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Vahisha Hasan
Vahisha Hasan is a grassroots faith organizer and activist, living at the intersections of faith, social justice, and mental health. In Arabic, Vahisha means life and Hasan means to make things better. Speaking life and making things better permeate her ministry, love for people, and efforts in every intersection. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in Interpersonal Organization. She also graduated from Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Spring NC with a dual Master’s of Divinity and a Master’s of Mental Health Counseling with an Education Specialist Certification. She is currently working toward licensure as a Licensed Professional Counselor and plans to advocate for and walk with her clients towards holistic health in these essential areas. Vahisha is also an advocate in her local community as a Core Member of SURJ of Asheville (Showing Up For Racial Justice) which is a Caucasian led organization that seeks to actively dismantle racism through intentional education, organized action, and coalition building by supporting efforts of people of color to do the same. She is also a board member and facilitator for Building Bridges of Asheville where she organizes content for and guides sessions on fostering better relationships between the races by going beyond racism through an intentional 10 week process to gain mutual understanding and respect.

Intersectionality in the Black Church: Strengths and Struggles 
The black church is a unique and culturally rich faith community that has served as a source of support and leadership for black people as we battled not just in spiritual warfare but freedom, self-determination, social justice, racial equity, human and civil rights, and coalition building. The western black church began with enslaved faith leaders who learned to read the Bible when it was illegal and harbored secret meetings where the Word served as a source of comfort, hope, and liberation. The black church continued to serve as the common gathering place for revolution and birthed great leaders for civil rights and pioneers of education, arts, music, and politics. The black church is now a diverse compilation of denominations that still leads and serves its community but the modern world has brought intersectionality that the black church is less clear on how to maneuver. This session is a panel format of black faith leaders and those invested in the black church who will explore these intersections as they uniquely impact the future of the black church.

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