Monday, April 8 at 7:00pm
Graves Hall, Winants Auditorium and Gallery
263 College Avenue, Holland, MI 49423-3646
Markets & Morality and the Department of Economics and Business welcome Ismael Hernandez who will speak on the topic “From Poverty to Flourishing: Helping People the Right Way.” Hernandez, the founder and executive director of the non-profit poverty ministry, the Freedom & Virtue Institute, is passionate about effective compassion and strategies for truly helping those experiencing material poverty.
Hernandez was born in Puerto Rico to a communist-activist father and faithful Catholic mother. After coming to the States, he earned a master’s degree in political science from the University of Southern Mississippi and learned first-hand what America had to offer those seeking opportunities beyond poverty. Hernandez served for 15 years at an inner-city Catholic ministry African Caribbean American Catholic Center in the Diocese of Venice in southwest Florida. When he began there, his concern was “…we were not trying to radically challenge people. I felt we were actually part of the problem.” Ismael began to implement a vision of true compassion based on self-reliance, individual freedom, and a rejection of dependency. Soon AFCAAM began to change into a ministry geared toward educational programs and empowering people by helping them to become self-reliant. Then, 10 years ago, Hernandez founded the Freedom & Virtue Institute in Fort Myers, Florida to promote individual liberty, self-reliance and human dignity, rooted in a Christian understanding of the human person. Initiatives of FVI include school-based “Self-Reliance Clubs” for children in low-income communities to engage in entrepreneurship, a church-based “Dignity of Work” training program that assists the underemployed and unemployed, and “Effective Compassion Training” for organizations who want practical and meaningful tools for assisting those in poverty.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.