Jim Wallis Jim Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, and international commentator on ethics and public life. He recently served on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and was former vice chair of and currently serves on the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum. Jim is the author of 12 books. His most recent book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, released in January. His most recent books include: On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good, Rediscovering Values: A Guide for Economic and Moral Recovery; The Great Awakening:Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America; and God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.
Diana is an author, speaker, and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture. She holds a Ph.D. in religious studies from Duke University and is the author of nine books, including Grounded: Finding God in the World—A Spiritual Revolution (HarperOne, 2015) and the widely influential Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (HarperOne, 2012). Her other books include A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story (HarperOne, 2009), nominated for a Library of Virginia literary award, and the best-selling Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith (2006) which was named as one of the best religion books of the year by Publishers Weekly and was featured in a cover story in USA TODAY. Diana regularly writes at The Huffington Post and The Washington Post and comments on religion, politics, and culture in the media including USA TODAY, Time, Newsweek, CBS, CNN, FOX, PBS, and NPR.
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III is the Senior Pastor of the 8,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, “preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.” As a recipient of the 2016 NAACP Chairman’s Award, Dr. Moss was named one of 5 trailblazing leaders under the age of 50 who have “given voice and vision to the mantra that black lives matter.”
With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative Bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. He is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.
William Paul Young
Wm Paul Young, author of the novels, The Shack, Cross Roads, and Eve, and non-fiction Lies We Believe about God, was born a Canadian and raised among a stone-age tribe by his missionary parents in the highlands of what was Netherlands New Guinea (now West Papua). He suffered great loss as a child and young adult, and now enjoys the “wastefulness of grace” with his growing family in the Pacific Northwest.
Facts never tell real stories. The journey has been both incredible and unbearable, a desperate grasping after grace and wholeness, the pain of trying to adjust to different cultures, of life losses that seemed too staggering to bear, of living with an underlying volume of shame so deep that it constantly threatened any sense of sanity, of dreams not only destroyed but obliterated by personal failure, of hope so tenuous that only the trigger seemed to offer a solution. A few facts also do not speak to the potency of love and forgiveness, the arduous road of reconciliation, the surprises of grace and community, of transformational healing and the unexpected emergence of joy.
Joy Carrol Wallis
Joy Carroll Wallis is a gifted communicator, community organizer and convener as well as a sought after pastor, preacher and minister. In 1994, she was one of the first women to be ordained in the Church of England as well as the youngest clergy member elected to the General Synod. Her ministry in the inner – city embraced the needs of the poor, homeless, mentally ill, families, youth and the elderly. Her experience in the priesthood was the inspiration behind the hit BBC sitcom, The Vicar of Dibley, starring Dawn French. Joy is the author of The Woman Behind the Collar: The Pioneering Journey of an Episcopal Priest.
Joy has spent the last eighteen years immersed in Washington DC schools and youth sports. As commissioner of Little League Baseball, fundraiser, event planner, PTA President, President of Wilson HS Baseball Boosters, organizer of Wilson baseball trip to the Dominican Republic, her networks run wide and deep. She is also a founding board member and currently board Chair of the Wild Goose Festival.
Joy lives in Washington, DC with her activist and writer husband Jim Wallis and their teenage sons, Luke and Jack.
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, NC and architect of the Forward Together Moral Movement that gained national acclaim with its Moral Monday protests at the North Carolina General Assembly in 2013.
He has keynoted hundreds of national and state conferences, including the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and has spoken to a wide variety of audiences across the country
Dr. Barber has served as president of the NC NAACP, since 2006 and sits on its National Board of Directors. He is currently Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism at Union Theological Seminary New York and is a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Dr. Barber is regularly featured in major national media outlets and is the 2015 recipient of the Puffin Award and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Award. His two most recent books include Forward Together (Chalice Press) and The Third Reconstruction (Beacon Press).
