Proctor Event Page2021-02-04T10:00:28-05:00

27th Annual CDF Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry

July 19-23, 2021

Listening to the Children: A Radical Revolution of Values

Movement-building is hard work. We can’t do it alone. One generation alone can’t get it done. We need each other and deep spiritual sustenance to keep going and create the just world our children deserve. CDF’s Proctor Institute is where we can sing and pray, strategize and struggle, organize and advocate, and share our stories—our hurts and hopes, pain and passion for justice, in Beloved Community. Held on the storied grounds of CDF Haley Farm, the spiritual home of the children’s movement, the Proctor Institute is where we refresh and renew so that we can continue the hard, hopeful, sacred work of pursuing justice for children and ending child poverty. Plan now to join us, July 19-23. We can’t wait to welcome you home.

“If you want the opportunity and the chance to meet, hear, and see history in the making, come to this Institute. It opens your mind, heart, and soul to issues you didn’t think were important or relevant and drives you to do more and better.”

Joi Adams, first-time participant

“Haley is a place to rest and renew your spirit, challenge your faith, establish friendships with kindred spirits, hear great preaching, and then be ready and willing to go home and speak out and stand up for children!”

Steve Wiard, nine-year participant

“Proctor is a loud voice in the wilderness that reminds me that grace abounds. It will inspire you and renew your hope and reassure your spirit of the fact that the world is in the capable hands of our young people.”

First-time participant

“If you care about the plight of children and the future of this country, you must come and learn to be an advocate for the rights of all God’s children!”

The Rev. Dr. Robert E. Walker, Jr.

Plenary Program

See what Proctor has to offer

Click here for our 2021 plenaries

Small Group Options

Prophetic Leadership

Attendees with Children


Discover options for children ages 5-15

For Seminarians


Learn more about credit opportunities

CDF’s 2021 Proctor Institute

“Listening to the Children: A Radical Revolution of Values”

Plenary Program

Opening Day Monday includes a pre-session for seminarians at 9 a.m., registration beginning at noon, orientation for first-time participants at 2 p.m., walking tours, choir rehearsal, and the formal start at 7:15 p.m. with a welcome and the Great Preacher series.

Early Morning Options: Meditations for the Journey, this optional early morning gathering led by Dr. Frederick J. Streets, Proctor co-chaplain-in-residence, generates deep reflection, feeds the spirit, and offers new perspective on the work behind and the work ahead. Come see why this special time leaves participants especially renewed, even though they arose earlier than the others! Aerobics with Soul: The African Dance Workout is a new early morning option this year, led by its creator Maria Nhambu and Salma Faraji.

Morning Devotions preached by Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., and Dr. Otis Moss IIIProctor Institute Co-Pastors in Residence, get the day started with powerful, prophetic preaching. You’ll be especially moved by the unique experience of hearing this father-son team preach together on Wednesday morning, as well as by hearing their distinctive sermons on Tuesday and Thursday.

Theology and Child Advocacy plenaries follow, engaging us in thinking critically, reflecting deeply, and connecting our faith, work, and justice for children as we are led by Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, Proctor Theologian in Residence and author of Thus Far on the Way: Toward a Theology of Child Advocacy (Tuesday); Dr. Traci West, Drew University Theological School (Wednesday); and by Rabbi Lydia Medwin, The Temple, Atlanta, and Dr. Patrick Reyes, Forum for Theological Exploration and author of Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood Freedom (Thursday).

Children and Justice Plenaries focus on continuing, urgent challenges facing children and families in our nation that call us to pursue justice persistently and faithfully. Sessions will include “Listen to the Children”  featuring young organizers leading on ending child poverty, immigration, environmental justice, and gun violence prevention, moderated by Rev. Damien Durr“Tearing Down Walls” featuring Dr. Elizabeth Conde-FrazierAssociation for Hispanic Theological Education; and a young person, in a conversation moderated by Dr. Cheasty Anderson, Senior Policy Associate, Children’s Defense Fund-Texas; and “Backs Against the Wall: Ending Child Poverty” featuring The Honorable Michael D. Tubbs, Mayor of Stockton, California, and a young organizer in conversation with Rev. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

The Great Preacher Series ends each day with the Word and words of Rev. Heber Brown III, Senior Pastor of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Baltimore; Bishop Minerva CarcañoBishop of the San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church; Rev. Gail Song BantumLead Pastor of Quest Church in Seattle, and Dr. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund.

