Jim's Quotes

Jim Cotterill co-founded 2nd Chance Indiana (as UNITE INDY) in late 2016. After a decade as the founding president of National Christian Foundation Indiana following several years developing a chain of Business Journals across the country, he and his wife, Nancy, were led to serve those coming out of long term incarceration by helping them find and keep jobs that pay a living wage. Jim and Nancy believe that, through the dignity of work, reentrants' lives can be changed and their families can be lifted out of poverty.
30 NOV, 2020

When you attack poverty you attack racism; when you just attack racism, you're still stuck with poverty."-Greg EnasGreg Enas is no stranger to the effort of improving lives. As a PhD in Biostatistics, he was trained in researching questions in medicine and biology to improve pubic health. His working life is all about turning data into knowledge in his work as a strategic planner.But Greg sees a broader picture when he addresses public health here in Indianapolis. He sees kids who are hungry, mothers who can't pay the rent, and men who need jobs and can't support their families. Poverty affects everything. From the health and well-being of the family to the increase in crime and the overwhelming hopelessness and high unemployment of entire neighborhoods.Racism is an insidious infection that has been around for far too long. Why would we accept that? There may always be haters, but if we attack poverty we can help those who have been mos...

30 OCT, 2020

Remember, amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic"-Sir Richard NeedhamSir Richard was a Brit, known for his wit, and even though no one really knows now to what he was referring, his quip is a powerful reminder of the great value of a motivated amateur.After years of working with those in our poorest neighborhoods, we are convinced that while racism still exists, the overwhelming divider of people is really poverty. Whatever color our skin, grinding poverty limits our choices, affects our health and education, causes discord in the home, and can promote crime. Poverty affects the whole family, and generational poverty condemns its children.The tremendous poverty in many of Indy's neighborhoods is caused in large part by the very high percentage of formerly-incarcerated people who live there. For those individuals, the chances of getting a job has been slim to nil. In these high-unemployment neighborhoods, the entire area...

30 SEP, 2020

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it."-Charles SwindollnRecently, our family took advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to rent a house on the shore of Lake Michigan. We got into a conversation about some of the things I had done, where I had worked, and the inevitable questions, "what happened then?"They say life cannot be understood as you move from day to day, but if you look back over the decades it becomes pretty obvious there was a plan all along—a hand guiding you, even while you made mistakes or found yourself in a bad place. When you reach that point, the words from Romans 8:28 seem to speak directly to you: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."Me? I am called? I never would have thought so. I could tell you stories! But the day I woke up in intensive care at Munson Medical Center in Travers City, Michigan, with a br...

31 AUG, 2020

If you take away religion, you can't hire enough police..."-A Chinese Marxist to Clay ChristiansenClay Christiansen was a Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Forbes called him "one of the most influential business theorists of the last 50 years."He is an unassuming man who stands 6'8" and played college basketball. But this video has made him more broadly famous than any of his intellectual works. As a professor at Harvard he had a student who was a Marxist economist from China finishing a Fulbright scholarship. Christiansen asked him if there was anything surprising about what he had learned in his time in the U.S.Without any hesitation, he said, "Yes, I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy. The reason why democracy works," he said, "is not because the government was designed to oversee what everybody does, but democracy works because most people, most of the time volunta...

31 JUL, 2020

If you change the way ?you look at things, the things you look at change"-Wayne DyerWayne Dyer spent his first ten years in an orphanage after his father walked out leaving his mother penniless. Though he'd been tossed away by his father, a man he'd learn to hate, Dyer survived.He became a high school counselor, getting troubled teens to focus on positive thinking and their goals rather than their difficulties. In 1976, Dyer took a few weeks off and wrote his first book on that very subject. Your Erroneous Zones instantly became one of the top-selling books of all time, with over 100-million in print today.Over the years Dyer wrote 40 books and enjoyed all the trappings of success. But, still a gnawing hatred for his father plagued him. Finally, a few years before his death, Dyer visited his father's grave, planning to "get it all out." But standing over the grave, he began to see his run-away dad as a flawed human being who perhaps had...

