The Dream Under Siege: A Panel Discussion on Racism, January 17

On Tuesday, January 17th two Portland activists, Jo Ann Hardesty and Ibrahim Mubarak, spoke to five Beaverton congregations about racism.  The presentation was entitled, “The Dream Under Siege:  A Community Forum On Racism.” It was held at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton.

Five Beaverton congregations: Murray Hills Christian Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, Spirit of Grace, and Southminster Presbyterian hosted this event as an opportunity for suburban residents to interact with leading activists in Portland to talk about critical issues facing the Portland metro in regards to diversity, race, privilege, housing, policing, gentrification and economic justice.

The Honorable JoAnn Hardesty is president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She is a community organizer and activist who advocates for those on the downside of power. She campaigns for police accountability and racial and economic justice.   She hosts Voices from the Edge Thursday mornings at 8 on KBOO.

Ibrahim Mubarak is an advocate for the rights of unhoused people, and has been involved in the houseless community, in Portland, Oregon for over 15 years. Ibrahim is a co-founder of Dignity Village (2000), Right to Survive (2009), and Right 2 Dream Too (2011).

This is the audio of that presentation (edited for time).   The event received newspaper coverage from the Beaverton Valley Times.

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Carol Howard Merritt, Healing Spiritual Wounds, January 26 – February 8

Carol Howard Merritt is an author, speaker, and minister who grew up in a white evangelical church and with an unpredictable and sometimes violent father.  These experiences shaped her view of a punitive, judgmental God.  She writes from personal experience and as professional minister about spiritual wounds inflicted by the church and how people can heal from them in her latest book.

In Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting with a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church, she discusses her experience and that of others who have been spiritually abused by authoritarianism, patriarchy, and negative self-image propagated by a fundamentalist religion. She devotes each chapter to specific wounds with exercises as to how healing can happen.

She has written several books on the church with a special focus on the needs of younger generations.  She was previously on Progressive Spirit when we discussed Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation.

Carol hosts God Complex Radio and is a regular contributor to the Christian Century, the Huffington Post and she blogs at Tribal Church.   Carol and I are both Presbyterian Church (USA) ministers and it is a pleasure to introduce her compassionate and honest work to my listeners.

This is the second in my series of interviews with holy, healing, spiritually disobedient, creative, and awakened women.

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Pacifica Radio Network
WETS, 89.5, Johnson City, TN- Th 8p and Su 2p (Eastern)
WPVM, 103.7, Asheville, NC- Su 8a (Eastern)
WEHC, 90.7, Emory, VA- Su noon, M 1p
KBOO, 90.7, Portland, OR- TBA — Beloved Community 2nd Fr 9-10a (Pacific)
KZAX, 94.9, Bellingham, WA- Su 8a (Pacific)
KCEI, 90.1, Taos, NM-TBA
WLRI,92.9, Lancaster, PA -TBA
WDRT, 91.9, Viroqua, WI – TBA
Via podcast Sunday, February 5th.

Holy, Healing, Spiritually Disobedient, Creative, and Awakened Women

I am hosting a three-part series that includes interviews with three women authors who are helping to reshape religion for the better.   Two are clergywomen and one is an actress.  Two have come out of situations of spiritual abuse and tell their stories.   Another found a way to tell the stories of unheard women in our spiritual traditions.

Angela Yarber is the creator of the Holy Women Icons Project and the author of Holy Women Icons and its accompanying Holy Women Icons Contemplative Coloring Book.     She is a clergyperson with a Ph. D. in religion and uses her art to present the voices of women who have not been celebrated or in some cases even heard in our spiritual traditions.

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Carol Howard Merritt is also a clergyperson who has written several books on the church with a special focus on the needs of younger generations.  She writes from personal experience and from her professional career about spiritual wounds inflicted by the church and how people can heal from them in her book, Healing Spiritual Wounds: Reconnecting With a Loving God After Experiencing a Hurtful Church.

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Maggie Rowe is an actress and writer.  For the past 15 years she has produced and performed in the Comedy Central stage show sitnspin.   Her background of spiritual abuse was so acute that she spent three months in an evangelical psychiatric hospital because of her obsession with the uncertainty over the fate of her soul.  She writes about it all in  Sin Bravely: A Memoir of Spiritual Disobedience .  It is the funniest book about the fear of hell you will ever read.

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“Holy, Healing, Spiritually Disobedient, Creative, and Awakened Women” on Progressive Spirit!

Angela Yarber, Holy Women Icons, Jan 19-Feb 1

Not many congregations have two out lesbians as a clergy team.   They do that kind of thing in North Carolina.    Rev. Dr. Angela Yarber is a trailblazer.  She is author of several books that address the intersections among religion, the arts, gender and sexuality. She holds a Ph.D. in Art and Religion from the Graduate Theological Union. Dr. Yarber has been a clergywoman and professional artist since 1999.   Her books include:

We spend most of our time talking about The Holy Women Icons Project.  According to her website, this project…

seeks to empower women by telling the stories of revolutionary holy women through art, writing, and special events.

Holy Women Icons art gives traditional iconography a folk-feminist twist. Books focus on the intersections among gender/sexuality, religion/spirituality, and the arts.

You will enjoy this conversation with this creative and thoughtful justice seeker.

This is part one of a three-part series on holy, healing, spiritually disobedient, creative, and awakened women.

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Pacifica Radio Network
WETS, 89.5, Johnson City, TN- Th 8p and Su 2p (Eastern)
WPVM, 103.7, Asheville, NC- Su 8a (Eastern)
WEHC, 90.7, Emory, VA- Su noon, M 1p
KBOO, 90.7, Portland, OR- TBA — Beloved Community 2nd Fr 9-10a (Pacific)
KZAX, 94.9, Bellingham, WA- Su 8a (Pacific)
KCEI, 90.1, Taos, NM-TBA
WLRI,92.9, Lancaster, PA -TBA
WDRT, 91.9, Viroqua, WI – TBA
Via podcast Sunday, January 29th.

