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CHICAGO, IL – Chicago Theological Seminary announced additional scholars and experts who will participate in their 2015 Spring Conference, “Selma at 50: Still Marching.”

Joining keynote speakers the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. (Operation PUSH) and Professor Michelle Alexander (author, The New Jim Crow) are Judy Levy (Executive Director, Jewish Council on Urban Affairs), Rev. Otis Moss III (Senior Pastor, Trinity Church of Christ, Chicago), Dr. Rami Nashashibi (Executive Director Inner City Muslim Action Network [IMAN], and CTS Visiting Professor of Sociology of Religion and Muslim Studies), and Sylvia Puente (Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum). Levy, Moss, Nashashibi, and Puente will speak on Friday’s panel called “Effecting Change in our Communities: Addressing Income Inequality, Immigration Reform, & Racial Inequities.” This discussion will help conference attendees begin to address how different forms of oppression overlap and intersect to create limiting systems.

Saturday’s panel, called “Justice, Justice Shall You Pursue: The Community, the Police, the Courts,” will build off of Friday’s discussion by providing real-world examples of organizing strategies activists have taken to assist in continuing the work of dismantling oppressive systems. Saturday panelists include Dr. Iva Carruthers (Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University and founding President of Nexus Unlimited), the Rev. Waltrina Middleton (National Minister for Youth Advocacy and Leadership Formation with the United Church of Christ in Cleveland), and Bryan Stevenson (Clinical Faculty, NYU School of Law).

“Selma at 50: Still Marching” is a two-day conference that will encourage attendees to examine the systemic causes of social issues, including the prison industrial complex and militarized policing, violence, racism, income inequality, and poverty. Through panel discussions, and practical workshops, participants will begin to create actionable strategies leading to change. “CTS was part of the original Selma march in many ways. CTS students—including alums Rev. Jesse Jackson and Gary Massoni—left their classes against the expressed wishes of then President Howard Schomer, only to find President Schomer himself taking part in the march,” President Alice Hunt said. “We are delighted to have an incredible line up of academic scholars and experts from around the country with us at CTS as we examine the historical legacy of activism and movement building and apply those lessons to the challenges we face as a society today,” she added.

Additional scholars and experts participating in the event on April 24th and April 25th include the Rev. Traci Blackmon (Pastor of Christ the King United Church of Christ in Missouri), Professor Lee Butler, Jr. (CTS Professor of Theology and Psychology), the Rev. John Dorhauer  (Conference Minister, Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ), Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, EdD. (Executive Director of Community Renewal Society), Professor Omar McRoberts (Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Chicago), Rabbi Dr. Rachel Mikva (Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Center for Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Studies at CTS),), and Angel Ysaguirre (Executive Director, Illinois Humanities Council).

Partners for the conference include, the 31 Lengths Agency, Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture at the University of Chicago, The Chicago Sunday Evening Club, Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training, Ink Factory, Mikva Challenge, and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights at University of Chicago.

For a complete listing of speakers and additional details about the program, visit selma.ctschicago.edu.

About Chicago Theological Seminary
Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) is a seminary of the United Church of Christ that serves over twenty-five different Christian and non-Christian faith communities by preparing men and women for the next generation of religious leadership, whatever that may be. Founded in 1855, CTS promotes a progressive, forward-looking philosophy and is at the forefront of religious scholarship, interreligious dialogue and transformative leadership. CTS graduates, students, faculty and staff have been advocates for social justice and mercy since the days of the Underground Railroad.

Chicago Theological Seminary helps individuals discern and articulate an evolving faith for the future, whether in ministry, teaching, advocacy, activism, social work or social justice.

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