Faith & Action Spring Conference 2024
Economic Disparities: What is Our Role?
Christian Theological Seminary invites you to join representatives from area congregations, nonprofit, and government sectors on the morning of April 18th for the 2024 Faith & Action Spring Conference. This year’s event will kick off with a keynote featuring Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President & Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and invited lecturer at Harvard University. Washington will explore the ways poverty, race, and class collude to impede meaningful change and the ways community members can dismantle the prevailing narratives that keep people in poverty. Following the keynote and discussion, there will be a panel discussion identifying policies that can reduce inequality and increase opportunity.
Keynote Presentation, Q&A, and Panel Discussion
Engaging at the Intersections: Exploring Race, Class, and Poverty
Deuteronomy 15:11 is often cited as the reason that we can expect that poverty will never end. However, it also states that we as people of faith have a responsibility to take action if we care about humanity.
This year’s keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President & Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and invited lecturer at Harvard University, will invite us to engage the dynamics of poverty with an intersectional lens. While we often see that poverty impacts populations differently based on race, this year’s focus will offer us an opportunity to explore how the intersections of race and class inform our analysis of the problems and should direct our actions. The keynote presentation will be followed by a Q&A opportunity for participants to interact with the speaker.
The panel discussion features panelists Josh Riddick, Faith In Indiana; Rabbi Aaron Spiegel, Greater Indianapolis Multifaith Alliance; and Sam Sniderman, United Way of Central Indiana. Public policy is a big part of the solution to addressing economic inequality and our panelists will share details on current policies that need our attention. Attendees will be empowered to engage in advocacy work surrounding early childhood education, child poverty, housing insecurity, and mental health. Participants will learn:
- How you can plug into a coalition working to reduce poverty
- How you can take action relative to Faith In Indiana’s campaign to reduce the incarceration of folks with mental illnesses and substance abuse
- How you and your faith community can join GIMA’s efforts to reduce the number of evictions through their court watching initiative
- Current policies that are directly related to supporting children at risk, specifically around education, childcare, and early learning
Please note that attendance at the Spring Conference main event (morning session) is a prerequisite for organizations wanting to apply for a Faith & Action grant. Conference registration closes April 15.
Workshop & Lunch
Building Capacity to Be a Change Agent
To be a bridge builder or a voice calling for change takes a lot of courage. How can we embody our faith traditions in ways that can lead to systemic change? How can we use our voice and position to fight for equity and economic mobility?
This Workshop Will:
- Focus on developing tools and skills for productive, ground-up conversations about poverty and inequality.
- Invite us to go deeper into living into our values to accomplish our goals and how to keep issues of poverty, equity, and inclusion grounded as matters of human dignity not as political issues.
- Share best practices to handle situations when misinformation or incorrect narratives have been shared and tools for de-escalating elevated feelings around social justice.
- Explore the dynamics that get in the way of real change and what actions we can implement.
- Provide an opportunity for small group discussions on how our faith and sacred text guide our actions.
Participants receive CE (Continuing Education) credits. Cost for the workshop and lunch is $100.
Pre-Event Article Discussion Groups
To prepare for Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington’s presentation at the Faith & Action Spring Conference on April 18th and to encourage engagement with Washington’s ideas, themes, and solutions offered, CTS is hosting a pair of small group discussions hosted by CTS faculty member Rev. Dr. Nick Peterson. The articles address multiple systemic issues, such as housing access and substance abuse resources and provide insights on how race and class can impact stability, economic opportunity, and wellbeing. Discussions will lend insights and prepare us for the spring conference themes.
- April 9 – Online discussion group at 1pm Eastern
- April 10 – In-Person discussion group at 12pm Eastern at Christian Theological Seminary
You can Register for these events by clicking here.