Widening the Circle: Theory & Identity in the Praxis of Solidarity








10th Annual Ministry Conference


Undergirding most liberation theologies is the value and ultimate aim of action, change, and praxis: to be in solidarity and seek liberation. Whirling around the word ‘solidarity’ is a profusion of questions: What is it? What is the basis for being in it? With whom? Who is it for? Who are we when we are in solidarity?

This year the Annual Ministry Conference at the University of Chicago Divinity School is collaborating with seminarians from McCormick Theological Seminary, the Catholic Theological Union, the Lutheran School of Theology, and the Chicago Theological Seminary to investigate the multiplicity of questions within the activity of formation. Over the course of the academic year, participants are invited not to seek prescriptions about solidarity, but, instead to examine theoretical perspectives, practices in solidarity, as well as themselves in their own communities, and a contemporary case study of solidarity in America.  This three-part exploration will attempt to form and re-form participants  into community leaders who are equipped to address the multiple demands for solidarity.

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2014 Ministry Conference: Part III
Friday, May 2 at 10:00am
Our final event of Widening the Circle will synthesize theory and identity as participants hear from Anton Flores-Maisonet, an individual immersed in the activity of solidarity. Through joint critical reflection, we hear resonances of how both theory and identity have informed his approach to solidarity with individuals who are undocumentable from Mexico and Central America. After the discussion, we will conclude and celebrate the work done together through food and a multifaith worship service with Rev. Neichelle R. Guidry Jones from Trinity United Church of Christ.
Schedule of the day:
9:30-10:00am: Registration
10:00-11:30am: Keynote address
11:45am-12:45pm: Lunch (catered by LSTC's Refectory)
1:00-2:00pm: Worship 


Please register here by April 25th, 2014 to be included in the meal.

For more information: ministryconference2014@gmail.com

PART I (November 14, 2013)

Recognizing that solidarity movements address a wide variety of justice issues, we seek to begin the conversation by hearing about the theoretical perspectives and personal commitments that are at stake in the praxis of solidarity. We will gather at McCormick Theological Seminary to hear from a panel of professors and practitioners from a variety of faith perspectives who will speak to the larger frameworks which motivate the activity of solidarity. A light dinner will be served. Suggested donation of $5 is welcomed but not required.


Mikki Kendall, writer and pop culture analyst. More info here.

Asaf Bar-Tura, Director of Programs at Jewish Council of Urban Affairs. More info here.

Heath Carter, Associate Professor and historian at Valparaiso University. More info here.

Part II: Identity in Solidarity - February 6th, 2014, 5:30-8pm, at Chicago Theological Seminary

The second part of Widening the Circle seeks to creatively encourage participants to turn to themselves and their communities. Through art and performance, we want to engage the re-formation process of leadership development and facilitate a more robust response to the question: Who are we when we are in solidarity? Who is solidarity for?

Workshop: Theater of the Oppressed

Jasmin Cardenas will facilitate the workshop focusing on using theater for social awareness and change. Teachings in the workshop are based on the work of Brazilian playwright Augusto Boal, founder of The Theater ! of the Oppressed.

To register: https://identityinsolidarity.eventbrite.com