Living the Common Good(s): The Promise and Challenge of Activisms Today

"How Religious Studies Can Take Over the World"
Leader: Nathan Schneider

This participatory discussion will explore ways in which scholars of religion might engage more deeply in the wider public square, both through publication and non-academic employment — and why the world desperately needs them to.

"Taking Place: Squatting and Organizing with and As the Homeless"
Leader: George Schmidt, Union Theological Seminary

This workshop will invite participants to learn about the realities of urban homelessness and consider actions that insist on real change around this problem. The primary resources for this work come not from the experiences and analysis of those who have shelter but from the efforts among the homeless to organize and take action for themselves.

"Divest and Reinvest – Climate Change Campaigns for Campuses and Faith Groups"
Leader: Rev. Fletcher Harper, Executive Director, GreenFaith

Participants in this workshop will learn about how to organize and carry out a fossil fuel divestment campaign in their faith community and/or on their campus.  GreenFaith is organizing such efforts in faith communities and has created a sample resolution, and gathered materials, to assist faith groups in this regard.

"Standing in the Intersection: An Interactive Conversation on Race, Sexuality, Activism, and Religiosity"
Leader: Darnell L. Moore

This interactive workshop will engage participants in a dialogue exploring the interconnections between race, queer sexualities, activism and Christian thought. Using examples from work done in Newark, NJ, the facilitator will lead a discussion that will ultimately lead to the development of strategies that can be used to guide social justice and equity work done within and without church settings.

"An Hour on Route 78: Bridging Environmental and Economic Landscapes Through Partnership"
Leader: Leena Waite and Debi Hall-Dean

Leena Waite of America's Grow-a-Row in Pittstown and Debi Hall-Dean of Partners in ACTS in Newark present their organizations and share how their rural and urban communities have come together to share fresh healthy produce for those in need. The reality of food deserts AND food swamps is very present in New Jersey and contributes to our national health epidemic and its costs. What are the realities of these two communities and what is our theological response?

"From the Pulpit to the Streets: Empowering God's People for Social and Economic Justice"
Leader: Michael Sniffen

Drawing on insights from the work of the Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, a hub for Occupy Sandy, this workshop investigates the connection between worship and direct social action inspired by the gospel What does it take to activate a faith community in the local struggle for economic and social justice? What happens when people of faith take to the streets in transgressive ways?

"A Model of Interfaith Understanding Through Interfaith Organizing"
Leader: Stevi Lischin, Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought

This workshop will explore the promise and challenges of building interfaith understanding through community organizing. The workshop leader is Stevi Lischin, co-founder of the Project for Intercultural Development, which she founded in 1985 with her husband and colleague, Dr. Robert Smith. Lischin also serves as co-coordinator of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought.


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