Roberto Che Espinoza, PhD (he/they) has been described in a myriad of ways: a scholar-activist, scholar-leader, thought-leader, teacher, public theologian, ethicist, poet of moral reason, and word artist. Among these ways of describing Dr. Roberto, he is also a visionary thinker who has spent two decades working in the hybrid space of church, academy, & movements seeking to not only disrupt but dismantle supremacy culture by focusing his PhD studies on new concepts of being & becoming, decolonizing knowledge production, & bridging with radical difference. He enfleshes a deep hope of collaborating in these hybrid spaces where his work seeks to contribute to the ongoing work of collective liberation. Activist Theology as a disciplinary off-shoot of liberation theology & Movement idea has been incubating since 2008 with Dr. Roberto and further developed throughout his doctoral program and engagement with Movement leaders. Now, Activist Theology has the chance to emerge as a collaborative project. Dr. Roberto was named 1 of 10 Faith Leaders to watch by the Center for American Progress in 2018. As a scholar-activist, Dr. Roberto is committed to translating theory to action, so that our work in the hybrid spaces reflect the deep spiritual work of transforming self to transforming the world. Dr. Roberto writes & creates both academic & other valuable resources, including digital resources. Roberto Che Espinoza, PhD is a non-binary trans guy. You may see him referenced by his old name on the internet or on podcasts and books. Please use his current name Dr. Roberto Che Espinoza moving forward, thank you!, He calls Nashville, TN home.
Anna Golladay thrives on curating creative, spiritual & entrepreneurial possibility. As a highly accomplished and multi-talented creative, marketing and branding expert, she has over 20 years of blended corporate, independent and not-for-profit experience.
Via her social enterprise Work of Place she helps urban churches understand how their underutilized facilities can work alongside burgeoning entrepreneurs, often lacking in resource and financing, with the intent of sparking both neighborhood revitalization and an increase in ideators who change their communities. Additionally, she works as the Sr Director of Communications and Marketing for the Center for Progressive Renewal / Convergence.
She is a minister in the United Methodist Church. Her ministry is focused on social justice and any inequity that exists both inside and outside the walls of the corporate church. She is diligent in her advocacy of full inclusion of all persons in the United Methodist denomination. As a queer justice advocate via faith and social construct arenas she boldly enters spaces of difference and stands firmly in the gap.
Erin Law (they/them) has a background in dance, somatics, bodywork and cultural studies. Their call and vocation is to facilitate educational spaces rooted in creative embodied practice that supports people and communities who are ready and willing to unhinge from supremacy culture and lean into collective liberation. Erin facilitates and engages in practices, analysis, advocacy, and activism to contribute to the transformation and alchemy of systemic oppression/supremacy culture, toward the blossoming of a more resilient and whole humanity. Erin is indebted to their family, and all of their teachers, students, and colleagues who have challenged and inspired them.
Jeff Koetje, M.D., a graduate of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, is currently Director of Business and Strategy for Pre-Health Programs in Kaplan Test Prep’s national office, where he has also served as a director of Kaplan Partner Solutions, a higher education consulting team within Kaplan Test Prep, which supports diversity, enrichment, and education equity programs. Since discovering that his interests were less related to clinical medicine or biomedical research, and more related to the systems of education through which future professionals are developed, he has worked in various capacities in the “interstitia” of formal education. In 2012 – 2016, Dr. Koetje served as Director of Education and Experiences for the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), in which capacity he developed national programming and educational opportunities related to the social mission of medical education. He’s currently serving AMSA as a member of the AMSA Foundation Board of Directors. Dr. Koetje is motivated in his personal and professional life by a deep commitment to anti-racist, intersectional feminist, and queer advocacy for structural transformation in the (pre/medical) educational context.
Ben Saunders grew up in Richmond, VA where he learned to hold deep complexities. Richmond is riddled with a difficult history of white supremacy and has also emerged as a bastion of creative energy as it is home to Virginia Commonwealth University (the #1 public art school in the country), where Ben studied filmmaking. Ben leans into the roots of his upbringing by utilizing the medium of film as a storytelling vessel that brings about social impact – specifically around the topics of racial and economic justice.
Ben moved to Nashville in 2012 to study at Vanderbilt Divinity School. In earning a Master of Divinity degree, he analyzed power structures that create and embody systems of oppression and developed an imagination around ways to dismantle them. He has utilized this education in starting a video production company (Adelicia Company) that focuses on the relational process as being equally important to the end product. Their slogan of “co-creating meaningful media” represents their intention to de-center a singular, privileged voice and uplifts collective voices on the margins.
Ben is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is passionate about sustainable agriculture.