Expanded Program

NOVEMBER 11 9:00a-9:00p

9:00-9:30 Doors Open and Networking

Welcome to the Desmond Tutu Center Biennial Conference: Healing Liberation and Reconciliation. We have a wide variety of global and local speakers lined up to lead the discussion on a plethora of social justice topics ranging from women’s empowerment to spirituality and justice. We hope this conference empowers you to become agents of change and inspires you to “do your little bit of good where you are” (Desmond Tutu).

9:45-11:00 We Don’t Need Saving: Advocating for Women’s Empowerment

Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Cynthia Prime are far from your “damsels in distress.” Rabbi Sandy Sasso, the first woman ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and the first to serve a Conservative congregation, and Cynthia Prime, a Caribbean-born social activist, are two voices in the movement for women’s empowerment. These women have dedicated their lives to speaking up and speaking out for women, and emphasizing that empowerment is something you take, not something that is given to you.

Partner: Saving Orphans Through Healthcare and Outreach

11:15-12:15 Money Can’t Buy Humanity: Resisting the Capitalist Destruction of the Human Family

Global capitalism threatens the life of humanity and other species. Confident, peaceful persons not for sale are required to resist life being reduced to the mere function of capital and special interests. Sustained global change is possible when fears are healed that make people sell out to dominant, inhuman systems, so that marginalized voices are empowered to fight peacefully for liberation from internal and external oppressive structures. Here to lead the discussion on striving for liberation is Eugen Drewermann, a German church critic and theologian, alongside Matthias Beier, Director of the Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program and Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Mental Health Counseling at the Christian Theological Seminary. These social justice leaders have personal experience struggling against inhumane systems that attempt to suppress marginalized voices. Following the presentation, there will be a question and answer session.

Partner: Grace Unlimited

12:15-2:15 Lunch Break

2:15-3:30 Remembering the King: Nonviolence and Racial Justice

It seems that the battle for nonviolence and racial justice has taken one step forward and two steps back. Dr. Derek King Sr., the nephew of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Kingian Nonviolence Curriculum practitioner, will first show us where we came from through the viewing of “The Children’s March.” This film tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and worked to bring segregation to its knees. After a question and answer session regarding the film, Dr. Derek King will illustrate how to keep fighting the good fight for racial justice through Kingian Nonviolence.

Partners: American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana

3:45-5:00 The Awakened Soul: Having the Spirit of a Change Agent

How do we cultivate sustainable global change? Often the answer to how we change our world is to ask the difficult questions that spark the change within us. Quaker pastor and writer Philip Gulley is a master at guiding others through beneficial reflective practices. He invites us to explore the “peak experiences” in our personal transformation and utilize them as a catalyst for global change.

Partners: Indiana Moral Revival and Peace and Social Justice Committee at Fairfield Friends Meeting

5:00-7:00 Dinner Break

7:00-9:00 Plenary Session- Healing, Liberation, and Reconciliation with Global and Local Voices for Change

Conversation is a courageous act in the path to social change. Whether on the local or global stage, no matter what our background is, we all have something to contribute to the shouts for liberation. Fittingly, this session brings together a diverse set of speakers: George Tinker, a Native American liberation theologian, Allan Boesak, a world renowned South African anti-apartheid activist and protégé of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Eugen Drewermann, and a message from Leonardo Boff, a tireless advocate for the rights of the poor and excluded. The heart and soul of the world is hurting, and we are in desperate need of the healing, liberation, and reconciliation these speakers are actively pursuing to bring to the world and their communities. But we must also pursue this change because the change starts with us.

Partner: Center for Interfaith Cooperation & Center for Pastoral Excellence at the Christian Theological Seminary

November 12 9:00a-5:00p

9:00-11:00 A Journey Home: Interfaith and Cross Cultural Perspectives

Currently, immigrants and refugees have been at the forefront of both political and social debate in the United States and around the world. When we celebrate our diverse backgrounds, we can appreciate ‘home’ as a vibrant crossroad, but when we view ‘home’ as a finite resource, we become defensive and fearful. In this session, participants will be transported back in time through a multimedia presentation highlighting historical perspectives on different immigrant communities to the United States exploring up to perspective on current events and attitudes present in society today. A panel of religious and community leaders from the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities will discuss their own community’s struggles as immigrants historically and in the present day, and what their respective faiths say about welcoming the stranger.

Partners: Spirit and Place Festival, Immigrant and Refugee Service Corps, Darfur Women’s Network, and Center for Citizenship at Butler University

11:00-1:00 Lunch Break

1:00-2:30 Confronting Prejudice, Hate, Fear Mongering and More

We seem to have forgotten President Roosevelt’s words of wisdom: “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” The media is saturated with extremist groups presented as the norm and the majority, cultivating fear thicker than the smog in Beijing. Just like smog, this fear is poisoning our society and dividing us in a time where it is critical for us to rebuild our unity under the banner of humanity. Well, it’s time to clear the air. Local thought-leader Fady Qaddoura and Executive Director of American-Islamic Relations, Ahmed Rehab, are two prominent leaders working to provide a counter narrative to push back against the hatred and prejudice with peace and understanding.

Attention: Bulter students, this session is approved for BCR

Partners: Islamic Society of North America and Muslim Alliance of Indiana

2:45-3:45 Reconciling the Past Through Spirituality and Justice

Without forgiveness and reconciliation of the past there can be no moving forward. Dr. George Tinker understands the role the past has in shaping both the present and the future as an activist in urban American Indian communities for many years. Dr. Tinker is committed to the liberation of the oppressed and the oppressor because he understands that lack of liberation anywhere is a threat to liberation everywhere. It is our responsibility to restore justice and maintain vigilance so that no one falls victim to the mistakes of the past.

Partners: Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University

4:00-5:00 Hope Beyond the Horizon, Closing Ceremony

The gathering concludes with a discussion lead by Congressman André Carson about where we go from here to continue efforts on healing, liberation, and reconciliation. The conversation about change is only the first step. It is up to all of us to keep taking the next step one step at a time, always keeping our eyes on that better tomorrow. Change is slow and sometimes tedious, but there is no more noble pursuit than the one for peace and justice for the human race.

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