Rev. Kris Eggert on Dealing with Faith and Guns
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Rev. Kristine Eggert, who is the Executive Director of God Before Guns, a multi-faith coalition of individuals and faith communities working to reduce gun violence, based in Cleveland, OH. Her gun violence activism has brought her into many faith communities, public rallies, community organizations, the Statehouse in Columbus OH, and the Halls of Congress. Rev. Eggert is a graduate of Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis with a Masters of Divinity and is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She served as the Associate for Membership and Evangelism at Geist Christian Church and as Senior Pastor at Northwood Christian Church in Indianapolis. In 2007, she was called to be the Senior Pastor at Disciples Christian Church in Cleveland Heights in 2007, where she served until her retirement in 2015. Post-retirement, she and her husband David became active in the Greater Cleveland community working to address and effect change in a variety of social justice issues. She is a frequent guest preacher. Rev. Eggert and her husband, David Eggert are the co-founders of God Before Guns.

Here are some links:

Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research

Everytown 

Phil Snider on Preaching as Resistance
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Phil Snider is an award-winning author, activist, public theologian, pastor, and teacher. His work has been featured in the Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches, Slate, USA Today, and numerous other local and national media outlets, including NPR affiliates and nationally-syndicated radio and television programming. He is perhaps best known for his speech on equal rights for LGBTQ+ persons, which has been viewed on YouTube over five million times. Phil’s books (as author or editor) include Preaching as ResistanceJustice Calls, Preaching After God, The Hyphenateds, and, with Emily Bowen-Marler, Toward a Hopeful Future (winner of the 2011 Mayflower Award for best book in church and society). Additional forthcoming titles include two volumes (edited with Katharine Sarah Moody) for the series Intersections: Theology and the Church in a World Come of Age. Phil is a pastor at Brentwood Christian Church in Springfield, MO, and he teaches religion at Missouri State University and Drury University.

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Richard Becker on "Is Running for Office for Me?"
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Richard Becker is an organizer and Kentucky political director for the National Conference of Firemen and Oilers, a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, one of the nations largest labor unions. In 2017 through 2018 Richard sought the Democratic nomination for state representative in Kentucky’s 35th district in Louisville. Richard is also a writer, with bylines at Vox.com, in these times, labor notes, and other publications, writing about the labor movement and wages. You can find Richard on Twitter at @richardbeckerky.

Books mentioned:

Politics the Wellstone Way: How to Elect Progressive Candidates and Win on Issues

Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself

Jill Maurey on How to Organize a Rally
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Jill moved to Louisville in 2010 due to a job move for her husband, Tom, after raising a family and living in Maine for 20 years.  She has a background in education and social work and an interest in environmental activism.  She worked on Barak Obama’s first and second presidential campaigns and campaigned for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

I have experience working with Jill on Louisville’s version of The Woman’s March the day after the presidential inauguration in January of 2017, which we called, The Rally to Move Forward. At that rally over 5,000 people showed up. And I wanted to talk to Jill about how she went about organizing such an important event.

Here’s some local coverage of The Rally to Move Forward.

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Haleh Karimi on How to Organize an Interfaith Prayer Vigil

Haleh Karimi was born in Tehran and left Iran at the age of 14 to attend school in the United States and later in Switzerland. Having lived in lands of change (Iran & United States), and one of peace (Switzerland), her passion in life has become to raise awareness of global issues about peace and justice through education and dialogue. She has been an IT Executive, working in Fortune 500 companies for over 18 years. She is currently the Executive Director of Interfaith Paths to Peace after being on the board for a decade, and the past Chair of WAC to pursue her passion for peacemaking.

As for her educational passion, Haleh is a teacher and a student at the same time. Pursuing her doctorate studies at Sullivan University as well as being the Chair of the Dynamic Web Development department at Sullivan College of Technology and Design. A design school that promotes art and technology for more enriched graduates. She is also the co-chair of Science and Engineering Advisory Board as well as the past Chair of the Network of Entrepreneurial Women.

She has been living in the United States for 37 years and 26 in Louisville.

You can email Haleh at haleh@paths2peace.org.

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Kate Miller on How to Testify in Front of the Legislature
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Kate Miller is the ACLU of Kentucky’s Advocacy Director, and its primary lobbyist in the Kentucky General Assembly. Her emphasis is on advocacy and education related to immigrants’ rights, the First Amendment, LGBT rights, justice reform and reproductive rights among other civil liberties.

Every time I’ve testified before legislative committees in the state capitol, Kate Miller has been there testifying for the ACLU of Kentucky. And she’s so good at it, I wanted to talk to her about just what’s involved in testifying. It’s certainly an area of activism and advocacy that has a direct impact on the kinds of laws that affect everyone’s lives. 

You can find Kate at the ACLU-KY. You can email her at kate@aclu-ky.org. Here’s a link to the ACLU Lobbying Toolkit.

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Ben Carter on How to Write an Op-Ed
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Ben Carter is a lawyer here in Louisville who practices consumer law. He’s also an op-ed columnist at the Louisville Courier Journal, and his columns have appeared in USA Today. Between 2008–2010, Ben worked at the Legal Aid Society and helped Jefferson County build an innovative, county-wide response to its foreclosure crisis. As a litigator, he has defended homeowners from foreclosure with novel, emerging, and bold advocacy.  Ben has just taken a position with the Kentucky Equal Justice Center as Senior Litigator.

Full disclosure, Ben is a member of the congregation I serve. So, I’ve known Ben for about 10 years or so. I’m really excited to talk to him about how to write an op-ed. He is one of the sharpest guys I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

Here are a couple of examples of Ben’s Op-eds (including the now infamous “jackassery” piece): here and here.

You can find Ben at his web site http://bencarterlaw.com, on Twitter at @notbencarter, and by email ben@kyequaljustice.org.

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Nicole Hardin on How to Organize a Direct Action
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Nicole Hardin is both a minister and a social justice ninja. She has had a key organizing role in Black Lives Matter Louisville. She’s played a big part in the long march toward racial justice here in Louisville.

Full disclosure, Nicole is a member of the congregation I serve.

(Because of the often sensitive nature of Nicole’s work, I’m not going to publish her contact info.)

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Sandhya Jha on How Churches Can Get Involved in Social Justice
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Sandhya Jha serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area.

Sandhya is also an author. In her two most recent books, Pre-Post-Racial America: Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines she takes on the subject of race and spirituality in America. Pre-Post-Racial America was listed as one of the top five books on race and religion in 2015 by Publishers Weekly. Sandhya’s newest book, Transforming Communities: How People Like You are Healing Their Neighborhoods, focuses on concrete ways that regular people are creating change community-by-community in an era where positive change can feel impossible. 

You can find Sandhya at her web site http://sandhyajha.com, on Twitter at @pastorsandhya, and by email at sandhya@oaklandpeacecenter.org.

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