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.
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 ...

30 JAN, 2020

How many times in the last year has this city lost a child at the hands of another child?"-Barack ObamaWe know the statistics - that children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and twenty times more likely to end up in prison. They are more likely to have behavioral problems, or run away from home, or become teenage parents themselves. And the foundations of our community are weaker because of it.How many times have our hearts stopped in the middle of the night with the sound of a gunshot or a siren? How many teenagers have we seen hanging around on street corners when they should be sitting in a classroom, working, or at least looking for a job? How many in this generation are we willing to lose to poverty or violence or addiction?Yes, we need more cops on the street...But we also need families to raise our children. We need fathers ...

30 DEC, 2019

Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."-Oprah WinfreyHere it is, the end of another year. A year of great memories and probably some things we'd like to forget. We aren't perfect--we are merely little lead tokens moving around the Monopoly board, hoping to "get it right," to pick up some good properties and a Get Out Of Jail Free card in case we land in the wrong spot.The simple quote by Oprah Winfrey is testament to a woman who in her enormous success still knew she needed to get it right. Born to an unmarried teenage mother, she spent her first six years living in rural poverty with her grandmother, Hattie Mae. Her grandmother taught her to read before the age of three and took her to the local church, where she was nicknamed "The Preacher" for her ability to recite Bible verses.When you think about the fact that as a child, Winfrey was so poor, she often wore dresses made of potato sacks, it is stunning that ...

27 NOV, 2019

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me insufficient for that day."-Abraham LincolnThe nation was at war with itself. In 1863 the Civil War had raged for more than two tortuous years, and few felt the heavy pain of responsibility more keenly than President Abraham Lincoln.Thanksgiving as a national holiday did not exist. Although George Washington had called for a day to give thanks on October 3, 1789, for the many "favors of Almighty God [leading to] the peaceable establishment of our government," it was not expected to be repeated. In the ensuing years, a few states designated different days of thanksgiving, but nothing was celebrated on a national scale.Enter Sarah Hale, the 74-year-old magazine editor of the popular Godey's Lady's Book. She believed our country should be united in thanks to God for all His blessings--in spite of ...

31 OCT, 2019

I'd rather work in reentry anywhere in Indiana but Marion County." -Anonymous My wife Nancy was asked to be the moderator for a panel discussion on faith-based reentry for the Marion County Reentry Coalition's very popular annual conference. In preparation, she met with a number of folks who work in reentry for the state. Since we don't have private offices at UNITE INDY and work at shared-workspace tables, I overheard one state employee tell her he'd rather work on reentry anywhere in the state but Marion County. I stopped what I was doing and started to listen. "Why?" She asked. He remarked that reentry organizations in Indianapolis "do not play well with others." He said, "Unlike other counties, they don't join with other organizations that work in reentry to tackle the larger problems we have. Take Fort Wayne, for example. There is a monthly luncheon where all the secular and faith-based groups get together. They share their succe...

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2nd Chance Indiana
241 West 38th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208


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