The Values Guiding Practice Spirit, Do Justice
"Every step towards liberation must have liberation in it" ~ Gandhian Practice
Although doing multi-faith, multi-racial, diverse organizing is challenging, our time together is about building our capacity to organize for collective liberation.
"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." ~ Audre Lorde
We love this quote because it challenges us to all hold our complex differences without diffusing or dismissing any of them.
"We are taught that the body is an ignorant animal and that intelligence dwells only in the head. But the body is smart. It does not discern between external stimuli and stimuli from the imagination. It reacts equally viscerally to events from the imagination as it does to real events." ~ Gloria Anzaldua
The conference is a space that welcomes everyone in their complex identities, bodies and experiences. We believe that the most important way to practice radical welcome is to ensure that issues of power, privilege and oppression are clearly named and explored throughout the conference.
The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference." ~ Audre Lorde
This is a sacred space that is rooted in radical welcome. We encourage participants to engage in difficult dialogue, find ways to bridge the complexity of their experiences and experience the joy of relationship building.
If you want to help someone, you must organize. Paul Wellstone
As a practicing Jew, Senator Wellstone recognized that our religious and faith traditions call us into concrete action that can make peoples' lives better and the world a more faithful place. This conference, in its title, recognizes that we must be about BOTH practicing our spiritual traditions AND doing the work for justice in the world.
Practice Spirit, Do Justice is a leadership development conference for the pro-LGBT spiritual and religious movement. As such, we are looking for workshops that are focused in one or more of the following areas: personal transformation, intersectionality and concrete skills-building.
- Personal Transformation — Given the gender-phobia, homophobia and heterosexism of our culture and our religious and spiritual traditions, far too often LGBT people experience themselves as powerless victims. In order to build strong leaders, our movement must help individuals move from a sense of disempowerment to one of agency, empowerment and action. Workshops in the area of Personal Transformation will focus on helping participants make the move to empowerment and action.
- Intersectionality — The times when our religious and spiritual traditions gather for prayer, practice and worship are some of the most segregated times in America. If our pro-LGBT religious movement is to be successful, it is incumbent upon us to engage issues of race, class, ability, age and embodiment as we talk about gender identity and sexual orientation. Workshops in this area will explore the ways in which anti-oppression work is at its best and most effective when it engages the intersections of oppressions.
- Concrete Skills-Building — As a pro-LGBT religious and spiritual movement, we need leaders who have the tools and training to act proactively and strategically. Workshops in this area will offer new tools and training for participants in the areas of faith-based community organizing, media training, board development, fund-raising, research, theology, capacity-building and other concrete skills.