The Sider Center is thrilled to announce the appointment of Micky ScottBey Jones and Darren Calhoun to the post of ESA Associate Fellows for Racial Justice.
We will be focusing ESA’s work on racial justice and reconciliation for the whole of 2016. Micky and Darren will be leading our campaigns for racial justice and equality for all through social media, writing, and public actions.
Micky ScottBey Jones
Micky is a perpetual learner, communicator, facilitator, mama/sister/friend and “contemplivist” (contemplative activist) living just south of Nashville, TN. After 10+ years as a mother-baby specialist, trainer and author, she decided to shift back to earlier interests: theology and community development. She is also a member of the co-learning community of NAIITS (North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies) through George Fox Evangelical Seminary.
Her early career included the cutthroat world of Contemporary Christian music, and community youth programming and development through the YMCA and Rocketown (Nashville). Her special interests and scholarship include womanist and practical theology, the intersections of Black and Native American history and theology, the pursuit of shalom, faith-rooted organizing, intersectional justice, community formation and health issues.
Now engaging groups through academic gatherings, conferences, blogs and podcasts on a wide variety of topics, Micky hosts and facilitates conferences, trainings and online conversations; writes and speaks on a variety of topics, including burnout, race and justice, and theology from the margins; and curates contemplative spaces/activities. Recently named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world, Micky serves missional practitioners and faith-rooted activists through TransFORM Network and is involved with a variety of projects and organizations that call upon her when needed— you’ll just have to ask to hear more!
Micky believes in revolutionary love, engages in authentic conversations, facilitates and participates in transformative experiences, and never passes up a dance floor. You can learn more about Micky and contact here here.
Darren Calhoun is a community activist, photographer, and worship leader based out of Chicago. Compassion and justice have been core to Darren’s community engagement for 16+ years. Darren is Worship Leader at Urban Village Church and previously served for 9 years as a volunteer worship leader at the downtown campus of Willow Creek Community Church. He also contributed to the development of The Marin Foundation‘s “I’m Sorry” campaign at gay pride parades.
Darren has been part of grassroots efforts to reduce recidivism, truancy, violence, and unemployment on Chicago’s South and West Sides as well as community-led projects to engage city aldermen, pastors, residents, business owners and police for long-term community change. He has also lead groups on anti-racism and racial reconciliation projects that help people from various backgrounds listen to and learn from one another. Darren is motivated by the idea that the local church is the hope of the world and that communities of Christ-followers can be catalysts for change and healing wherever they are. Darren shares stories of hurt and healing around issues facing marginalized individuals and groups in hopes that people will moved to a place of compassion and reconciliation.
What will our new Associate Fellows for Racial Justice do?
Micky and Darren will launch a campaign strategy to promote racial justice in its manifold complexities by cooperating with movements such as #blacklivesmatter and by helping predominantly white evangelical churches engage in constructive learning, confession, and praxis regarding race and ethnicity, racism, implicit bias, and economic justice.
They will highlight the intersectionality and diversity of racial justice—education, violence, arts, gender, and socioeconomic location, for example—and complexify the conversation on race and racial justice, including international racial justice.
They will lift up the voices of Christians of color while leading and empowering action towards justice, including acts of public repentance and lament.
Please pray for our new partners—and all the staff at ESA—daily, and please continue to support our work and commitment to the justice that flows from Jesus. Thank you!