, basically to try to make the community fairer for everybody."
"If you can create a community where we're addressing all needs and we know what those needs are that’s the most important thing to know, what are people in this community experiencing that maybe we're not even aware of so once we know those then we can address and come up with some solutions."
JONAH has tackled many important community issues in the past decade, but recently immigration has been a focus.
"One of the challenges that immigrants face is that they're no longer able if they're undocumented to get driver's licenses and yet Wisconsin counts on their work in order to sustain the dairy industry, the food processing industry, the restaurant industry. We need those people, but we make it difficult for them to drive legally."
And leaders of JONAH say they look forward to continuing to make an impact in the community by focusing on issues that matter.
Reporting from Eau Claire, Tajma Hall, Fox 25/48 First News at Nine.