Nadia Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People(Convergent, 2015), available in bookstores now. She’s also the author of Salvation on the Small Screen? 24 Hours of Christian Television (Seabury 2008) and the New York Times bestselling theological memoir, Pastrix: the Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint(Jericho, 2013). Nadia has been featured in BBC World Service, The Washington Post, Bitch Magazine, NPR’s Morning Edition, Fresh Air, More Magazine, The Daily Beast and on CNN.
Brian D. McLaren
Brian D. McLaren is an author, speaker, activist, and public theologian. A former college English teacher and pastor, he is a passionate advocate for “a new kind of Christianity” – just, generous, and working with people of all faiths for the common good.
Notable among the many books he has authored are: “A New Kind of Christian”, which won Christianity Today’s “Award of Merit” in 2002; “Everything Must Change” tracing critical ways in which Jesus’ message confronts contemporary global crises; and We Make the Road by Walking, marking a turn toward constructive and practical theology. His 2016 release, The Great Spiritual Migration, has been hailed as his most important work to date.
Brian is married to Grace, and they have four adult children and five grandchildren. His personal interests include wildlife and ecology, fly fishing and kayaking, music and songwriting, art, history, and literature.
Micky ScottBey Jones
Micky ScottBey Jones is a perpetual learner, “justice doula”, consultant, facilitator, mama/sister/friend, nonviolence practitioner and contemplative activist living just south of Nashville, TN.
Micky facilitates conferences, trainings and online conversations while exploring a variety of topics including self-care in community, healing justice, intersectionality, faith-rooted activism, revolutionary friendship, race & justice, and theology from the margins. She loves to curate contemplative and dialogic spaces and activities. Named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post, Micky is the Director of Healing Justice at Faith Matters Network. She is currently serving as an Associate Fellow for Racial Justice with Evangelicals for Social Action an activist-in-residence at Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, TN. She consults with a variety of people, projects and organizations as opportunities arise.
Micky believes in traveling the world while spreading revolutionary love, engaging in authentic conversations, and participating in transformative experiences – and most importantly – she never passes up a dance floor.
Doug is a novice ultra marathoner who at this very moment wishes he was out on a run. And in his spare time he’s a pastor ( Solomon’s Porch in Minneapolis), an author, and a convener who seeks to be a goodness conspirator & possibility evangelist finding creative, entrepreneurial and generative ways to enlist people to join in the hopes, dreams, and desires of God for the world. He also gives leadership to the OPEN Network – a collective seeking to bring about a just and generous Christianity. He has authored seven books , most recently Flipped: The Provocative Truth That Changes Everything We Know About God. Doug and his wife Shelley live in Edina, Minnesota and are parents of 4 young-adult children, and one little grand child.
Originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Dr. Carvalhaes is a former shoe shining boy and now is an activist, liturgist, theologian and artist. He has preached and performed in Brazil; Mozambique and El Salvador. He has taught at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and is currently at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. In the fall of 2016, he will be the Associate Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Carvalhaes has served with the Presbyterian Church (USA) in its peacemaking and immigrant groups ministries and continues to work with immigrant groups in US and Brazil. He has been on the cutting edge of cross-cultural worship, a voice of liberation among communities of color, an advocate for young adults, and a prophetic presence among those who are pushing the church into the 21st century. Living around the borders of several cultures he speaks badly three languages: Portuguese, English and Spanish.
Chris S. Davies is the curator of Queer Clergy Trading Cards. She currently works for the United Church of Christ and is the point person for Congregational Assessment, Support, and Advancement at the National offices. Chris is a local beer enthusiast, creative queer liturgist, and dreamer beyond the normative church. She is a Connecticut native, a Cleveland transplant, and a wandering Irish Rover at heart. This project is a project of revolutionary love, bringing visibility to queer clergy, using humor and irreverence to help change the conversation to highlight common awe (and absurdities) in faith work. The project tells the stories of what oft is an isolating experience, and invites community beyond denomination. Chris loves Jesus and church deeply, and wants to help vision how we can transform the world, for the sake of the Gospel.
