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Affirming Leaders Day 2021

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Affirming Leaders Day is a faith-based development & connection day for allied and LGBTQ2S+ folks. All are welcome to join us! online!

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Affirming Leaders Day 2021

Peace and Protest: Creating Change with Love and Intention

We explore the ways that our faith calls us to bring justice, love, peace, and hope into the world.

This year we reflect on the ways in which our communities have been strained and constrained by the pandemic and the increasing polarization of an "us vs. them" mentality. How do we resist the urge to "other" others, while still standing our ground and working for justice?

When: Saturday, May 22, 2021, 10am-4:30pm MDT

Where: On Zoom, so you can watch/listen from your computer, tablet, or smart phone from anywhere in the world!

Tickets: $15-$30. Every ticket type gives you access to ALL of the sessions.

We want everyone who wants to come to be able to, regardless of their ability to pay for a ticket. If you need a comped ticket, please message us on Eventbrite or email miranda@affirmingconnections.com and we'll set you up with a discount code!

Want to help ensure everyone who wants to can attend? You can make a donation when you purchase your ticket to buy a ticket for someone else!

Visit our Facebook event to invite your friends!

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Session Schedule for Saturday: 10:00am- 4:30pm MDT

Session times TBA

Please adjust for your local timezone:

Pacific - 1 hr

Central + 1 hr

Eastern + 2 hrs

Atlantic + 3 hrs

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KEYNOTE SPEAKER:

Rev. James Lawson Jr., Civil Rights Activist

Rev. James Lawson was instrumental in shaping America’s Nonviolent Civil Rights Movement. After incarceration for refusing to report to Korean War draft, he traveled to India to study Ghandi’s principles of nonviolence. After being introduced to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and moving to Nashville, he mentored a number of young students and future civil rights leaders at Vanderbilt, Fisk University, and other area schools in the tactics of nonviolent direct action. His students were instrumental is movements such as the 1963 March on Washington, the 1965 Selma Voting Rights Movement, and The Freedom Rides, to name a few. Rev. Lawson moved to Los Angeles in 1975, where he was the pastor for 25 years. He continues to be a civil rights activist and teacher on non-violence.

Rev. Lawson will be speaking on our title theme, "Peace and Protest," and we will have a Q&A with him after his talk.

LIVE MUSICAL PERFORMANCE:

Semler, Singer-Songwriter

Semler recently became the first openly queer artist to hit Number 1 on the iTunes Christian music charts with their EP, "Preacher's Kid." The project explores Semler's experience growing up as a queer person of faith. Semler has been featured on NPR, The Washington Post, and Apple Radio. Preacher's Kid was recorded independently by Semler on a USB mic, and received over a million streams in just a few months.

We will have a Live Performance from Semler along with a special Q&A!

IG: @gracebaldridge

IN DEFENSE OF BLASPHEMY - a talk with:

Anthony Oliveira, PhD, Author, Film Programmer, Pop Culture Critic

Anthony is an award-winning writer of prose fiction, graphic novels, essays, and journalism. He is also a recurring contributor to Marvel Comics, his work for which has won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comic Book. He is the weekly host of The Devil’s Party, a podcast exploring the classics of Christian literature (including John Milton's poetry and the Gospels) through a queer scholarly lens.

Twitter: @meakoopa

SPECIAL GUEST:

Heather Campbell, Engineer, Volunteer

Heather Campbell has had a diverse twenty-five year energy career with technical, policy, and business roles in a full range of energy industries. She is the Executive Director, Clean Technology with Alberta Innovates. A licensed professional engineer in her secular life, Heather Campbell is an engaged, lifelong community volunteer. Ms. Campbell is a board director with Calgary’s performing arts centre Arts Commons, a member of the Advisory Council for Western Engineering, the People’s Warden at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Calgary, and a Commissioner with the Calgary Police Commission. She is the former co-chair of Alberta’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council.

Twitter: @HeatherC_YYC

More info and media clips from all of our presenters below!

REV. JAMES LAWSON


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The Reverend James M. Lawson, Jr., began resisting racism as a young child in Massillon, Ohio.

By high school, he had become a firm opponent of anti-Semitism and of religious bigotry in every form and decided to become a follower of Jesus. He was determined to disobey racist laws and resist the culture of racism.

In college, he became a political prisoner because he violated the Selective Service Act of 1948 requiring military service, which he found to be an unjust law.

In 1947, he began to read the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and embraced Gandhi’s teachings of Satyagraha, translated as “soul force,” or non-violent resistance.

At the urging of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lawson moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and joined the emerging non-violent, direct action movements initiated by Rosa Parks, Dr. King and others. According to Representative John Lewis (D-GA), Rev. Lawson was “the architect of the non-violent civil rights movement.”

He provided counsel to the Nashville, Tennessee, Sit-in Movement, the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and the Little Rock 9. He also mentored the 1960’s struggles in Birmingham, Alabama, Louisville, Kentucky, Greensboro, North Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, Jackson, Florida, St. Augustine, Florida, and Albany, New York.

As a practitioner of nonviolence, he has been jailed in Washington, D.C., Ohio, Florida, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and California. He is a teacher for low-wage workers organizing into unions and has worked with hotel workers, janitors, security officers and home care workers. And for many decades, he has worked as a United Methodist pastor of congregations in Ohio, Tennessee, and Los Angeles.


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1960. (L) Rev. James Lawson Jr. (R) Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo by Jack E. Cantrell

SEMLER


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ANTHONY OLIVEIRA


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HEATHER CAMPBELL


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Photo credit: Phil Crozier (www.photophilcro.com)

Heather Campbell has had a diverse twenty-five year energy career with technical, policy, and business roles in a full range of energy industries. She is the Executive Director, Clean Technology with Alberta Innovates. A licensed professional engineer in her secular life, Heather Campbell is an engaged, lifelong community volunteer. Ms. Campbell is a board director with Calgary’s performing arts centre Arts Commons, a member of the Advisory Council for Western Engineering, the People’s Warden at St. Stephen’s Anglican Church in Calgary, and a Commissioner with the Calgary Police Commission. She is the former co-chair of Alberta’s Anti-Racism Advisory Council.

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