The BKI2021 theme is “Deepening Practices of Restorative Solidarity.” For a third consecutive year we’ll explore the work of decolonizing discipleship. We’ll look at how white settlers can build just relations with Indigenous and other communities of color in North America, hearing from seasoned faith leaders who are theologian/activist/pastors. This online BKI will include “community mixers,” book and film debuts, and for the first time two pre-Institute Zoom gatherings and several post Institute workshops for ongoing engagement. Schedule and resource persons will be announced as they are confirmed.
--BKI program planning committee
Above right: Braided River, Blue Green by Robert Valiente-Neighbours, Lino-Monotype. artbyrvn.com
As a braided river, we diverge and connect. We contour the land we travel through, shrinking and growing with each season. And we are shaped by our journey, from the peaks of our source to our destination in the oceans. This piece was created through a linocut monotype process.
This year we are joined again by several indigenous leaders from across Turtle Island and we have invited a range of speakers from other communities of color in North America. We will announce guests as they are confirmed.
President and CEO, Children's Defense Fund
The Rev. Dr. Starsky Wilson is the President and CEO of the Children’s Defense Fund. Dr. Wilson is a pastor, philanthropist and activist pursuing God’s vision of community marked by justice, peace and love. He is board chair for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP) and vice chair of the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE).
Alison McCrary is a tribal citizen of the Ani-Yun-Wiya United Cherokee Nation, a social justice movement lawyer, Catholic activist, restorative justice practitioner and an internationally sought-after speaker on social justice, spirituality and liberation.
Alison currently serves as the Practitioner-In-Residence at Wake Forest University’s School of Divinity, a Spiritual Advisor on Louisiana’s death row, and the Movement Capacity Building Strategist supporting about 50 formerly-incarcerated-people-led nonprofits in the United States.
Reverend Sue Park-Hur is the denominational minister for Transformative Peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA, overseeing the peace and justice related issues. She also supervises Women in Leadership. Sue co-directs ReconciliAsian, a peace center in Los Angeles specializing in conflict transformation and restorative justice for immigrant churches. Sue is a Korean American born in Seoul, who immigrated to Los Angeles when she was 8 years old.
Dr Jimiliz (Jimi) Valiente-Neighbours emigrated from the Philippines to Long Beach, California as a child. Her transnational upbringing has greatly influenced her faith practices, teaching and pedagogy, research interests, and community engagement. Her articles include, “Beyond ‘Post-Race Paralysis’: Creating Critical Dialogue on Race in the Obama Era” Sociology of Race and Ethnicity Journal. Jimi is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Work at Point Loma Nazarene University.
Linda Quiquivix (Quiqui) is a geographer, popular educator, and translator concerned with the afterlives of 1492. Her areas of focus are Black and Indigenous land struggles, knowledge production, and the Human/non-Human dualism under capitalism. Learn more Here.
Deacon Harry Lafond is former Executive Director of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, Saskatchewan. He works in both politics and academics, and is an advocate for e Cree language development. He serves as chair of the Board for First Nations Trust, and formerly served his Muskeg Lake Cree Nation as chief, Director of Education and as principal of Kihiw Waciston School.
Germaine Lafond is a former religious sister, now retired from a career in teaching; she partners with Harry in cultural awareness work, especially regarding her Metís community in Saskatchewan.
June is a lawyer and a member of, and in house attorney for, the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico. She is a member of the Laguna Presbyterian church, where she is an elder and currently the clerk of Session, and a member of the PCUSA General Assembly Committee that presented the report on the Doctrine of Discovery (of which she was the primary author) to the General Assembly.
Bob Two Bulls is director of Indian Work for the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, a member of the Oglala Lakota tribe and a second-generation Episcopal priest (Lakota). The Vicar of All Saints Indian Mission in Minneapolis, Co-Director of First Nations Kitchen and founder of the Red Shirt Project, Bob will again serve as Institute Artist and chaplain. Hear him talk about his artwork here.
Joining Ched, Elaine and Chris again in 2021 is the BKI Program Planning Committee:
- Rev. Bob Two Bulls (Lakota) (Minneapolis MN)
- Dr. June Lorenzo (Laguna Pueblo/Navajo (Dine)) (Paguate, NM)
- Rev. Elizabeth Gibbs-Zehnder (Los Angeles, CA)
- Nathan Holst (Duluth, MN)
- Shady Hakim (ex-officio - BCM Board, Ventura, CA)
Left: “Buffalo,” by Robert Two