Set at Liberty Event Info, Logistics, Registration

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RSVP for January 13th Evening Keynote HERE

What: Soul Lockdown, a Nation in Chains: Keynote address by Dr. Iva Carruthers
When: Tuesday, January 13th, 7pm
Where: Shiloh Temple International Ministries, 1201 W. Broadway Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55411

Parking is available at Shiloh Temple, as well as in the parking lots of both the bank and school that are across the street from Shiloh Temple.

RSVP for January 14th Workshop HERE

The Faith Summit, “To Set at Liberty: Faith, Race and the Sin of Mass Incarceration” is a collaborative effort led by the Kaleo Center to ignite, convene & equip 250 faith leaders to understand and lead their congregations and communities in addressing the racialized systems that prohibit African Americans from living productive and healthy lives.

What: Getting to Work: Equipping the Faithful to Confront Mass Incarceration
When: Wednesday, January 14th. 8:30am – 4pm.
Registration opens at 8:30am, program starts at 9:00am.

Where: United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, 3000 Fifth Street Northwest, New Brighton, MN 55112

Parking is available in lots along the South and West sides of the seminary.

When you enter the building, follow signs to the Context Café and Registration.

Workshops Schedule:

8:30 – 9:00am Registration and Coffee In Context Café
9:00 – 10:00am Opening session Bigelow Chapel
10:00 – 11:30am Concurrent Workshops
Steckel Learning Center
Classroom A
  • Preaching on Mass Incarceration Presented by Matthew V. Johnson, Associate Professor of Theology and Proclamation, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
Classroom B
Classroom C
Classroom E
Classroom F
Strobel Conference Room
11:45 – 1:30pm

Lunch and optional Haiku Workshop


Context Café for Lunch

The Intersection Studio adjacent to Café for haiku

1:45 – 3:15pm Afternoon Workshops
Classroom A
Classroom B
Classroom E
Steckel Learning Center
Strobel Conference Room
3:15 – 4:00pm Closing Bigelow Chapel

Restoring the Vote In MN

This presentation will discuss the impact voter disenfranchisement and the campaign to restore voting rights for 60,000 Minnesotans living and paying taxes in the community who are locked out of their democracy because of the Justice System.

Justin Terrell is the Justice 4 All (J4A) Program Manager at TakeAction Minnesota. Justin’s’ work focuses on removing barriers to employment and democracy for families impacted by the justice system. J4A has been successful at encouraging Target Corporation to change their hiring practices across the country which was instrumental in passing a statewide law removing questions pertaining to criminal records from employment applications. For this work, Justin was awarded the 2014 Facing Race Ambassador Award by the Saint Paul Foundation. Justin is a national and international trainer on leadership development and structural racism. He has a BA in Social Work, 10+ years’ experience in the social service nonprofit industry and severed on several boards including the City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Dept. He lives in south Minneapolis with his wife and is a mentor to a senior at North High School. Justin has a criminal record from 2002 and sees J4A as an opportunity to address the social inequalities that prevent Minnesotans from pursuing their full potential after experiencing the justice system. He believes that all people can change and the justice system must change so that “ALL” Minnesotans can have the opportunity to participate in a healthy and safe society.

Building a Cradle to College Pipeline

This workshop will give participants an understanding of Early Childhood Development and Infant Mental Health, which is the foundation for all life learning and success. We will explore parent  and community’s role in supporting children on  a path to life success. The workshop will also demonstrate how the absence of this support can lead to adverse childhood experiences and challenging behaviors that foster a cycle of negative outcomes. We will conclude with discussion around how the faith community can disrupt the cradle to prison pipeline and put children on a trajectory for life success.

Andre Dukes is the Family Academy Director at the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ). Family Academy provides parenting empowerment classes that give low-income parents the skills they need to put their kids on a path to college, beginning at birth.

Andre has devoted his life to helping people recognize their inner strength and live to their fullest potential. He is the Assistant Pastor at Shiloh Temple International Ministries and has worked with city officials to reduce youth violence in North Minneapolis.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Minnesota Graduate School of Theology and completed the Certificate program in Infant Mental Health and Early Childhood at the University of Minnesota Center for Early Education Development. He has served on the board of Ready 4K, an organization dedicated to creating policies that protect our youngest citizens. He currently serves on the Parents As Teachers Advisory Committee and the African American Leadership Forum Steering Committee.

Preaching on Mass Incarceration

This workshop will help participants develop and hone their skills in preaching about criminal justice and mass incarceration.

Dr. Matthew V. Johnson, Sr., is a graduate of Morehouse College and earned his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in Philosophical Theology from the University of Chicago. He has done post-graduate studies in Psychoanalysis and is a member in training at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. In the ministry for thirty years, Dr. Johnson is the Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd-Baptist located in Atlanta, GA. In the course of a thirty year ministerial and pastoral career, he served three ministries in Greensboro, NC.  He was pastor of United Institutional Baptist Church in Greensboro, NC and was Founder and Pastor of Manasseh Baptist Church. Dr. Johnson is currently teaching at the InterDenominational Theological Center in Atlanta.

