Retreat

ACTIVIST THEOLOGY RETREAT

APRIL 20-23, 2023

 

Imagining Another Possible World:
Stewarding Ethical Futures

William Black Lodge, Montreat NC
April 20-23, 2023

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

Thursday, APRIL 20, 2023

Arrive after dinner
Settle in and get to know other attendees

Friday APRIL 21, 2023

Morning:

  • Breakfast with participants
  • Session One

Afternoon:

  • Lunch with participants
  • Session Two
  • Free time to rest or explore Montreat

Evening:

  • Somatic Practice
  • Dinner with participants
  • Fireside gathering
Saturday APRIL 22, 2023

Morning:

  • Breakfast with participants
  • Session Three

Afternoon:

  • Lunch with participants
  • Session Four
  • Free time to rest or explore Montreat

Evening:

  • Dinner with participants
  • Session Five
  • Fireside gathering
Sunday APRIL 23, 2023
  • Breakfast with participants
  • Closing gathering, departure at noon

This amazing lodge contains less than 30 private rooms, so space is limited for this intimate gathering.

We encourage you to get your tickets soon. They WILL sell out.

KEY THEMES FOR THE WEEKEND

WHY IMAGINATION?

What might be another possible world? How do we steward ethical futures? How do we practice world-building together? Using conversation as a methodology, we will invite scholar-practitioners to join us as we imagine another possible world and heal the wounds of ourselves and our democracy. We will endeavor to imaginer a better world; or, as the Zapatistas say ‘another possible world.’ Together, with Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation and Gloria Anzaldúa’s speculative imagination for a better world, which focusses primarily on imagination and bodily wisdom, we will bridge together the production of knowledge through various conversations and presentations and create conditions for an embodied awareness. Another possible world has to be more than a thinking project; more than critique and analysis; revolutionizing our values and our value systems must include care for self and other and wisdom that emerges from the body on a planetary scale.

 

We will start with a theories of ethical futures and theories of imaginations. What is it? Where do we derive the imagination? How much of is is spiritual activism? We will gather together for some narrative remarks that helps translate theory into praxis, then turn to embodiment and somatics work to metabolize the theory in our bodies. Doing this will help connect the dots in somatic ways and begin to create conditions for embodied awareness.

For this retreat, we will welcome Dr. Steed V. Davidson and Dr. Thelathia ’Nikki’ Young to help us imagine another possible world Both Drs. Davidson and Young will participate in conversations around imagination and ethical futures as a way to offset lectures and passive epistemologies and lean into the revolution of values by centering bodily wisdom, somatic practice, and conversations as the primary teaching method.

WHAT KIND OF IMAGINATION?

Building on the importance of imagination, we will explore the the why of imagination and its contours through conversation. Knowing that white bodied folks and some folks of color have a hard time imagining things, we will build on the importance of world-building and ways to get into the active processes of another possible world. In this session, which will be an active conversation, we will focus on what kind of imagination might create conditions for another possible world and how to embody this kind of imagination. How do we need to change in order for us to imagine another possible world? How do our relationships need to shape and shift? How do we bridge with difference to imagine another possible world? We will keep with the themes of Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation as we endeavor to build capacity for embodiment to be a vision for democracy. We will then take this praxis-oriented conversation into somatics work to ground the theory in our bodies and help it metabolize the theory in bodily ways. As a result, we begin to move from knowledge production to an orientation of wisdom.

CHANGING OURSELVES TO CHANGE THE WORLD

Building on previous conversations and remarks, we will focus on stewarding ethical futures and the interior work needed to be the healing of the wounds. We will work to change ourselves, so that we can change the world.

  • What does that look like?
  • What/how does the work of ethical futures lead us to this discovery?
  • How might the work of stewarding ethical futures help enliven this work of justice and belonging and equity?
All work builds on the previous, similar to the ways in which Body Becoming builds as concentric circles and nested eggs. It all fits together and we will use narrative-driven conversations  and storytelling to help build the right conditions for us to imagine an ethical future together. After all, achieving en conjunto is part of the work of world building

 

COSTS

LIMITED EARLY BIRD
TICKETS AVAILABLE

EARLY BIRD
TICKET
$339

Price is valid until February 28, 2023 at 11:59pm
or until early bird tickets are all claimed.
Then price increases to $399

Ticket Cost Includes:

  • Private lodging for 3 nights (Thursday, Friday, & Saturday) – Click here to view rooms
  • All meals (Friday and Saturday – breakfast/lunch/dinner, Sunday – breakfast)
  • Retreat Content (Five curated sessions)
  • A copy of Body Becoming: A Path to Our Liberation by Dr. Roberto Che Espinoza
  • Custom Retreat T-Shirt
  • Other goodies to be announced

 

FACILITATORS

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.

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Nikki is Haverford College’s inaugural vice president for institutional equity and access, and a professor of religion and gender and sexuality studies. She directs the College’s diversity and equity work. Nikki comes to Haverford from Bucknell University, where she served as associate provost for equity and inclusive excellence since 2020 and taught in both the women’s and gender studies and religion departments since 2011. Nikki earned her Ph.D. in religion and ethics from Emory University, where she also earned two master’s degrees: a master of theology, with a focus on race, gender, and sexuality and a master’s of divinity with a specialization in ethics. She also holds a B.A. in biology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

She is the author of three books, including last year’s Queer Soul and Queer Theology: Ethics and Redemption in Real Life. Her next book, We Plead the Blood of Freedom: A Transnational Ethics of Black Queer Liberative Practice, is currently in progress. She has taught classes on queer Christian thought, race and sexuality, Black feminism, and more.

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Davidson is the author of Empire and Exile: Postcolonial Readings of Selected Texts of the Book of Jeremiah, as well as Writing/Reading the Bible in Postcolonial Perspective, and a co-editor of Islands, Islanders and the Bible: RumiNations. He is currently co-authoring Postcolonial Biblical Criticism: A Guide for the Perplexed and co-editing Prophetic Otherness , both of which should be completed in 2019. He has authored various essays that explore the Hebrew Bible from postcolonial, gendered, and several critical perspectives.

Davidson, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He received a S.T.M. from Boston University, a M.A. from the University of the West Indies, a Diploma of Ministerial Studies from the United Theological College of the West Indies, and a B.A. from the University of the West Indies.

A member of the Society of Biblical Literature, Davidson serves as the General Editor of Semeia Studies. In addition, he Chairs the steering committee of the Israelite Prophetic Literature Section and serves on the Bible and Empire as well as the Reading/Writing Jeremiah program units of the SBL. His other professional memberships include the Society for the Study of Black Religions. He also serves on the editorial boards of Biblical Interpretation and Black Theology: An International Journal. Davidson is an ordained elder within the United Methodist Church (New York Annual Conference).

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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