CDF’s 2021 Proctor Institute offers sixteen workshop options on Wednesday and Thursday from noon-1:30 p.m. EDT and 2:00-3:30 p. m. EDT. Choose two each day to build organizing skills, deepen understanding of policy concerns, discover programs and strategies to try back home, and share perspectives on justice, community, children, and the work to which we are called.
Wednesday First Workshop Session (noon-1:30 p.m. EDT)
- Leave No Child Behind – CDF staff
Who are the children falling further behind after more than a year of pandemic? How can we hear and heed their voices when they tell us “where it hurts”? What should we do to begin to heal the systemic harms inflicted by injustice so all children may thrive? Join in a conversation with CDF staff and partners to listen, learn, and prepare to lead in partnership with young people for this essential work.
- CDF Freedom Schools® – CDF staff
Come discover how you can host or involve your congregation or community in the CDF Freedom Schools movement. Participants will gain an overview of the concept and vision behind this successful summer and after-school enrichment program for children ages 5-18. The CDF Freedom Schools program integrates reading, conflict resolution, and social action in an activity-based curriculum that promotes social, cultural, and historical awareness.
- Broken Voices: Restorative Justice and Justice-Involved Youth – Travis Claybrooks, Ashlee Sellars, Raphah Institute, and Eric Alexander, ICAN
This session explores how restorative justice processes are being used in Davidson County, TN to help court-involved youth unpack their own trauma and adverse childhood experience. Participants will explore themes of harm and trauma and understand the difference between the two. They will gain a picture of harm as a transient dynamic that passes through people in a community. Participants will wrestle with identifying the varying needs that arise when harm is inflicted on a person, especially a child. We will discuss justice and how it relates to harm, exploring the need for processes that give people a way to articulate and pursue their demands for justice in a way that does not cause more harm. This session will include Q & A.
- Coming Soon
Wednesday Second Workshop Session (2-3:30 p.m. EDT)
- How Much a Dollar Cost? – Derek Hicks
[Description to come]
- Organizing Listening Parties for Our Joy and Freedom – Arielle Brown and Mauricio Salgado
[Description to come]
- Growing Up to Be a Child: The Heart of Spiritual Maturity – Dorsey Blake
In the Moffatt translation of Matthew 18: 3, Jesus calls a child and sets the child in the midst of the disciples in response to a question that has arisen about greatness in the Realm of heaven. Among words that Jesus expresses are these: “I tell you truly, unless you turn and become like children, you will never get into the Realm of heaven at all.” Is this an indictment of adulthood which is purportedly the maturing of childhood? Are we to become like the children our nation fails each year, leading to dire realities? How does Dr. Howard Thurman address the metamorphosis that must take place in our consciousness and living to realign being a child with entering the Realm of Heaven?
- Art and Social Change – Omari Booker
Omari Booker is an artist and animator engaged in challenging the structures and systems, policies and theologies that invisibilize and criminalize so many young people. Session description to come.
Thursday First Workshop Session (noon-1:30 p.m. EDT)
- Liberating Sunday School: Freedom Church School Curriculum – Bec Davis
The Story of God’s amazing grace, transforming love, bold call to justice, and faithful engagement in the world is witnessed throughout scripture. Too often it is drowned out by passionless Sunday school curriculum and disengaged teaching rather than fostering a faith that changes who we are at the core of our being, how we think, and the ways in which we act in our personal and public lives. Let’s explore a paradigm of possibility that is made real by engaging the foundations of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® pedagogy, resources, and spirit in Sunday School and beyond. Freedom Church Schools curriculum is a year away from launch but you can explore it this week. Join us as we create opportunities for teaching God’s justice, forming a dynamic and sustaining faith, and fostering commitment to the common good as we boldly live our faith in families, communities, the nation, and the world.
- Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing – James Lawson and Charlene Sinclair
This workshop will focus on nonviolent direct action organizing, including the importance of relationship and community building as central to movement building. We are faced with extreme abuse of police power, growing income inequality, vast inequities in public education, and wealth and political power. This workshop will explore nonviolent direct action organizing that affirms the dignity, worth, and enormous unrealized potential of all, with an emphasis on those who are living in poverty and most marginalized. These interactive sessions will draw on the experience of 50 years of movement building that involves neighborhoods, organized labor, churches and other faith-based institutions, truth and reconciliation initiatives, and work with gang members.
- Telling Our Stories of Communities in Crisis – Patrick Reyes, bel Reyes, and Juan Gomez
How do we tell the stories of our communities that are constantly under threat? How do we recover the lost histories of ancestors? How do we share the good news of our communities, when society only relates poverty, violence, and suffering? This workshop provides strategies for telling our narratives in life-giving ways and in and through the community. We will offer practices for reclaiming our lives and narratives for the purpose of healing our communities and enacting social change.
- State of America’s Children: Our Children Are Not Immune – CDF staff
As CDF’s 2021 State of America’s Children® report makes clear “Our Children Are Not Immune.” Children are being impacted at every level by the converging crises of COVID-19 and racial reckoning: physically, economically, academically, socially, and psychologically. As we consider child well-being in this country, this year’s report gives special attention to the various impacts of the pandemic including health, hunger, poverty, and mental health. A loss of certainty, consistent routine, and connection is leading to increased levels of depression and despair among our children and youth, especially among Black youth. As the Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson wrote, “A year marked by such dramatic change and drastic negative impact on children’s lives must be followed by one of healing and restoration. This healing will require disciplined reflection, radical imagination, and bold action.” Join this session to learn more about the State of America’s Children and a discussion of bold action to take in our communities, state, and nation.
Thursday First Workshop Session (noon-1:30 p.m. EDT)
- Organizing a Children’s Sabbath as a Catalyst for Change – Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris
Learn how you can engage your congregation in the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths celebration, a nationwide multifaith weekend of worship, education, and action to generate year-round efforts to improve children’s lives. This workshop will offer practical planning strategies and creative ideas for worship, education, outreach and advocacy that you can take back to your congregation and community to engage them in the 2021 Children’s Sabbath, “Where Does It Hurt? Listening to Heal Our Children.”
- Healing Haunted Histories: Injustice and Families Stories
American landscapes and narratives are “haunted” by Indigenous genocide, Black enslavement, and other historic and continuing social injustices. We will explore how trauma and resilience, as well as devised and dismembered stories, inhabit our family and communal places, memories and myths. Working from our recently completed book project exploring “Landlines, Bloodlines & Songlines,” we’ll map inward and outward journeys to face our collective history and to practice restorative solidarity, especially in our home places. Participants are encouraged to bring whatever fragments you can gather of your genealogical and geographic history for this interactive process.
- Intergenerational Conversation – Ash-Lee Henderson and Gus Newport
Come join in this time of informal, intergenerational listening and learning from each other, facilitated by Ash-Lee Henderson, Co-Executive Director of Highlander Research and Education Center and Gus Newport, former Mayor of Berkeley, CA and member of the National Council of Elders
- “To Make a Rest of Motion:” Reflecting on These Days – Will Gipson, Emma Jordan Simpson, Candace Simpson, and Jerry Streets
In his meditation “To Make a Rest of Motion,” Howard Thurman wrote, “It is ever a grace and a benediction to be able to come to a halt, to stop, to pause, to make a rest of motion. Thus we are privileged to turn aside from the things that occupy and preoccupy our minds in the daily round, to take a long intimate look at ourselves both in retrospect and prospect….” Each day at CDF’s Proctor Institute is full of emotions and insights, ideas and information, challenge and opportunity, community and commitment. We have heard, seen, and felt things that touch different and deep places in our hearts and minds. You are invited into this time and safe space to “make a rest of motion” and reflect with others on what these days have stirred in you. Join Proctor’s Co-Chaplains in Residence for this time of conversation and contemplation. All ages are welcome.