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. CDF Freedom School’s National Day of Social Action will livestream on Facebook Live from 1:30-2 p.m. EDT during the break between workshops, with young people expressing what justice means to them.
Wednesday First Workshop Session (noon-1:30 p.m. EDT)
- Guaranteed Income Strategies – moving beyond the pandemic
This pandemic and the racial reckoning taking place in this country have revealed the fault lines in the social contract our country has on child, youth and family support. Child poverty and racial disparities will worsen if we do not continue to ensure relief for families and expand and reimagine basic needs programs to help all children and youth learn, grow, and thrive moving forward. Guaranteed income provides an unconditional cash benefit provided by the government to families. These efforts can be targeted to certain populations and then there are proposals to make it universal.This workshop will focus on different local efforts advancing guaranteed income, the pros and cons guaranteed income pilots. Come and join our session to learn about this innovative way to meet real needs of children, youth and families, while challenging the mental models based on race, class, gender and age that often undergird the way public programs are designed. Join in a conversation with CDF-Minnesota Executive Director Bharti Wahi, CDF staff and community partners to listen, learn, and prepare to lead in partnership with families and youth for this essential work.
Led by Bharti Wahi, Executive Director, CDF Minnesota.
- CDF Freedom Schools®
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.
Led by CDF Freedom School staff and Ella Baker Trainers.
- Broken Voices: Restorative Justice and Justice-Involved Youth
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. A Q&A will accompany this session.
Led by Eric Alexander, National Advocate, Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, and Incarcerated Children’s Advocacy Network, Travis Claybrooks, Founder and CEO, Raphah Institute, and Ashlee Sellars, Restorative Justice Diversion Team Leader, Raphah Institute.
- Queer Liberation, Racial and Economic Justice Organizing
This session focuses on nonviolent organizing, strategy and narrative led by those with lived experience in communities assaulted by systemic oppression. From Resurrection City to the Movement for Black Lives, from Detroit to Durham, exploring what works then and now.
Facilitated by Mandy Carter, co-founder of SONG (Southerners On New Ground), the National Black Justice Coalition and Equality NC, and Shea Howell, co-founder of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center, co-editor of Riverwise Magazine and communications professor.
Wednesday Second Workshop Session (2-3:30 p.m. EDT)
- How Much a Dollar Cost?
How do we assess the care for the poor among the Christian community? In what ways are church members bound by political ideologies that make it difficult for them to care or make a difference in the lives of the poor and the least? What can Hip Hop offer us as an aid to addressing poverty? These are among several questions we will consider in this session. Christianity has long been typified by a concern for the “least of these,” at least in theory. But what does it mean that so many faithful Christians remain supportive of Donald Trump and policies that fail to create opportunities for those struggling to “make a way out of no way?” We will consider this issue together and conceive of bold strategies for eradicating poverty guided by voices from Hip Hop.
Led by Derek Hicks, Associate Professor of Religion and Culture, Wake Forest University School of Divinity.
- Organizing Listening Parties: Celebrating Your Community’s Memories
Last fall, the Remember2019 collective successfully collaborated with community members throughout Phillips County, Arkansas to reckon with the history of the Elaine massacre. Over the course of eight weeks they organized and supported oral history6 project, a statewide tour of the music concert “Black ‘n da Blues,” and three Listening Parties where members of the community gathered to listen, remember, dance, eat, dream, and celebrate Black freedom in Phillips County. Through this workshop, we will share about various efforts to memorialize the Elaine Massacre, one hundred years after it occurred, and we will discuss how you might develop you own local listening parties to uplift the histories within your community!
Remember 2019 is an effort to make space for the congregation of the Black communities and Black cultural workers of Phillips County, AR. Our work is to support and facilitate local practices of self-determination, memory, and reflection that are directly related to the mass lynching of 1919, the lasting effects of racial terror, and the current and future health of these communities.
Led by Arielle Julia Brown, co-creative producer of Remember 2019, social practice artist and facilitator, and Mauricio Tafur Salgado, co-founder of Artists Striving to End Poverty, co-creative producer with the Remember2019 Collective, and Assistant Arts Professor at New York University.
- Growing Up to Be a Child: The Heart of Spiritual Maturity
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?
Led by Dorsey O. Blake, Faculty Associate, Leadership and Social Transformation, Pacific School of Religion and Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples.
- Make History. Create Future
Join Omari Booker for a discussion about presence, and how our current creations speak to the past and change the future. Bring whatever art supplies are easily accessible as making artwork will be an integral part of the workshop. (No “artistic” ability or training required). “History is not just what happened; history also includes what could have happened and didn’t because we weren’t willing.” Orland Bishop.
Led by Omari Booker, artist and animator, with “Freedom through Art” studios in Nashville and Los Angeles.
Thursday First Workshop Session (noon-1:30 p.m. EDT)
- Liberating Sunday School: Freedom Church School Curriculum
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.
Led by Rebecca Davis, Associate Professor of Christian Education, Union Presbyterian Seminary—Charlotte.
- Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing
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.
Led by James M. Lawson, Jr., civil rights strategist, and Charlene Sinclair, founder of the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy.
- Telling Our Stories of Communities in Crisis
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.
Led by Cristian Franco Jr, rites of passage facilitator and cultural healing mentor, Juan Gomez, co-founder and Executive Director, MILPA, bel Reyes, Innovation Bridge, and Patrick Reyes, Senior Director of Learning Design, Forum for Theological Exploration.
- Cash for Kids: Working Towards a Guaranteed Income for Families with Children
It costs $233,610 to raise a child from birth through age 17. Children are expensive, and many families struggle with these costs— from housing, to food, to transportation, to clothing, to healthcare, to childcare. Congress recently expanded the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to help families make ends meet, and currently in front of Congress are proposals to make it permanent.This workshop will focus on strategies, advocacy tactics, outreach, and messaging for turning recent short-term improvements to the Child Tax Credit (CTC) into a robust, permanent child allowance. To ensure that a child allowance is made permanent and advances racial equity, provides meaningful support to all families who need it, and endures, it will take coordinated advocacy by a strong network of advocates. Come learn about this expansion, how it can support families in your community, and lay the groundwork for a guaranteed income for families with children.
Led by Emma Mehrabi, Director of Poverty Policy, Children’s Defense Fund.
Thursday Second Workshop Session (2:00-3:30 p.m. EDT)
- Organizing a Children’s Sabbath as a Catalyst for Change
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.”
Led by Shannon Daley-Harris, Proctor Institute Director, Children’s Defense Fund.
- 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.
Led by Elaine Enns, author and Co-Director, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries, and Ched Myers, author and Co-Director, Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries.
- Intergenerational Conversation
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.
Led 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
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….” CDF’s Proctor Institute evokes emotions and insights, introduces ideas and information, presents challenge and opportunity, generates 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.
Led by Will Gipson, Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Access, The University of Pennsylvania; Candace Simpson, Fish Sandwich Heaven; Emma Jordan-Simpson, Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation; and Frederick J. Streets, Senior Pastor, Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ in New Haven.