Eden Seminary hosted a series during the month of February called Black and Brown Lives Matter. The goal of this series was to look to the future and goals that the Black Lives Matter movement has. Anyone in the community and at Eden were welcome to attend the events, where there was an open dialogue and a place of learning.
The Eden series was created to engage the 13 principles of Black Lives Matter, a movement co-founded by three progressive community organizers: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.
I Define Me
The very first event was to engage Tracie Berry McGhee, M.ed.,LPC in conversation. She is a Non-violence Ambassador for the King Center and founder of SistaKeeper Empowerment Center, and international nonprofit for young women. The mental and emotional health of a community is vital for survival.
Diversity and Globalism
Carly Garcia is fighting for her husband Alex, along with Pastor Rebecca Turner to advocate for and educate others of the hardships and present laws against brown skinned folks, particularly immigrants.
Queer Clergy and Straight Communities: A Conversation
Rev. James Ross II provided space within the series to discuss the problematic order of erasing the sexual orientation of persons of color to use the magic of their being for the sake of church and society. There is a cost to remain silent.
Intergenerational, Black Families, and Black Villages
Rev. Aaron Rogers vividly discuss the strongholds of white supremacy and capitalism that uses a thumb of oppression to keep the margins of society outlined with black and brown bodies.
Roots of Spoken Word: A Practical Theological Approach
Rev. Dr. Sonja Williams led students through the good news of the gospel with the lens of an spoken word artist. Dr. Williams brings the study of aesthetics front and center as a way of truth telling through the strange and unique. Probably more commonly known as ethnography as she integrates theology and the social sciences to create a way through struggle. At the foot of the cross is culture, and wisdom, and experience that the church must engage.
Film “Just Mercy” Documentary and Reflective Study – When Restorative Justice Matters
Advancement Director, Sonya J. Vann who provides oversight to the ECFFM Task group helping students reduce their overall indebtedness, led the community in a reflective study on Restorative Justice. To earnestly build the beloved community that is sustainable, empathetic and one that grows, requires urgent attention. And the attention must be intentional towards a mercy that is just.
African American Read-In
The African American read-in brought in members of the greater community. Fathers came with their daughters, seminaries invited friends, deacons and lay leaders were able to integrate learnings from their parishes with what their friends and leaders are learning at seminary.
The Black & Brown Lives Matter Series was a glorious movement towards an inclusionary progressive church.
Below are the events and their descriptions used in Eden’s communication.