2018 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute

Join members of the Pan-Methodist Campaign for Children family and other faithful child advocates July 16-20 for the Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF's) 2018 Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute “Realizing Dr. King’s Vision for Every Child: Ending Child Poverty.” Clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, lay leaders, organizers, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children will gather for spiritual renewal, networking, movement-building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the intersection of race and poverty. This intergenerational, interracial and multi-ethnic gathering is a profound experience of Beloved Community in the serene setting of CDF Haley Farm, once home to Roots author Alex Haley, in Clinton, Tennessee.

Early risers can start the day with Meditations for the Journey led by Dr. Frederick J. Streets before breakfast. All will then gather for powerful preaching by the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III at Morning Devotions accompanied by the joyous, rousing music of the Resurrection Choir. The mornings will continue with thought-provoking Bible/Theological Study led by the Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce, Dean of Howard Divinity School who previously served as the Chief Religion Curator & Director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Dr. Rodney Sadler, Associate Professor of Bible at Union Theological Seminary, and Dr. Eileen W. Lindner, Proctor Theologian-in-Residence.

Proctor Children and Justice Plenaries offer insight and information to generate new conversations, strategies, and approaches to improving the lives of our nation’s children. On this 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s Poor People’s Campaign, we will be looking back at where we’ve come from, examine where we are, and set our sights on what we must do to realize Dr. King’s vision of ending child poverty. Tuesday’s plenary, “From the Poor People’s Campaign to CDF’s Ending Child Poverty Campaign” will feature a conversation among Marian Wright Edelman, CDF Founder and President, Rev. Jim Lawson, chief strategist of nonviolent direct action organizing in the civil rights movement, and Taylor Branch, historian and author of the trilogy America in the King Years. Wednesday’s plenary, “From Memphis to Raleigh and Beyond: Mobilizing in Communities and Congress” will feature Dr. William Barber, founder of the Moral Mondays movement, and Ash-Lee Henderson, Co-Executive Director of the Highlander Education and Research Center. Thursday’s plenary, “Si Se Puede: Intersecting Justice Movements” will feature Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farmworkers with Cesar Chavez, Saira Soto, Deputy Director of CDF California, and Dr. Patrick Reyes, Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration. Friday’s plenary, “From Campus Sit-Ins to Freedom Schools: Unleashing the Power of Young People for Change,” will feature Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Rev. Jen Bailey, Co-founder of Faith Matters Network, Joy Masha , co-founder of LEAD READ, and Rev. Starsky Wilson, executive director of the Deaconess Foundation and Co-Chair of the Ferguson Commission.

Twenty-four interactive afternoon workshops will equip you with new skills and strategies to build the movement for children. Options include community organizing, public theology and racial justice, and dismantling the Cradle to Prison Pipeline. Late afternoon choices include “Movement-building through the Arts” options (dance, music, visual arts, and spoken word), healing after trauma, telling our stories of communities in crisis, intergenerational conversations, and reflecting on the day.

Each evening concludes with the Great Preacher Series featuring Rev. Starsky Wilson, Dr. Claudio Carvalhaes, Dr. Greg Ellison II, and Dr. Pamela Lightsey. You won’t want to miss CDF president Marian Wright Edelman, who will offer a welcoming call at the beginning of the Institute and a closing charge on Friday. CDF’s Proctor Institute will conclude with a celebration of our commitment and a service of communion with Rev. Cynthia Jarvis preaching, a presentation by the children who participated in CDF's Proctor Freedom School, and contributions by members of the late afternoon “Movement-Building through the Arts” sessions through music, dance, spoken word and visual arts.

What is hard to capture in words but you will discover in person is that CDF’s Proctor Institute isn’t a “conference” but a community. When we gather for a session it is not as “audience” but congregation, and we are not “participants” so much as family. Working to make a difference in the lives of children in your congregation, community, state and nation is hard work, often draining or discouraging. It can feel overwhelming and our efforts can feel inadequate. CDF’s Proctor Institute is a time and place to replenish and renew your mind, heart, and spirit, to connect with others who share your heart for children and passion for justice. You will leave with fresh inspiration, new ideas, innovative strategies and models, and more partners for your work and witness. Learn more and register at: http://www.childrensdefense.org/Proctor

Scholarship support is available; click here for scholarship application.


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