Social Justice Presentation by Joe Micon

Bending Toward Justice – LUM’s 40 Years of Influence in the Public Square

Joe Micon, LUM executive director emeritus and two-term retired Indiana state representative, gave a special presentation in 2019 entitled, “Bending Toward Justice – LUM’s 40 Years of Influence in the Public Square.” and reflected on the impact LUM has had, over the decades, working toward social justice and advocacy on behalf of families.

In addition to his many landmark accomplishments as the LUM executive director from 1990 to 2020, Joe Micon also took the LUM Social Justice Ministry to another level of engagement and advocacy. The first social worker ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly, Joe served two terms, from 2004 to 2008.  His legislative accomplishments include increasing Indiana’s minimum wage, authoring full day kindergarten, making state taxes more progressive, providing greater funding for K-12 remediation and expanding Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program. Consumer protections were strengthened, death rates for teen drivers decreased and our community found in Joe Micon a tireless advocate for Purdue University.  

As LUM celebrates the 40th Anniversary of Social Justice, Joe’s presentation remains an important historical overview of the influences of the LUM Social Justice Ministry for decades. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 1979 – LUM advocates and wins WIC for Tippecanoe County
  • 1980-1986 – LUM Seeds of Vision Conferences hosted
  • 1981 – Free Textbooks for Low income public school children – LUM drafts & helps pass this bill

  • 1983 – LUM committed to intentional and formal Social Justice Ministry
    • LUM Social Justice Ministry director position created, and the first director was Joe Micon
    • LUM Advocacy Program established
    • LUM Public Policy Committee published, “Agenda for Social Concerns
  • 1983-1988 – Indiana Task Force on Poor Relief established
  • 1988-2001- Indiana Welfare Watch established
  • 1989 – Advocated for and influenced Indiana Township Poor Relief Reform
    • Uniform statewide poor relief guidelines for all townships
    • Uniform caseload and fiscal reporting for all townships
    • Lafayette voters defeat Fairfield Township Trustee incumbent
  • 1994 – LUM Public Policy Research – $175,000 raised for research and publication
  • 2001-2022 – LUM Campaign for Hoosier Families established and publishes email newsletter
  • 2014 – LUM Immigration Clinic established
  • 2022-present – LUM Social Justice Team established

For the full presentation, check out the presentation SLIDES or the presentation VIDEO.

If you wish to invest or get engaged in the LUM Social Justice Ministry, make a donation or volunteer today. For more information, click HERE.


  • Joe Micon –
    • Warren County Council president,
    • Indiana State Representative 
  • Eileen Weiss –
    • Lafayette City Clerk,
    • Lafayette City Council
  • CJ Brown –
    • LSC School Board
  • Lorrain Rund –
    • TSC School Board
  • Perry Brown –
    • Lafayette City Council
  • Patti O’Callaghan –
    • West Lafayette City Council
  • Kathy Parker –
    • West Lafayette City Council
  • Monica Casanova –
    • Fairfield Township Trustee
  • Angel Valentin –
    • Wabash Township Trustee


  • Martin Luther King Day – First nonprofit or business in our community to provide paid holiday for staff
  • Mother Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC – Joe Micon travels to church and offers support and friendship on behalf of LUM and the Lafayette Faith Community
  • Racial Equality Action Plan (REAP) – LUM board implements 
  • Eberts Diversity Library installed in youth center
  • Martin Luther King 50th anniversary of “I have a Dream” speech – LUM takes 15 LUM students Washington DC for the event
  • Juneteenth – LUM provides paid holiday when it became a federal holiday

Legislative Victories

  • Free Textbooks for Low income public school children
  • Earned income tax credit
  • Child and family dependent care credit
  • Removal of 7% sales tax on LIHEAP
  • Increase in free textbook aid
  • Increase in Indiana state minimum wage from $5.15/hr to $7.25/hr
  • Increased in summer remediation and ISTEP remediation
  • Increase in full day kindergarten
  • Continue funding for Indiana’s 21st Century Scholars Program 
  • Credit Freeze Law protecting Hoosiers from Credit Report scams
  • Increase in Indiana’s teen driving age
  • Medicaid Expansion in Indiana

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