What You'll Learn at our Leadership Summit

The primary goal of this Summit is to help participants to step up to the next level of their leadership, so that their congregations and communities can forge a more just society. Living at a time of rising political and religious extremism, we can do no other. Everyone needs to STEP IT UP.

The participants will represent the wide diversity of Chicago and the world. Recognizing the expertise that each participant brings to the table, the summit will seek to learn from each other.

The Summit will feature several persons with special expertise to help us analyze three difficult urban issues: mass incarceration (Dr. Sharon Ellis-Davis), mass deportation (Rev. Walter “Slim” Coleman and Rev. Emma Lozano) and urban violence (Fr. Michael Pfleger); and two global issues: the rise of violent extremism (Rev. Abare Kallah) and the rise of the Muslim women’s movement (Ms. Soraya Deen.)

Our learning goals are:

1.      The method of contextual learning: This is a method that inverts the normal theological process – shifting it from “received” or top-down theology, to a “contextual” or bottom-up theology. It breaks down the exclusivism and superiority that is an integral part of received theologies, and opens one up to engage the margins, and to build alliances across the usual divisions in communities.

2.     Recognize each one’s marginality and privilege: Our motto is: “Listening to, Learning from, and Living in Deep Solidarity with those in the margins.” In order to fully understand that we need to recognize our own marginality and privilege.

3.     Learn the P3 disciplines: Pluralism (robust engagement with diversity), Praxis (effective action) and Power (organized people and money).

4.     Learn how to engage with those who are different – primarily in terms of religion and race.

5.     Learn the basic organizing disciplines to build power: organizing people -- individuals and to build alliances with other organizations/movements; and organizing money.

6.     Strategize about how to act together - effectively and powerfully to counter the extremism especially in today’s political climate.

This summit will energize your ministry: preaching, teaching, organizing and leading.