The Dream Under Siege, Jan. 13

53 years ago, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his famous speech, “I Have A Dream.”  What has happened to the dream of a Beloved Community?   Host John Shuck speaks with three activists who have a proven track record on social change about King’s dream and how it has been hijacked.

Dr. Catherine Meeks is a retired professor of socio-cultural studies at Wesleyan College. She is the editor of the newly released book, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America.  She serves the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta as the chari of the Beloved Community: Commission for Dismantling Racism.

The Honorable JoAnn Hardesty is president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She is a community organizer and activist who advocates for those on the downside of power. She campaigns for police accountability and racial and economic justice. She hosts a weekly radio program, Voices from the Edge.

Teressa Raiford is the lead organizer of “Don’t Shoot Portland” A social justice movement in support of #BlackLivesMatter as a response to police brutality and the criminalization of Black American Youth.  She works as a community advocate and is currently educating neighborhoods to provide safety strategies for marginalized communities.  The focus is strengthening relationships to fight discrimination and organized hate.

In addition to this special Martin Luther King birthday episode on The Beloved Community, Five Beaverton congregations, Murray Hills Christian Church, Christ United Methodist Church, Cedar Hills United Church of Christ, Spirit of Grace, and Southminster Presbyterian Church are hosting a panel discussion on racism, entitled The Dream Under Siege, Tuesday January 17th at 7 p.m. at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Beaverton.   Facebook.

JoAnn Hardesty and Teressa Raiford will join Ibrahim Mubarak of Right to Survive as they lead a panel discussion on racism.  Organizers of the event wanted to create an opportunity for suburban residents to interact with leading activists in Portland to talk about critical issues facing the Portland metro in regards to diversity, race, privilege, housing, policing, gentrification and economic justice.

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Friday, January 13th, 9-10 am KBOO 90.7
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Pacifica Network Syndicated Version

Catherine Meeks, Dismantling Racism, Jan 12 -25

Dr. Catherine Meeks is a retired professor of socio-cultural studies at Wesleyan College. She is the editor of the newly released book, Living Into God’s Dream: Dismantling Racism in America. From the publisher:

This book is a report from the front, combining personal stories and theoretical and theological reflection with examples of the work of dismantling racism and methods for creating the much-needed “safe space” for dialogue on race to occur. Its aim is to demonstrate the ways in which a new conversation on race can be forged.

Her book contains chapters from eight different contributors including herself. Some white, some people of color, some men, some women.

The first chapter is written by Luther E. Smith, Jr. Dr. Smith is professor emeritus of Church and Community at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University. He writes:

“Racism also persists because a large segment of the population benefits from it. This explains why and how individuals perpetuate the system of racism, even without their conscious awareness of the implications of their actions. The existence of racism relies upon it having the personal commitment of some and the inaction of many.”

Celebrate the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and dismantle racism.

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Pacifica Radio Network
WETS, 89.5, Johnson City, TN- Th 8p and Su 2p (Eastern)
WPVM, 103.7, Asheville, NC- Su 8a (Eastern)
WEHC, 90.7, Emory, VA- Su noon, M 1p
KBOO, 90.7, Portland, OR- TBA — Beloved Community 2nd Fr 9-10a (Pacific)
KZAX, 94.9, Bellingham, WA- Su 8a (Pacific)
KCEI, 90.1, Taos, NM-TBA
WLRI,92.9, Lancaster, PA -TBA
WDRT, 91.9, Viroqua, WI – TBA
Via podcast Sunday, January 22nd.

Eileen Markey, The Assassination of Sister Maura, January 5 – 18

Sister Maura Clarke, a Catholic nun and three other women were assassinated by the El Salvadoran government in December 1980. This was a government supported by the United States. What did Sister Maura do that resulted in her violent death? Under the context of Vatican II, liberation theology, and oppressive dictatorships, we hear a story of radical faith.

Investigative journalist, Eileen Markey, whose work has appeared in New York Times, New York Magazine, Wall Street Journal, National Catholic Reporter, America, Commonweal, and Killing the Buddha. wrote Sister Maura’s biography, in A Radical Faith: The Assassination of Sister Maura.

This is from America Magazine:

No one remembered Maura thirty years later because she was the most pious or the most correct. People didn’t hang her picture on their plaster wall or name their daughter after her or wipe away tears even as they smiled at the mention of her name because she was the most severe, the best at self- flagellation, the most familiar with the desert. They caressed her memory because she visited with love. When Maura talked to you, you felt beloved, person after person told me. She walked into cardboard slum shacks in Nicaragua and terrified villages in El Salvador and addressed individuals with a disarming, open kindness.

It turns out that’s what the story is about. Not death and torture – on a cross or at the hands of a military junta – but warm, flowering, life-giving love.

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Pacifica Radio Network
WETS, 89.5, Johnson City, TN- Th 8p and Su 2p (Eastern)
WPVM, 103.7, Asheville, NC- Su 8a (Eastern)
WEHC, 90.7, Emory, VA- Su noon, M 1p
KBOO, 90.7, Portland, OR- TBA — Beloved Community 2nd Fr 9-10a (Pacific)
KZAX, 94.9, Bellingham, WA- Su 8a (Pacific)
KCEI, 90.1, Taos, NM-TBA
WLRI,92.9, Lancaster, PA -TBA
WDRT, 91.9, Viroqua, WI – TBA
Via podcast Sunday, January 15th.