Frank Schaeffer is an artist and a New York Times bestselling author of both fiction and nonfiction. Frank is a much sought after speaker and has lectured at a wide range of venues from Harvard’s Kennedy School to the Hammer Museum/UCLA, Princeton University, Riverside Church Cathedral, DePaul University and the Kansas City Public Library. Frank has been a frequent guest on the Rachel Maddow Show on NBC, has appeared on Oprah, been interviewed by Terri Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air and appeared on the Today Show, BBC News and many other media outlets. Frank is also a blogger on Huffington Post, Alternet and Patheos.
Kenji Kuramitsu is a social worker and Anglican seminarian at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. He is a noted educator on issues of racism, doing theology online, and LGBTQ families. His writing has appeared in the Pacific Citizen, Inheritance Magazine, and Smile Politely Magazine. Kenji currently serves on the National Board of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights group in the United States, and the Reformation Project, a Christian direct action organization engaging the Church on LGBTQ advocacy. Connect with him on Twitter @afreshmind.
John Pavlovitz is a writer and pastor from Wake Forest, North Carolina. In the past three years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse audience of millions. A 20-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John’s mission is to help the Church become a more compassionate, loving environment for all people. He serves on staff at North Raleigh Community Church and his first book A Bigger Table, will be released in October.
Darren Calhoun is an advocate, worship leader, and photographer based out of Chicago. He works to bridge relationships between people of differing perspectives through story and relationship. Intersectionality is his primary lens when facilitating dialogue and education about justice and inclusion for people marginalized based on race, gender, and/or sexuality. Currently, Darren is Worship Leader at Urban Village Church – South Loop, Associate Fellow for Racial Justice at Evangelicals for Scoial Action, in addition to owning Darren Calhoun Photography. He’s also an extrovert who loves hugs. Follow him on social media at @HeyDarren
Bart Campolo is an openly secular minister, speaker, and writer who currently volunteers as the Humanist Chaplain at the University of Southern California. Born and raised in suburban Philadelphia, Bart became an evangelical Christian as a teenager and was immediately attracted to urban ministry. After graduating from Brown University and serving as a youth pastor in Minneapolis, he returned to Philadelphia to found Mission Year, a national service organization which recruits young adults to live and work among the poor in inner-city neighborhoods. Later, the Campolo family spent nearly a decade working at street-level as part of the Walnut Hills Fellowship in Cincinnati, where Bart completed his deconversion. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2014, his work has been focused on inspiring and equipping all kinds of people to build more loving relationships, make things better for others, and cultivate a genuine sense of wonder and gratitude for the improbable privilege of being alive and conscious in the first place. bartcampolo.org
Gareth Higgins is a writer from Belfast, Northern Ireland now living in Asheville, North Carolina. He was the founding director of the Wild Goose Festival, as well as the zero28 Project, a faith-based peace and justice initiative in Northern Ireland, and Movies & Meaning, a community making peace through story and image. He has written and spoken widely on religion and conflict, art & spirituality and cinema and reducing violence. He leads retreats every year in Ireland, and is happy to be a work in progress.
Peggy Flanagan, a citizen of the White Earth Nation of Ojibwe, is a longtime advocate for Minnesota’s children and families. A noted community and political organizer, she was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in November of 2015. Prior to joining the legislature, she served as the executive director of Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota, an organization dedicated to leveling the playing field for all children in the region. She also worked for eight years at Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program, then as director of external affairs. As one of the original trainers of Wellstone Action’s signature program Camp Wellstone, she has trained tens of thousands of progressive activists, community and campaign organizers, future candidates, and progressive officeholders to make effective, sustainable, progressive change around the country.
Joerg Rieger is Distinguished Professor of Theology and holds the Cal Turner Chancellor’s Chair in Wesleyan Studies at Vanderbilt University. Author and editor of more than 20 books, his most recent books include Unified We Are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities (with Rosemarie Henkel-Rieger, 2016) and Faith on the Road: A Short Theology of Travel and Justice (2015). This session will further develop the argument of his book Christ and Empire: From Paul to Postcolonial Times (2007). His books have been translated into various languages and lectures around the globe.