Social Justice Online Seminars

Bringing together academics, activists and community leaders for social change.

ACADEMIC SEMINAR + COMMUNITY PROJECT + COLLABORATIVE COHORT

For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient, continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.

 

Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Inspired by Paulo Freire, our social justice online seminars are a unique combination of academic coursework, on the ground activism, and cohort based dialogue. You will begin by learning from content consultants: leading experts and innovators in relevant fields. From there, you begin to explore those ideas in your own context to seek to bring about positive change. At the end of each seminar, you will reconvene with the content consultants to evaluate and explore the change you saw in your community. They, and a cohort of like minded leaders, will help you foster justice, peace and thriving community in your context. Plus, to make the seminars available to leaders around the world, we offer all of them in an interactive online format.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS

Part 1: Academic Seminars

Two 1-1/2 hour online seminars with content consultants, all of whom are leading scholars and community leaders. These initial seminars will consist of a discussion of literature and history related to the course by leading innovators.

Part 2: Community Project

Apply your learning! Disperse into community for individual social change projects. To support your work during this time, you will take part in two to four online cohort discussions facilitated by personnel from the Center.

Part 3: Collaborative Cohort

Gather back online with the content consultants to present and discuss your projects. Consultants will help you dive deep into what worked well, what could be better, and the feedback you received from others.

UPCOMING SEMINARS

Rev. Byron Bland, Stanford University

Reggie Lyles, Retired Police Captain, Novato, California

Dr. Christopher Ocker, San Francisco Theological Seminary

Rev. Floyd Thompkins, Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry

MARCH 2, 2017 -APRIL 24, 2017

Police & Community: Reducing Violence Together

Explore peacemaking and violence, particularly between communities of color and police, in an innovative format that brings knowledge and experience together in new ways to find new solutions to a pervasive social challenge. In this collaborative seminar, community leaders and members of law enforcement will learn from each other and a group of guiding content consultants, made up of a global leader in conflict negotiation, a historian of conflict, a retired police captain and a community leader and activist. This seminar is meant to foster real dialogue that brings about real change in cities across the country.

Content Curators and Facilitators

Rev. Byron Bland – Associate Director of the Stanford Center on International Conflict and Negotiation and the King Institute of Stanford University. Byron has negotiated conflict at the highest level, in some of the most difficult circumstances, including Northern Ireland, South Africa, Israel and Palestine.

Reggie Lyles – Retired Police Captain for Novato, California. Reggie spent his career in law enforcement, reshaping policies in community policing and hate crimes, and developing a youth mentor program.

Dr. Christopher Ocker – Professor of Church History at San Francisco Theological Seminary and the Graduate Theological Union

Rev. Floyd Thompkins – Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry. Floyd has spent years as a chaplain, pastor and community leader, starting transformational programs in local communities.

Who should take this collaborative?

Any pastor, police officer or community leader who is active in building bridges between the police and communities of color.

Learning Objectives
  • To establish a cohort of leaders who are interested in furthering peace and justice between communities and the police
  • To deepen the questions that shape the dialogue between leaders and the police, hopefully uncovering root causes of tension
  • To expose the participants to the pioneers of some of the more successful approaches to community change
  • To have the members of the cohort support, challenge and clarify each other’s efforts toward peace and justice in their context
Format
  • A two-hour online discussion of literature, history and pertinent issues around peace and conflict negotiation with Facilitators, which will address individual seminar participant issues in their communities.
  • Two to four cohort feedback discussions of community issues undertaken by seminar participants, facilitated by Rev. Floyd Thompkins, Director of the Center for Innovation in Ministry.
  • A two-hour online meeting for feedback from the Facilitators about the community work that that was done by seminar participants, with suggested areas for improvement.
Delivery Mode

Online

Pricing Details

$150, but FREE for community activists and members of law enforcement. Email innovation@sfts.edu for a discount code. Other scholarships are also available.

Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr

Rev. Dr. Bear Ride

Anannda Barclay

Brandan Robertson

MAY 5-31, 2017

The Work of Inclusion and Interconnectivity in Creating Community

This collaborative seminar explores the intersection of peace, justice, LGBTQ issues and environmentalism with the gospel and witness of the church. It will establish a cohort of leaders of faith communities that are interested in advancing issues of inclusion in their specific context.  The cohort will explore the literature, both theoretical and practical, concerning the issues and challenges of engaging, changing and challenging a community in ways that end in a healthy and inclusive community for all. The seminar offers unique exposure for the participants to the pioneers of some of the more successful approaches to community change. Additionally, cohort members will support, challenge and clarify at least one community project that is attempted during seminar.

Content Curators and Facilitators

Rev. Dr. Bear Ride – Director of the Ride Family Foundation, interfaith and queer activist and an ordained Presbyterian Minister

Rev. Dr. Janie Spahr – Pioneer for LGBTQ inclusion in the Presbyterian Church

Rev. Scott Clark – Chaplain for San Francisco Theological Seminary, Lawyer and counsel to Jane Spahr during her trial

Anannda Barclay – Co-Moderator of the More Light Presbyterian Church

Brandan Robertson – contemplative activist, commentator, and spiritual teacher. More at www.brandanrobertson.com

Who should take this collaborative?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to work on inclusion in any religious community setting. Special attention will be paid to the Presbyterian experience. Each participant will benefit in direct ways from the wisdom and experience of others in the community concerning starting and sustaining healthy change.

Learning Objectives
  • To establish a cohort of people who are leaders of faith communities that are interested in advancing issues of inclusion in their specific communities
  • To explore the literature, both theoretical and practical, concerning the issues and challenges of engaging, changing and challenging a community in ways that end in a healthy and inclusive community for all
  • To expose the participants to the pioneers of some of the more successful approaches to community change
  • To have the members of the cohort support, challenge and clarify at least one effort that is attempted during the scope of the evaluation
Format
  • Two one – two-hour online discussion of literature and history with content consultants
  • Two to four cohort collaborative discussions of efforts as people are attempting their efforts in community facilitated by personnel from the Center
  • Two one-two hour online meetings for the work that that was done with content consultant
Delivery Mode

Online

Pricing Details

$150

PARTNER SEMINARS

Several of our partner institutions also offer online seminars for community leaders. Below, you will find a list of upcoming courses from leading scholars and innovators.

king-bannerStanford University
American Prophet: The Inner Life and Global Vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.

American Prophet is a course about the inner life and thoughts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many history books tell us that King was a civil rights leader who advocated for peaceful protest and made inspirational speeches. But what was he really thinking and feeling during the various campaigns in which he participated? How did he even become a civil rights leader in the first place? Was he really as confident about his methods as we think?

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Join our Inclusion and Interconnectivity Seminar!

Starting on May 3

This online seminar, led by LGBTQ pioneers, will equip you to foster greater inclusivity in your congregation.

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