Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Feb 1, 2005
Parker-Sawyers named director of new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

INDIANAPOLIS (February 1, 2005) ? Governor Mitch Daniels has named an Indianapolis community service leader as his first director for the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Paula Parker-Sawyers will lead the state?s effort to strengthen volunteerism and community service and to increase partnering opportunities with faith-based organizations.

?Hoosiers are helpers, and their spirit of volunteerism and community service is second to none. We are a state full of people who pitch in to get things done, and Paula will harness that activity to create a statewide structure that encourages sharing of best practices and cultivates more volunteer opportunities,? said the governor.

Daniels signed Executive Order 05-16 on January 11 to create the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which will have a direct relationship with his office. The previous activities of FaithWorks Indiana and the Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service are being consolidated into this new initiative. The office will serve as a link for Hoosiers to learn about opportunities to participate in state government and to share information with more people about successful faith-based and community-based programs.

Parker-Sawyers has served as the associate director of the Polis Center at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) since September 2001. There, she directed the Spirit and Place Festival, an annual citywide collaboration of more than 150 community organizations highlighting the humanities, arts, and religious traditions in central Indiana.

Prior to her work at the Polis Center, Parker-Sawyers was the director of a national pilot known as the Friendly Access Program at the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County. She also held multiple positions at IUPUI, including special assistant to the IUPUI chancellor, director of the Office of Neighborhood Resources and the director of Leadership Works. Through these efforts she helped create a diversity cabinet involving students, faculty and staff, worked to improve relationships between the campus and nearby neighborhood residents, and trained more than 600 people in six cities in Indiana and Michigan about the responsibilities of a non-profit board of directors.

?We have a strong history of volunteerism in Indiana, and I?ll work under the governor?s direction to create more opportunity to impact and improve volunteerism,? said Parker-Sawyers. ?Community activism and volunteerism is a way of life for many and we can use their efforts to improve our communities.?

Parker-Sawyers was a member of the Indianapolis City-County Council from 1976 to 1983 and was deputy mayor of the city from 1989 to 1991.

She will begin the director?s position on February 11.


Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622