The Office for Urban Initiatives (OUI) has convened several events at Fuller Theological Seminary around the topic of ending social injustices by inviting social reformers to engage with Fuller students and the community.
Round Table Discussions:
OUI conducts Round Table Discussions that identify social injustices in various communities. Students are invited to learn how to end social injustices by participating in these discussions along with Urban Initiatives’ seasoned practitioners and invited community leaders. Discussions will focus on, but are not limited to, ending and preventing homelessness, human trafficking, neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and urban planning.
Speakers and topics include:
Student Networking Meetings
OUI provides an opportunity for networking during which students and others, who work in the nonprofit world, the church or in the community addressing social injustices, can come together to share their work, cultivate relationships, seek support, exchange ideas, reflect with others, and share resources. We believe that when people join with others and create momentum toward change, they become transformational. The meetings provide an environment where people can continue to grow while developing peer mentoring and professional relationships in order to effect change and enhance their current work.
OUI and the Office of Alumni and Church Relations (ACR), in partnership with the Los Angeles Superior Court convened the Court Clergy Conference at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena in 2010 and 2014.
The theme for the 2014 conference was Building Community with Justice. Approximately 200 faith leaders from different backgrounds, as well as faculty and students at the seminary attended the all-day conference, learning how to navigate the justice system for the populations they serve. The conference included welcoming remarks from Fuller’s President Mark Labberton and City of Pasadena’s Mayor Bill Bogaard. Congresswoman Judy Chu presented certificates of congressional recognition to OUI, ACR and the LA Superior Court, acknowledging the partnership and efforts to bring the court system and clergy together. The conference also included an overview of the LA County Superior Court system; panel presentations by judges on different courts and procedures such as veterans, juvenile, mental health and family law courts; information on child abuse and mandatory reporting; as well as keynote addresses from Archbishop Jose Gomez and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.
Archbishop Gomez opened the conference speaking of Pope Francis’ acts of kindness and the power of mercy through such acts, encouraging attendees to do likewise. Amongst one of the presentations was Judge Nash’s recounting of the painful realities of children forced to navigate the justice system. Regarding the attitude of judges in the Juvenile Court working to help youth, Judge Nash quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: “I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be.” He spoke of the failure of the system when a youth ages out of the foster care system and the responsibility to provide a permanent home situation for them. Father Boyle closed the conference with a reminder that there could be no justice or peace without kinship, and that the path to building a community with justice is by way of “the spirit and courage of tenderness.” It was fitting that the conference opened and closed with a call to remember kindness and compassion as a road map to kinship, community, and ultimately, justice.
Resources from the conference included information on:
· Child Abuse and Mandatory Reporting
· Collaborative Justice
· Criminal Court Overview
· Juvenile Court
· Protection of Vulnerable Populations
You can read more about the conference from Fuller News here.