30 JUN, 2020

A house divided against itself, cannot stand."-Abraham LincolnWhat unrest we have suffered this month, as one appalling murder led to more killings, many injuries, millions of hard-earned dollars in property loss and great damage to our neighborhoods, in an explosion of division. Lincoln knew a lot about division, and while his overwhelming concern was to keep the Union together as he freed those enslaved, he knew, for them, it would be a long road to equity. We are still on that road. We are. But while men like Chauvin cannot survive our judgement, to vilify all those who stand between us and violence is as unfair as the death of George Floyd. There must be middle ground. Division and destruction does not lead to progress.Progress is made by people standing together. Consider the conquests of Martin Luther King, Jr. who said nonviolent direct action was not saintly self-sacrifice or high-minded moralizing but a theory of power. Effecti...

29 MAY, 2020

Be yourself. Everyone else is ?already taken."-Oscar WildeIn 1854, during the Victorian era, Oscar Wilde was born into an educated family in Dublin. Highly intelligent, he spoke English, French and Greek. He was an artist, poet, playwrite, and a famous wit. But Wilde was also gay. When the father of Wilde's partner had him charged with gross indecency, Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labor in the Galway prison where he suffered miserably from dysentery and malnutrition. Still a young man, he died soon after he was released.We are each as unique as the flowers of the field. We grow from differing seeds and survive the weather of our lives in different ways. We are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, gay, straight, tall, short, thin, and fat. Some of us have had great childhoods, others not so much. Our religious practices are different, as are our understandings of the Great I Am. But at the end of the day, we are all His. No one is les...

30 APR, 2020

We were given the Scriptures to humble us into realizing that God is right, and the rest of us are just guessing." -Rich Mullins You know Rich Mullins as the writer/performer of Christian songs like "Our God Is An Awesome God," Step By Step," "Winds Of Heaven," and so many more. He was born in 1955 in a small town in eastern Indiana. He acquired a gift of music and love for God at a young age attending a Quaker church and graduated from Cincinnati Bible College. In the early '70s he got involved in the Jesus movement, though his thinking never quite fit well in that world. He was uncomfortable in "a faith that told you what you had to believe or reduced God to a set of rules." Faith, for him, was much more than that. He said "Christianity is not about building a secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or min...

31 MAR, 2020

When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is, remember the teacher ?is always quiet during a test."-AnonymousIn 1632 the Bubonic Plague that had swept through Europe finally made its way to the little village of Oberammergau, 50 miles south of Munich in Bavaria. The inhabitants had quarantined themselves, but a farmer who had been working in another town sneaked back home and within days 20 percent of the villagers were dead. It was said that you could have lunch with your friends and dinner with your ancestors, so fast did the disease take its toll. Every family lost someone, and other families were wiped out completely. Fear held every person in its grip, and today as we face a pandemic in our own time we can understand a little of how these villagers felt. We look up to the heavens with questioning eyes. Families are losing loved ones, businesses have closed their doors, and it seems like everything we hold dear ...

28 FEB, 2020

Nothing stops a bullet like a job."-Homeboy Industries' Founder Greg BoyleIn 1986 Father Gregory Boyle was assigned to the poorest Catholic parish in Los Angeles, a parish which included the largest public housing project west of the Mississippi and the highest concentration of gang activity. Since the 80s he has put together a program at Homeboy Industries that focuses on mentoring, training and jobs, changing the lives of thousands of men and women over the years.In our own city, since 2009 when Mayor Ballard introduced the YouthWorks Indy program, we have been providing jobs for young people during the summer months. Today, under Mayor Hogsett, as more and more employers are seeing the short and long term advantages of hiring at-risk youth, these available jobs number in the thousands.Meanwhile, a study by the University of Chicago found that if you give a high-risk young person a six-week summer job with some targeted mentoring, he ...

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Our mission is to reduce recidivism and rebuild lives through the dignity of work.