From the abolition movement of the 19th century to today’s movements for black lives, living wages, LGBTQ equality, carbon reduction, and human dignity, writers have been at the heart of the struggle for justice. From Frederick Douglass to Angelina Grimke, people who have written from their own deep pain have invited a broader public into understanding and engagement.
But writing is hard for people who live under the daily intensity of not only suffering injustice, but also trying to fight against it. Who has the time to write? And even if you can find it, how do you deal with the fact that millions like you don’t have such luxury? Is sitting in front of a blank screen an escape from the struggle? Or can it be a way of going deeper and sustaining transformative work?
Writing for Mystic Activists is an invitation to join Chanequa Walker-Barnes and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove for a week of attention to writing as a contemplative practice for activists and clergy. It is an opportunity to connect with a long tradition of resistance writers, develop your craft, and build community with others who experience a similar vocation.
Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is Associate Professor of Practical Theology at the Mercer University McAfee School of Theology. She is the author of I Bring the Voices of My People and Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength. A prophetic voice for healing, justice, and reconciliation, her personal mission is to dismantle white supremacist heteropatriarchy while practicing good self-care. Dr. Walker-Barnes is an ordained ecumenical minister.
Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove is a preacher, author and moral activist based in Durham, North Carolina. He has been part of the “Moral Mondays” movement in North Carolina since 2006 and currently serves on the National Steering Committee for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. The author of more than a dozen book, Wilson-Hartgrove’s titles include Revolution of Values, Common Prayer, Reconstructing the Gospel, Becoming the Answer to Our Prayers, and The Third Reconstruction, with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II.
The program is limited to 12 participants and will be held at the Warren Conference Center and Inn in Ashland, Massachusetts, 25 miles west of downtown Boston. Accommodations include private rooms with baths, and all meals and snacks.
Transportation to and from the facility are the responsibility of participants. The full cost of the program is underwritten by the Southern New England Conference, UCC in partnership with the Collegeville Institute and the Lilly Endowment. Participants are expected to stay the full length of the workshop.
Who May Apply?
- People who are actively engaged in work for justice, whether or not you are employed to do the work
- Activist writers with various levels of experience (no publication history expected)
The application deadline for this workshop has now passed.