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The Summit 2019

Movement Honorees and Elders

Here are some words of wisdom from our Summit 2019 Honorees and Elders.

Core Conversation: The Imperative for Truth-Telling

During this time of upheaval, violence, corruption, and sinful “-isms” tear at the core of our communities. But these crises also create opportunities to introduce new narratives to people previously unwilling to hear. Rev. Mariama White Hammond and Rev. Ruth Padilla DeBorst will offer their vision of prophetic truth-telling in a perilous time, as we discern together how we might transform crisis and division into a more just and hopeful future.

The Summit 2019: The Imperative for Truth-Telling from Sojourners on Vimeo.

Core Conversation: Bridge-Building in Polarizing Times

We’re exploring whether the work of “bridge-building” can be done without perpetuating harm in such mistrustful and divided times. We know shallow appeals to “unity” can often invalidate trauma and fail to account for the deep roots of polarization. Yet, as people of faith, we are called to build and inhabit the Beloved Community outside and beyond our ideological barriers. A panel of practitioners — including Rev. Dr. Becca Stevens, Rev. Jennifer Bailey, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Tim Dixon, and Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley — from a wide variety of fields will offer practical insight for navigating this work as teaching artist Joann Lee Kim illustrates the conversation through live painting.

The Summit 2019: Bridge-Building in Polarizing Times from Sojourners on Vimeo.

Core Conversation: Stories of Transformation and Awards Dinner

Stories tell us who we are, what we value, and who God has called us to be. We honor our Summit 2019 elders and movement honorees—visionaries who have prepared the path and leaders shaping the work of justice today. Through storytelling and discussion, we will hear experiences of struggle and transformation in the work of faith and justice. This conversation is moderated by Joshua DuBois, with Imam Khalid Latif, Pastor Ada Valiente, Pastor Corey Brooks, Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Rev. Frank Chikane, and Sr. Helen Prejean participating.

The Summit 2019: Stories of Transformation and Awards Dinner from Sojourners on Vimeo.

Core Conversation: Powers, Principalities, and Public Discipleship

Spiritual forces of evil are the true source of our struggle, says Philippians 6:12. So, even as we faithfully confront immediate dangers in our world, we must also go deeper. How can we restore our spiritual and theological bearings in this time of untethering? This closing conversation with The Most Rev. Michael Curry, Rev. Traci D. Blackmon, and Rev. Jim Wallis will examine the cost of public discipleship today, offering strategy and vision for the way forward.

The Summit 2019: Power, Principalities, and Public Discipleship from Sojourners on Vimeo.

The Summit 2018: Radically Rooted

Core Conversation: CENTER

Fifty years ago, in another time of deep conflict, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked: “Where do we go from here: chaos or community?” Movement through chaos and towards community requires a renewal of our roots and identity. The word “radical” comes from the Latin word “radix” which means “root,” so a radical faith literally requires us to address the fundamental nature of things—to create change from the core. To be rooted in radical discipleship is to participate in a movement of justice and peace, as taught and lived in the life of Jesus.

Core Conversation: CULTIVATE

In the absence of justice, those who believe in freedom cannot rest. But paradoxically, without rest—and spiritual sustenance—our movements suffer from corrosive cynicism. How do we avoid becoming well-intentioned but disillusioned activists? How do we nurture hope that is stronger than the winds that shake us?

Core Conversation: EMPOWER

We are guided by a great cloud of witnesses, but we face our own unique moment in history. Living out a call to protect vulnerable people forces us into the creative tension between power and powerlessness. What is the appropriate use of power in this time? What strategies and energies are needed for a new civil resistance movement?


To stay rooted, we need to learn from our elders—those who’ve prepared the way by fighting injustice, promoting peace, and serving others.

Core Conversation: CREATE

What does prophetic imagination mean today? Our present civic dysfunction has imposed new barriers on some and provided a wake-up call to others, yet transformative possibilities exist. What does prophetic ministry look like, not just in our biblical traditions, but in response to this moment?

The Summit 2017: Healing + Resistance

Core Conversation: Story

The stories we tell about ourselves, our world, and God hold the power to unite, heal, and transform. Margaret Atwood, Nikole Lim, Rev. Steven D. Martin, and Amena Brown Owen discuss the power of story to shape a more just world.

Artists Showcase

Our Summit Featured Artists, Sharon Irving, Amena Brown Owen, Mazaré Rogers, BuddahDesmon, Darren Calhoun, Ahmane’ Glover and Rev. Waltrina Middleton kick off the Summit with a showcase for healing and resistance, through story, spoken word, and song.

Core Conversation: Truth.

In the age of post-truth, fake-news, alternative facts, and legitimate challenge to white male Christian hegemony, how does the Gospel inform our understanding of truth and our call to confront dominant cultural and political narratives? Dr. Gail Christopher, Mustafa Santiago Ali, Michael Gerson, Lovely Nwadeyi, Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes, Isabel Castillo, and Sister Norma Pimentel discuss the importance and power of truth in working for justice.

The Art of Resistance: The Cry, The Call, The Push + Core Conversation: Resistance

A 30-minute live-art collage crafted by artists of the movement. Through spoken-word, music, and visual art, these featured artists reveal the grit, determination, connection, direction, and spirit of the resistance in our times. Featuring Waltrina Middleton, Nikole Lim, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou. Directed by Lisa Sharon Harper.

Followed by a conversation on the normalization of injustice and disenfranchisement calls the faithful to resist. What can we learn from similar historic movements? What does resistance require today? Lisa Sharon Harper, Nkosivumile Gola, Rev. Dr. Wes Granberg-Michaelson, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, and Linda Sarsour discuss resistance in the movement for justice.

Core Conversation: Disruption

From government to business to church, institutions are experiencing a profound crisis of credibility. How can public trust be restored in the institutions responsible for the common good? And should it be? This Core Conversation will engage leaders in deep discernment regarding the ways our institutions reinforce injustice. Jim Wallis, Rev. René August, Rev. Dr. Timothy Tee Boddie, RuthAnna Buffalo, John J. DeGioia, Rev. Dr. Velda Love, and Edward M. Jones discuss the role of disruption in countering unjust systems.

Core Conversation: Healing

Sustainable dissent must also include reconciliation with our bodies, our relationships, and God. This closing Core Conversation will tap deep wells of wisdom from practitioners in spiritual formation. They will share with us how to remain spirituality and emotional rooted in the face of oppression. Jatrice Martel Gaiter, Dr. Iva Beranek, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Elizabeth Medicine Crow, Rev. Harry Quiett, and Yonce Shelton talk about the power and importance of healing in the justice movement.

To see Summit videos from previous years, click here.