Last week we hosted Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and a group of thoughtful participants in Writing to Change the World, our sixth writing workshop of the summer. Like Jonathan, many of the participants were members of intentional Christian communities, and all of them were committed to bearing witness to a Christian vision of justice and peace.
In addition to workshopping each other’s essays, the group spent hours discussing the relationships between writing and social change. They analyzed structures of power, shared stories about their work in community, questioned how to best exercise their voices, and wondered how help marginalized people find ways to exercises their voices as well. They also discussed their passions related to social change, such as protesting mountain-top removal activities, welcoming immigrants, and working for racial reconciliation. In the evenings, the group welcomed several guests to their conversations. Julia Dinsmore, author of My Name Is Child of God…Not “Those People”: A First Person Look at Poverty, shared about her work as a writer, artist, and activist in the Twin Cities. Another evening, Jesse James DeConto—whose book titled This Littler Light of Mine: Some Thoughts on NOT Changing the World added a touch of irony to the title of the writing workshop—played music, read excerpts from his book, and talked about the process of writing both music and prose.
We’ll miss this dynamic group of people of faith.