Soulforce’s Dec.13 Symposium and Fundraiser in CA!

On Saturday Dec. 13th, Soulforce gathered at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento, CA for the annual Symposium Series titled, “The Body In Space:  Gender, Location, and Street Level Justice.”  Thanks to our sponsors and you, our donors, it proved to be a fascinating series of presentations, dialogue, and keynotes!  Here are some of our favorite moments:

1.) Haven Herrin, Soulforce Deputy Director, provided the audience with a mini-Bible Boot Camp!  They explained Leviticus from a socio-cultural, historical perspective, explaining the importance of the virtue of hospitality in the scripture.

2.) Methodist minister, longtime Soulforce friend and Civil Rights era veteran Reverend Phil Lawson gave one of the most moving talks, sharing his and his family’s experiences during times when lynchings and state-sanctioned violence against African Americans were commonplace and accepted.  He left everyone in the room with this essential idea:  “The opposite of oppression is not freedom. Freedom is only the half-way mark. The opposite of oppression is community building.”

3.) Later in the morning, Keynote Speaker, Sam Dennison, from The Faithful Fools Street Ministry, enlightened us on the experience of moving through and outside of binary gender and how that relates to community building.   The Faithful Fools are located in The Tenderloin District in San Francisco and are invested in bringing racial and economic justice to the neighborhood.

4, 5.) Carmen Barsody, Co-Founder of The Faithful Fools Street Ministry, played the part of the narrator in the afternoon theatrical workshop presentation of “The Wolf of Gubbio!”  Actors Alex and Melissa play St. Francis and The Wolf.  After the play, the audience engaged in reacting to and questioning the re-interpretation of this age-old story.

Later that night….

Café Floré in San Francisco was the site of a wonderfully artistic drag and gender performance show!  Program Director, Esmé Rodríguez was thrilled to receive so much response and support from her sister performers in The Bay Area!  We raised funds for Soulforce, as well as visited with former Equality Riders and spread awareness about our mission! At left: Cindi Love and Haven Herrin enjoyed the performances and our very special guest emcee, Miss Bebe Sweetbriar, who is a pillar of artistic strength and community building in the Bay Area!

 

And finally, on Sunday, Soulforce attended the Unitarian Universalist Church Bazaar, bringing artists and communities of faith together to create community, chat, and sell their wares for charity!

On the left is Cindi with Rev. Kay Jorgensen, Co-Founder of The Faithful Fools Street Ministry!  The Fools all have inner clowns whose performances delight and entertain everyone around them! On the right, Cindi and Haven become honorary Fools!