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

KEY THEMES FOR THE WEEKEND

WHY IMAGINATION?

To begin, we will look at definitions of imagination by considering poets and authors who have produced literature around imagination and why imagination might be a fruitful place to begin to reshape our world and do some world-building together. We will also retrace some historical markers that have shaped our present day and imagine what is possible given our present moment. 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 literatures 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.

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.

WHAT KIND OF IMAGINATION?

Building on the importance of imagination, we will explore the contours of imagination. Knowing that white bodied folks 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, 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 talk 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 narrative 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 remarks 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

COMING SOON

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.

Roberto & Derek

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.

Golladay_sq_photoby_CaseyHyde

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.

IMG_6847

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.

Jeff Koetje_Headshot_2020