Resistance & Resilience:
Sustaining Faithful Action for Justice & Solidarity in a Hurting World
A Social Justice Summit for Progressive Faith Activists
How are we--progressive people of faith--called to respond to the urgent needs of this political moment? Why does it matter that we approach our work as religious people, and as members of congregations and faith communities? What does solidarity look like with people who are most directly impacted by injustice? How do we speak authentically, morally, and rootedly from our many diverse religious traditions about why justice is our moral imperative? And how do we sustain our spirits, our energy, our communities when there is so much to drain us and fill us with despair?
Join MUUSJA, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, for Resistance & Resilience: Sustaining Faithful Action for Justice & Solidarity in a Hurting World. We will explore these questions and more, with the help of local and national organizers, religious leaders, artists, musicians, and activists. The program will include moving interfaith worship, plenary discussions with religious leaders and political visionaries about the spiritual-political times we are in, collaborative strategizing for action and impact, a wide variety of workshops led by experienced justice leaders, and opportunities to build relationships with one another through reflection and discussion. Confirmed presenters include Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout, Zr. Alex Kapitan, Nora Rasman, Rev. Sean Dennison, Rev. Kelli Clement, Rev. Steve Newcom, Liz Loeb, Arif Mamdani, Rev. Ashley Harness, and Rev. Ashley Horan -- with more presenters being confirmed soon!
This event is open to all people of faith who are interested in building skills, relationships, theological grounding, and power to transform the world for justice. In particular, we encourage Social Justice teams from congregations around the state to consider traveling together to participate in this powerful, connective, capacity building event!
Scholarships will be available for those who need financial assistance; if you'd like to request a scholarship, please register for the event, and select the cash option at checkout. Please email Rev. Ashley Horan at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a partial or full scholarship.
MUUSJA is thrilled to welcome an all-star group of Featured Presenters, all of whom serve as faithful, creative, strategic, cutting edge thinkers about the intersections of faith and justice in intersectional, interfaith movements across the country.
Rev. Paul Langston-Daley
Senior Program Leader for Justice Building, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Rev. Paul Langston-Daley identifies, recruits, and engages congregations and other groups to deepen their justice and human rights work and involvement with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee in a variety of ways. As UUSC’s senior program leader for justice building, Langston-Daley grows the capacity of UU congregations to pursue sustained, systemic social change work. Prior to working at UUSC, Langston-Daley served a number of UU congregations, large and small, in five states. He has been involved in community organizing for more than 15 years with the Industrial Area Foundation and PICO National Network. He also served on the steering committee to found Communities Organized for Relational Power and Action in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Ordained in 1997, Langston-Daley is a graduate of Andover Newton Theological School and the International Institute for Restorative Practices. He is passionate about social justice and human rights, and he has been involved in LGBT rights, reproductive rights, immigration issues, restorative justice projects, and Black Lives Matter.
Rev. Sean Parker Dennison
Rev. Sean Parker Dennison is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and was ordained in 2000. He has served congregations in Stockton, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Luis Obispo, CA and McHenry, IL. He also considers his active social media presence a part of his ministry, including posting daily prayers on Twitter and Facebook since 2011.
Sean has served the Unitarian Universalist Association in a number of ways over the years: as a member of the Accountability Group for the Justice GA 2012; chair of the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee; member of the board of Starr King School for the Ministry; and as one of the founders of TrUUsT—an organization for transgender ministers and religious professionals in the UUA. He was honored to give the 2015 Berry Street Essay, "Mission Impossible: Why Failure is Not an Option."
Zr. Alex Kapitan
Co-Founder, Transforming Hearts Collective
Zr. Alex Kapitan is a trainer, speaker, consultant, editor, anti-oppression activist, and transgender and queer lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Alex worked for eight years at the UUA’s national office, supporting anti-racism, Welcoming Congregation, and social justice programming and organizing, and currently serves on the steering committee of TRUUsT, an organization of transgender UU religious professionals. After leaving the UUA Alex co-founded the Transforming Hearts Collective, which does workshops, trainings, and consultancies with faith communities around radical inclusion and other topics.
Campaign Director, Standing on the Side of Love
Nora is the current Campaign Manager at Standing on the Side of Love. She joined the campaign in February 2014. Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Nora was involved with UU youth leadership development work both in her district as well as nationally through Groundwork Anti-Racism Trainers Collective and YRUU (Young Religious UU) Steering Committee. Prior to joining the campaign, Nora worked domestic and international advocacy and policy while also doing anti-racist organizational development work with DC-based non-profit organizations. She gets joy living in the nexus between social justice + art, scheming about organizational development, cultural equity and organizing, doing graphic facilitation/recording, event and party planning.
Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout
Director of Music & Worship Arts, the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI
Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout is Director of Worship and Music for First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he has served for ten years. Dr. Rideout was appointed choral director for the 2016 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, music director for the GA worship service of Church of the Larger Fellowship, and liturgist for GA Sunday morning worship. Dr. Rideout was named Director of Worship and Music for the 2017 New England Regional Assembly, featured panelist and closing worship leader for the Unitarian Universalist - United Nations Office 2017 Spring Symposium on the eradication of armed conflict. His writings on liberal religion, worship, and music have published by the Church of the Larger Fellowship and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Rev. Karen Van Fossan
Minister, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship & Church of Bismarck/Mandan, ND
Karen Van Fossan serves as minister of UUFCBM, which has been a close partner with the Water Protectors at Standing Rock for the duration of the ongoing struggle there to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline and work for indigenous sovereignty. Under Rev. Van Fossan's ministry, UUFCMB has become a collaborative partner with the new Inter-Nātional Initiative for Transformative Collaboration (INITC), and was a co-organizer of inter-faith prayer opportunities at Oceti Sakowin camp, as well as the larger Bismarck area. Karen is a foster mom, licensed counselor, humanities scholar, and activist.
MINNESOTA FAITH AND JUSTICE LEADERS
Rev. Kelli Clement
Associate Minister, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis
Rev. Kelli Clement is one of the Assistant Ministers at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, where coordinating the Society’s social justice ministry is her central task. She has worked as the Training and Curriculum Consultant for the Religious Coalition for the Reproductive Choice and as the Executive Director for the Minnesota affiliate of RCRC. A graduate of United Theological Seminary, she now serves on the United Board and is a current doctoral student there. Kelli lives in South Minneapolis with her husband and daughter, Mike & Sofia, and poodle Memphis.
Rev. Ashley Harness
Pastor, Lyndale United Church of Christ
Rev. Ashley Harness is ordained in the United Church of Christ as is also a communications strategist with almost a decade of experience in non-profit media work. When she is not enjoying leading worship, standing for justice or listening deeply in pastoral care with us at Lyndale, she is serving as Director of Communications at the Center for Progressive Renewal to help progressive churches across the country grow. She also consults through Auburn Theological Seminary’s digital organizing and media teams, providing confidential training and counsel to religious leaders seeking to use social and traditional media as a pulpit. You can follow her writing on the Huffington Post and on her personal blog as well. Ashley received her Masters of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary in 2012 and her Bachelor of Arts at Brown University in 2005.
Dr. Liz Loeb
Associate Director, The Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice, & Social Transformation
Liz Loeb is a community organizer, academic, and civil rights attorney with over twenty years of experience in working with intersectional movements towards justice. Liz holds a B.A. from Brown University, a J.D. from New York University, and having completed her Ph.D. work in Law and Society at New York University, and comes to The Kaleo Center after time with the national American Civil Liberties Union, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, and TakeAction Minnesota. As a member of LGBTQ and Jewish communities here in the Twin Cities, Liz has both instigated and supported local multi faith efforts to resist the violence of white supremacy in our practices and institutions and to move towards deeper and more accountable liberation.
Associate Director, The Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice, & Social Transformation
Arif grew up in Oak Park, IL, earned his undergraduate degree from Drew University, and spent a few years living and working in New York City before returning to the Midwest. Prior to joining the Kaleo Center, Arif worked at the Progressive Technology Project, the Seasons Fund for Social Transformation, and TakeAction Minnesota. Arif is a member of First Universalist Church of Minneapolis, and serves on the boards of the Movement Strategy Center and the UU Church of the Larger Fellowship.
Rev. Steve Newcom
Founding Director, The Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice, & Social Transformation
Rev. Steve Newcom is the founding director of the Kaleo Center for Faith, Justice & Social Transformation at United Theological Seminary. Newcom was awarded an Archibald Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship in 2007 to research the intersection of theological education and social justice ministry. The research identified a fundamental gap within Seminary education around the applied competencies of social transformation and effective public witness. The Center was launched in 2010 to address this gap with the mission of advancing social transformation as a practical theological discipline and core ministerial competency. Prior to founding the Center, Steve served the Headwaters Foundation for Justice as the Executive Director for 18 years and prior to that worked for the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.
4:30-6:30pm - Registration
5:30-6:30pm - Opening Reception & Social Hour (included in registration)
6:30-7:00pm - "Singing for Our Lives:" A Community Sing with Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout
7:00-7:30pm - Opening Worship
7:30-9:00pm - Opening Plenary
8:00-9:00am - Continental Breakfast (additional $10/person)
8:30-9:00am - Morning Practices for Resistance & Resilience
9:00-10:00am - Panel Discussion & Small Group Breakouts
10:00-10:15am - Break
10:15 - 11:45am - WORKSHOP I
11:45am - 12pm - Break
12:00 - 1:00pm - Lunch (included in registration)
1:00 - 2:30pm - WORKSHOP II
2:30 - 2:45pm - Break
2:45 - 4:15pm - WORKSHOP III
4:30 - 5:30pm - Closing (worship, small group discussion, reflections)
Click here for details and registration.