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Taking to the Social Streets: Non-Violent Engagement on Social Media

Jennifer Ould

Sat 2 PM | Greater Things
Martin Luther King’s principles of non-violence are as important today as they were sixty years ago. King understood violence. He knew when it needed to be provoked and exposed (as it was in Selma, which was chosen for a march with the knowledge that local law enforcement would be willing to resort to violence). And he understood the hard work needed to prepare oneself to respond to violence non-violently. The streets are still an important place to march and protest, but increasingly, our “streets” are online, on social media. And we’ve done nothing to prepare ourselves to respond non-violently to the violence we encounter there. Utilizing a panel discussion and Q&R, this session would challenge us to apply King’s principles of non-violence in our interactions and help us think creatively together about the preparation needed to engage non-violently.

Jennifer Ould

Jennifer’s journey brought her from the heart of hardcore fundamentalism, through conservative evangelicalism to a much more open and curious faith. Along the way, she has worked as a Republican activist, received an MDiv from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, worked to build bridges between conservative Christians and the LGBTQ+ community, served on an Episcopal church vestry, helped launch Gilead – an inclusive non-traditional church near her home in Chicago’s most diverse neighborhood, and advocated for racial and sexual justice in uncomfortable spaces. She maintains relationships with conservative family friends through social media, and regularly finds herself on the receiving end of their anger with progressives and “liberals.” Leaning to navigate those interactions and relationships non-violently continues to stretch and challenge her. Jennifer runs, preaches, tells stories, and blogs at

128 Taking to the Social Streets

Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren

Board Vice-Chair
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.

209 How did we get here and where are we going
226 Brian McLaren, Topic TBD
278 Gathering The Goose
128 Taking to the Social Streets
87 A Dialogue With Brian McLaren and Reverend Trier
335 Creating Congregational Change

Dr. Robyn Henderson-Espinoza

Curator, Justice Camp
Named at 1 of 10 Faith Leaders to watch in 2018 by the Center for American Progress, Dr. Robyn is an anti-oppression, anti-racist, non-binary Trans*gressive Latinx. Dr. Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist theologian and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns. Dr. Robyn sees this work as a life-orienting vocation, deeply committed to translating theory to practice, and embedded in re-imagining our moral horizon to one which privileges a politics of radical difference.

To learn more, check out Dr. Robyn’s website:

Justice Camp Pre-Festival Event
46 Surviving The Tyranny of The Now
117 Preaching as Resistance
128 Taking to the Social Streets
289 Loving Our Way to Freedom
290 Sacred and Profane
337 Bridging Radical Difference

Xavier Ramey

Xavier Ramey is the CEO of Justice Informed, LLC, a social impact consulting firm based in Chicago, IL that focuses on using public policy, data, and human behavioral patterns to catalyze institutions’ social and economic inclusion, community engagement, corporate responsibility, and philanthropy. He is an award-winning social strategist, noted public speaker, & conflict mediator. A native Chicagoan, he is a recognizable voice on the topics of community and economic development, policing & policy violence, & connecting the Christian faith to our lived experience.

Xavier is often sought out to communicate issues of incredible tension and historical significance to audiences and communities that are either staunchly against, ignorant of, or confused about issues of racism, sexism, and other forms of systemic injustice. His message of ambition, deliberate relationship, and justice being a form of righteous discrimination has been heard across the world on stages, in companies, in churches and in classrooms.

128 Taking to the Social Streets

Session #128

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