He is the author of three major theological works.  They include, “The Tragic Vision of African American Religion”, an analysis of African American religious subjectivity and understanding of the religious experience and its theological implications. “The Passion of the Lord: African American Reflections” a book which presents the biblical, historical, and theological roots of African American views, and, mostly recently “Onesimus Our Brother” examining the letter which contains so many of our unconscious assumptions about religion, race, and culture.

Triple Threat – Profiled, Detained, Deported: Immigration Detention is Mass Incarceration

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operates the United States’ largest prison system. Mandatory detention laws account for an estimated 70% of all people detained by ICE. A quota in federal appropriations law requires ICE to fill 34,000 detention beds every day. About 50% of ICE detention beds (and 100% of Criminal Alien Requirement (CAR) beds for immigrants serving time for drug offenses or illegal entry/reentry convictions in the federal Bureau of Prisons system) are owned and operated by private prison corporations. This session will explore the complex web of federal immigration laws, local policing practices, and the private prison industry that is responsible for the incarceration of nearly ½ million individuals every year.

John Guttermann is the founding lead for the Conversation With Friends program that works to end isolation by visiting and supporting immigrants jailed by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during their deportation hearings. He is The Advocates for Human Rights Volunteer Liaison to Faith Communities, is a public policy advocate on immigration issues, and speaks and shows films on immigration issues to faith groups and other organizations.     In 2012 John received The Advocates’ Volunteer Recognition Award. At General Synod 29 the national United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries recognized John with the “2013 Justice Leadership Award”. He is a Covenant Minister at the United Church of Christ in New Brighton. He has served the Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ in a variety of capacities and is now a member of the Conference Immigration Team.  John also has experience lobbying the MN Congressional Delegation on issues of criminal justice and racial profiling. John has a BAS from the University of Minnesota and both an MA and M.Div. from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Getting to the heart of our story before writing to the newspaper

This workshop will help participants get to the heart of their stories, particularly as it relates to race. Grounded in our stories, we’ll explore how to tell your story in a way that listeners, especially the media will notice and make use of.

Brian Curtis Herron, Sr., was born in Kansas City, Kansas September 8, 1955 and attended elementary and junior high schools in Kansas City, Kansas. His family relocated to Minneapolis in 1970 and he graduated from Washburn High School in 1973. After graduation, Brian attended Clark College in Atlanta, GA. In 2009, Pastor Brian graduated from the Leadership Institute for Ministry Excellence at St. Thomas University where he received a Certificate of Completion. In addition, he holds a host of certificates for trainings, workshops and conferences in areas of Crime Prevention, Leadership Training, Chemical Dependency, Diversity, Working with Troubled Youth, and Prison Re-entry. Brian has also been active in various civic organizations and groups and received numerous plaques and awards for his leadership, dedication, and courage in working to better the community and city of Minneapolis.

On March 24, 2004, Brian was licensed to preach and on August 13, 2006 he was ordained. He served as an Associate Minister at Zion Baptist Church under the leadership of his father, Pastor Curtis Herron for three years. In December, 2006, Brian was formerly installed as the Pastor of Zion Baptist Church and is presently the Senior Pastor of Zion Baptist Church. Since becoming the Senior Pastor at Zion, he has been extensively involved with the Minnesota State Baptist Convention.

Rev. Grant Stevensen works with ISAIAH Clergy Development

Alternatives to Detention for Juveniles

This workshop will explore alternatives to detention for juveniles.

Brian Smith is the State Coordinator of the MN Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Black Lives Matter: Direct Action as a Tool for Social and Policy Change

The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag has gone global and changed the landscape of our discourse around police violence and brutality across the country. In this workshop we’ll talk about what has happened in the movement and what’s the message of the movement. We’ll also discuss ways the faith community can plug in and take initiative to create and join in direct actions as part of the movement. We’ll also explore the role of clergy and people of color as well as white allies in this movement.

Lena K. Gardner is finishing her masters degree in Justice and Peace studies at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and works full time for The Church of the Larger Fellowship, a Unitarian Universalist congregation without walls. She has worked on local political campaigns, served on the board for her neighborhood organization, and volunteered for multiple organizations working for racial justice. She continually seeks new ways to reclaim our communities from the grips of oppressive systems and continue building lives and communities that are more healthy, equitable, and racially just.

Pastor Danny Givens, Jr.’s passion and profession as an advocate for male prison re-entry, restorative justice and Pastoral Care have been the catalyst of his ministry. He commits his time mentoring men and women of all ages, helping them discover their “inner power” to become positive leaders and role-models, while encouraging them to further their education by using community and faith based resources for academic growth, personal development and progress. His vision is to impact change by fostering holistic healing through the art of Therapy, Life Coaching, Motivational Speaking as well as Civic & Community Engagement throughout the Twin Cities and abroad.

Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. is the Senior Pastor of Above Every Name Ministries. Emerging as a cutting edge ministry in the Twin Cities Above Every Nam, created to be a “Church for the People”, is a place where God’s Creation can Relate, Receive, and be Released to experience the unending measure of God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace. Taken from Philippians 2.9, we believe that no matter what name, stigma, or negative “label” has been spoken over or placed upon one’s life, there is only ONE name that is greater…The name of “Jesus Christ”.

Founded by Pastor Danny Givens in 2011 the mission of AEN is to reach and teach a people created by God for the God of all Creation. With a vision to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to men, women, children, and the extended human family for the glory of God, AEN exists to invite all to live and lead a Christ-Centered life.

AEN’s preeminence in St. Paul’s Rondo Community finds its roots in the Founder/Senior Pastor’s transformational story of Rebellion, Redemption, and Reconciliation. Pastor Danny Givens, Jr. a native of St. Paul Minnesota holds a colorful upbringing and background which has laid the cornerstone of hope and change behind the agape love permeating throughout the ministries’ vision.

Such a transformational story lends itself to the hearts and minds of those who advocate for restorative reconciliation and possess an intrinsic need to see a troubled world find peace, hope, and healing through the Gospel.

Breaking Bread Together:  Building Homes and Community

Approximately 7,700 Minnesotans are released from prison each year after paying their debt to society, many of them African American men. They face significant challenges to finding jobs and housing – the very conditions that would allow them to rebuild their lives, reconnect with their families and become productive community members again. Far too many are released to shelters rather than into a safe, supportive community.

In a unique partnership, Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative, Better Futures Minnesota, Plymouth Congregational Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church have come together to begin to address this issue. Great River Landing is the proposed development that will be home for up to 72 adults committed to changing the trajectory of their lives but hampered by a history of incarceration.

Join representatives of Beacon, Better Futures and Plymouth Church in a conversation about why housing like Great River Landing is needed and what it takes to create this opportunity.

Thomas Adams, PhD is the President and CEO of Better Futures Minnesota. He has over 25 years of experience in delivering a continuum of supportive services to underserved minority people living in distressed communities.  He’s consulted extensively in the areas of nonprofit organizational development, youth development, poverty and inner city families, and minority health disparities.  Prior to Better Futures, Thomas served as the CEO of African American Family Services in Minneapolis, MN and Executive Director of the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools in Atlanta, GA.  He is an adjunct professor at Metro State University in St. Paul and Greenville College in IL.  Thomas is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated and The Monitors.  He is active in the community through volunteerism and sits on several local boards.  He was born and raised in St. Paul, MN.  Thomas is married to Lisa Sayles-Adams, PhD (ABD) and they have four children:  Jateya, Isaiah, Elijah, and Isaac.

Josef Kevin Hardwick

Ann Manning is known as a passionate advocate for justice. Ann was Interim Executive Director for United for a Fair Economy in Boston, MA and consults with Wealth for the Common Good on economic reforms as well as creating the New Economy. She was an early board member at Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative and held a variety of board leadership roles. Other Board work includes the YWCA of Minneapolis and Habitat for Humanity Minnesota.

Ann has over 30 years of experience in executive and consulting roles, focusing on strategy, leadership and group facilitation. Her professional experience includes domestic and international assignments with Medtronic, PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC and Wilson Learning. Ann has a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, a master’s in counseling psychology from Saint Mary’s University and a bachelor of science in business administration from Old Dominion University.

Ann’s most recent work is with Future First and the 2014 Women’s Congress for Future Generations where she combines her long time interest in economic justice with a relatively new awakening to the need for environmental justice.

Debra Rodgers, is the Congregational Partnership Organizer for Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative. She has over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit organizations and over 10 in working with faith communities. An experienced community organizer, Debra has worked for justice in a number of settings including immigration reform, health and education equity, juvenile detention, health and economic development. Over the last seven years Debra has focused on learning about the impact of race, racism and whiteness on our society. Prior to Beacon, Debra worked at First Universalist Church, the Whittier Community Development Corporation and The Minneapolis Foundation. Debra and her husband Charles live in South Minneapolis and have three children.

Haiku Project

#5 7 5 Psalms of Justice

A picture is worth a thousand words…or just 17 syllables.  The art of haiku- 3 lines of 17 syllables can speak volumes and effect change.  Change for the writer, change for the reader – enough writers and enough readers can effect global change.

You are invited to participate in an ongoing writing project in The Intersection.  Inspired by images that focus on various aspects of social justice and human rights you will translate photographic images into your haiku, into your psalm of Justice.  The images will rotate, some coming from visiting professor in Theatre and Culture Sarah Bellamy, artist-in-residence Wing Young Huie and Dr. Jann Cather Weaver. and others.  The first issue we will focus on is the Civil Rights Movement.

Sponsors and Co-sponsors for Set at Liberty include:

United Seminary, Shiloh Temple, Church of All Nations, Jewish Community Action, ISAIAH, MN Conference UMC, MUUSJA, and Conversations with Friends


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