Onleilove “Chika” Alston, is a speaker, writer, sister and native New Yorker who directs PICO-Faith in NY a multifaith, multiracial federation of 70 congregations representing 80,000 families dedicated to Building the Beloved City. Onleilove is also the Founder of Prophetic Whirlwind: Uncovering the Black Biblical Destiny which seeks to uncover the Afro-Asiatic contributions to the Abrahamic faiths, her book is forthcoming about this subject. A board member of Sojourners and the Women’s Organizing Network as well as a founder of A Women’s Theology of Liberation for the PICO Network, she is passionate about the divine call of women during this Kairos time. Having overcome homelessness and foster care the Gospel saved not only her soul but her life from injustice. Onleilove lives in Harlem with a community of Christian women, worships at Beth-El House of Yahweh in the Bronx and has a large family in New York and North Carolina.
This is My Story, This is My Song: How the Black Church Ritual of Testimony Can Empower Justice Ministry
In this interactive workshop we will examine the scared ritual of Testimony in the Black Church tradition. Testimony democratized the pulpit and allowed everyone young, old, man, woman, rich and poor to share how G-d was working in their life during a time when Black authentic expression was severely limited. In this workshop Onleilove will provide examples of how she and those she organizes alongside use their own stories of overcoming in faith based organizing work to uncover injustice and inspire people of faith to move off of the pews and into public life. Participants of all backgrounds can benefit from incorporating the ritual of testimony into their worship and ministry. Participants will leave having drafted and practiced their own testimony, which can enrich their personal devotion and ministry of justice at home.