Trevecca Nazarene University has received a $200,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Human Services to establish the Center for Human Flourishing, a program that will equip service providers with training and resources to help individuals and families with low income improve their stations in life and become less dependent on government financial assistance.
Specifically, the Center for Human Flourishing is a Trevecca initiative that will use ongoing training, online resources and year-long cohorts to prepare Tennesseans for the work of human flourishing and holistic poverty alleviation. In the context of the program, human flourishing is attained when individuals possess the abilities and assets to live a good life in relation to God, oneself, others, and the world around them.
“Uplifting vulnerable Tennesseans to a place where they no longer need government assistance goes beyond simply providing the service,” said Clarence H. Carter, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services. “Trevecca’s Center for Human Flourishing introduces an approach centered on holistic well-being, addressing the barriers to self-sufficiency that aren’t as tangible as traditional services. We are proud to partner with Trevecca and other sectors to transform how Tennessee works together to create the enabling conditions for all to thrive.”
In basic terms, the center recognizes that poverty alleviation goes well beyond economics and seeks to address the problem holistically. It advocates for a cultural shift in thinking and aims to help people live lives of meaning and purpose, to value others and to be valued, to contribute to the thriving of their families and communities, and to feel whole and complete themselves.
“I am excited to step into the arena of poverty alleviation,” Trevecca President Dr. Dan Boone said. “The vision of Commissioner Carter to lift Tennesseans out of poverty into a life that thrives is something that Trevecca will gladly align with and serve.”
The mission and vision of the Center for Human Flourishing are stated this way:
Equipping leaders for holistic poverty alleviation and the thriving of all Tennesseans. Together we can grow capacity and reduce dependency in the lives of individuals and families.
The center will resource frontline workers and leaders engaged in reducing dependency and increasing upward stability for individuals and families across the state. A two-pronged approach will equip individuals and organizations with the tools for holistic poverty alleviation and human flourishing:
- Year-long cohorts (one for churches and one for non-church organizations/community centers) will meet online monthly to train with leaders from across the country. Additional resources for these cohorts will include in-person training sessions on Trevecca’s campus, access to online resources, and the opportunity to apply for proof-of-concept grants from the center.
- Resources for all Tennesseans will include open invitations to in-person events and access to online resources and recorded training modules.
The project is funded under a grant contract with the State of Tennessee, and Trevecca Associate Provost Jim Hiatt is the principal investigator for the grant.
“We are thrilled about working with cooperating organizations to ultimately help people shake off the chains of generational poverty,” Hiatt said. “Trevecca is a great fit for this project because we’ll be building on our existing work assisting those who suffer from socioeconomic disadvantages.”
For more information about Trevecca’s Center for Human Flourishing, contact Center Director Jeremy Height.