Throughout worship, and throughout the week, we are led in song by Dr. Eli Wilson, Proctor’s minister of music, and Don Lewis, Proctor’s organist. The all-are-welcome Resurrection Choir sings from the first night to the final morning. You’ll be lifted by this special opportunity to add your voice to the choir, as music fills the ark-shaped interfaith chapel designed by Maya Lin and spills out onto the portico and green fields beyond.

Late Night Open Mic
While some head to their hotels after the evening Great Preacher Series concludes at 8:45 p.m., others are energized by the day and brimming with something to share, to say, to sing. Proctor’s Late Night Open Mic on Thursday will be a time and place to share those gifts with others!

Small Group Options

CDF’s Proctor Institute offers more than fifty interactive small group options on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons. 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.

Additional Information for Attendees Bringing Children

To provide children ages five through 15 a formative and enriching experience, we offer the opportunity to pre-register for and participate in an abbreviated CDF Freedom Schools program during CDF’s Proctor Institute.

Please visit our Proctor Institute CDF Freedom Schools page for detailed information.

Proctor CDF Freedom Schools

Additional Information for Seminarians

CDF’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry offers an opportunity for seminarians to participate for course credit. These individuals will attend the Seminarian Pre-Session on Monday July 19th from 9:00 a.m. ̶ 5:15 p.m. and will meet with our 2021 Proctor Professors-in-Residence each evening during dinner to discuss and reflect on the day’s sessions and for further engagement. There is also a seminarian post-session immediately following the formal conclusion of the Proctor Institute.

Seminary students who are interested in registering for the credit-bearing graduate course should sign up through their seminaries (to pay for and receive credit hours) and register for CDF’s Proctor Institute (including the seminary sessions) at the discounted price of $200.00.

Please visit our seminarians page for detailed information on participating seminaries; seminary faculty and co-facilitators; and course descriptions, core components, and requirements.


Proctor Institute registrants are responsible for planning their own lodging and the majority of their transportation. Please visit our logistics page for detailed information about arrivals and departures, transportation, housing, the CDF shuttle, scholarships, and our cancellation policy, to help you plan your visit.

Visit Logistics Page


We cannot wait to learn, grow, and recommit to making a difference for children with you! Below you will find ticket information for the various ways you can join us this summer at CDF Haley Farm. 

  • Individual registrations covering all meals, materials, and sessions during CDF’s 2021 Proctor Institute are $360. 
  • Registrations for groups of 3 or more (who register using the same 10-word group name) are $280 per person. 
  • Registration for seminarians participating in the Proctor Graduate Intensive for credit are $200 per person. 
  • Registration for children ages 5-15 who participate in the Proctor Freedom School during the Institute is $150 per child. 

We are delaying the opening of registration until March 2021, due to the uncertainties created by Covid-19. At that time, each of the portals below will bring you to a list of ticket options for the various communities attending Proctor. Please note that completing the registration process requires you to submit required biographical information, select which workshops you would like to attend, and complete a payment. 

In the meantime, you are encouraged to complete this Interest Link with your name, email, and cell phone number. We will use that information to notify you when registration is open or if the Proctor Institute is postponed.  As you consider which workshops you would like to attend, take time to view them here. See you Tennessee!

Adult Registration

These tickets are for individuals planning to attend the full 5-day event, single-day passes, and Seminary students who are not applying for a scholarship.

Proctor CDF Freedom Schools® Program

Adults who need to register a child attending the event can do so here. You will be required to submit emergency contact information for the child, as well as contact information for the adult who will serve as their event chaperone. This information will be required for each child attending the event.

Individual Registering with a Group

Adults who are attending with a group (three or more individuals), are eligible for group tickets. Before submitting the registration form, your group MUST decide on a group name, limited to ten (10) words. The agreed upon group name is needed to complete registration and qualify for the group ticket rate.


If you have questions about:

  • Registration, housing, or travel logistics: call CDF Haley Farm at (865) 457-6466
  • Program or workshops: email Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris at
  • The seminarian course for graduate credit at the Proctor Institute: call Dr. Janet Wolf at (615) 260-2894.
  • CDF Freedom School program at Proctor Institute for children ages 5-15 who pre-register: email Dr. Kristal Moore Clemons, National Director of the CDF Freedom Schools Program, at