Local ‘I Am’ initiative seeks existential transformation for Newburgh

Can an existential change be one of the solutions to the City of Newburgh’s problems?

Local leaders behind an initiative called “Project I Am” believe so.

City Council members approved a resolution in support of the project, which is meant to foment a positive mindset, partly through a poster and email campaign.  On Monday Mayor Judy Kennedy will be part of a press conference announcing the initiative.

The conference will be at 11 a.m. at the corner of First and Montgomery streets.

The project’s goal is to “introduce and encourage the discussion and adoption of universal values and thereby build a vision of love, respect and safety throughout the Newburgh community as well as creating a spirit of pride,” according to a press release Kennedy emailed on Friday.

Local businesses, churches and organizations will be among the vehicles for spreading the messages, with businesses being recruited to display Project I Am posters and distribute project postcards to customers.

“The goal is to help improve personal achievement, boost overall success of all individuals and cultivate a lifelong passion for love, respect, safety and a spirit of pride within the community,” the press release said. “By creating a community focus on positive values, the team hopes to reduce or eliminate the negativity, poverty, greed and violence.”

Work on the initiative began about eight months ago, said Joel Sheets, pastor for the Newburgh campus of Grace Community Church.

The idea is to start with the “I Am Newburgh” slogan and then introduce new principle and values, each preceded by the words “I Am.” Future slogans include “I Am an Inquirer,” Sheets told the City Council.

“The explanation we give to inquirer is, ‘I actively engage in learning and will continue to learn the rest of my life,’” he said.

Visit www.ProjectIAm.org or email ProjectIAmNewburgh@gmail.com for more information about the project and how to participate.

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