Liberate Democracy: Vote the Just Vision
Now is the time to liberate democracy. Join Faith in Public Life, Vote Common Good and Middle Church on October 9 for a forum on our nation’s future, why voting is imperative, why opting out is not an option and why becoming an informed voter matters.
Oct 9 | 2-5 PM ET
Liberate Democracy: Vote the Just Vision
This event is online, completely free, and open to all!
Our democracy is under siege. We find ourselves a nation divided between competing visions.
Many are committed to turning back the tide of change, through false claims of voter fraud, promotion of “replacement theory,” insistence on unrestricted access to guns and denial of woman’s rights. All of this in service of a vision of white supremacy, Christian nationalism, oligarchy, xenophobia, and censorship.
Alternatively, others seek progress toward an evolving liberal democracy where economic fairness, equal treatment under the law, race and gender diversity and inclusion, and a citizenry free of hatred and violence becomes the moral imperative in governance and community life.
We are in a time of crisis. It is a time to look carefully at these competing visions, explore how we got here, understand their implications for the future, acquire the tools to insure the promise of progressive democracy.
Join us, October 9, 2 – 5 pm ET, for a forum on how we got here, why we can’t turn back now and how to vote informed!
Liberate Democracy: Vote The Just Vision
How did we get here? | 2-3 PM ET
- How Culture Impact Politics with María Teresa Kumar
- How Does Religion Impact Politics with Rabbi Josh Stanton, Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi & Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
Theories of Change | 3-3:45 PM ET
- Art & Popular Culture with Rev. Natalie Perkins
- Celebrating Trans Liberation with Raquel Willis
- Early Childhood Education/Parenting with Dr. Traci Baxley
What’s at Stake? | 3:45-4 PM ET
- What’s at stake politically with Waikinya Clanton
- Voting 411 with Paul Devlin
Organizing for Change with Faith in Public Life & Vote Common Good | 4:10-5 PM ET
- Vote Common Good, Doug Paigett
- Faith in Public Life with Jeanné Lewis
- Moms Demand Action with Sonni Mun
- Black Voters Matter with LaTosha Brown
Closing / Q&A | 4:50-5 PM ET
Dr. Traci P. Baxley
Dr. Traci Baxley is a professor, consultant, parenting coach, speaker, and mother to five children. She is the creator of Social Justice Parenting™ and the author of Social Justice Parenting: How to Raise Compassionate, Anti-Racist, Justice-minded Kids in an Unjust World. An educator for over 30 years with degrees in child development, elementary education, and curriculum & instruction, she specializes in belonging, diversity and inclusion, anti-bias curriculum, and social justice education. As a diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, Dr. Baxley supports organizations and corporations in developing inclusive practices and policies that lead to workplace belonging and high productivity.
Instagram & Facebook @socialjusticeparenting | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/tracibaxley/ | Twitter @tracibaxley | www.socialjusticeparenting.com
LaTosha Brown is an award-winning visionary thought leader, institution builder, Cultural Activist and Artist, and Connector. She is a nationally recognized, “go-to” expert in Black Voting Rights and Voter Suppression, Black Women’s Empowerment, and Philanthropy.
LaTosha is the Co-Founder of Black Voters Matter Fund and Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute. These initiatives are designed to boost Black voter registration and turnout, as well as increase power in marginalized, predominantly Black communities.LaTosha is also the Visionary, Founder and Co-Anchor of a regional network called the Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium.
@mslatoshabrown | www.mslatoshabrown.com | www.blackvotersmatterfund.org
Waikinya Clanton is the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mississippi state office. A native Mississippian, she forges partnerships with local communities to advance the SPLC’s mission to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements and advance the human rights of all people. Clanton also leads the SPLC’s Advocacy Institute, a training ground for community organizers seeking to develop the skills necessary to create positive community change.
Paul Devlin is a longtime activist who has been fighting for progressive causes most of his adult life. Paul has worked in over 20 states on Democratic campaigns from Dukakis for President to Corey Johnson for New York City Council. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Victory Fund. He currently serves on Manhattan’s Community Board 4, fundraises for MS Society, and is an elected Democratic Party District Leader with the endorsement of his local Hell’s Kitchen Democrats Club.
Instagram @pauldevlin2000 | Twitter @Paul_L_Devlin
Jacqueline Elkayam grew up in Cleveland Ohio, earned her Bachelor of Arts from Stony Brook University and graduated from Harvard University with a Master’s in Theological Studies. Retired from 24 years working in Technology in the Financial Services sector she is now able to fully focus on fighting for legislation that can protect communities and individuals from gun violence and helping to elect Gun Sense Candidates. She now serves as the Elections and Legislative Co-Lead for the New York City chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Jeanné Lewis is a nonprofit executive, faith-based organizer and a creator who empowers communities. She has dedicated her career to building bridges, closing equity gaps and creating policies that lead to strong, thriving and self-determined cities. She serves as the interim CEO at Faith in Public Life. Jeanné resides in Washington, DC. She is a member of the DC Working Families Party, St. Augustine Catholic Parish and SongRise, a women’s social justice acapella group. In addition, Jeanné served on the Board of Directors of Faith in Public Life from 2016 to 2022 and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Generations for Peace, USA, the president’s council of Search for Common Ground, is a member of the Faith and Giving Task Force of the Generosity Commission, and is a former candidate for DC Council At-Large.Read More
Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis
Jacqui uses her gifts as author, activist, preacher, public theologian toward creating an antiracist, just, fully welcoming society in which everyone has enough. Middle is the church of her dreams and prayers, a multiethnic rainbow coalition of love, justice, and worship that rocks her soul. Dr. Lewis’ work has also been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, the front page of The New York Times website, New York Times Video, The New York Post, CNN i-report, Essence, Ebony.com, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, The Associated Press and many more.
She is the author of “Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World.”Read More
Sonni Mun is a Korean-American immigrant who grew up in a small town in Ohio and the suburbs of New Orleans. During her residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center she discovered her calling as a physician who specialized in end of life care. Gun violence is her main passion, and she now serves as New York State chapter lead for Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America and is a member of Gays Against Guns.
María Teresa Kumar
María Teresa Kumar is the founding President and CEO of Voto and an Emmy-nominated on-air analyst for MSNBC. Under María Teresa’s leadership, Voto Latino has become country’s largest Latinx voter registration and mobilization organization played a decisive role in American elections. In the 2020 election cycle alone, Voto Latino registered more than 600,000 voters, making it the largest digital voter registration organization in the country and the largest focused on people of color.
María Teresa served on President Obama’s Policing Taskforce, currently serves on the National Election Crisis Task Force and Brooking Institute’s Universal Voting Task Force. Named amongst the 100 top Political Influencers by Washingtonian Magazine, Maria Teresa serves on corporate boards and is a sought-after political strategist.
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Maria Teresa immigrated to the United States when she was 4 years old. She studied at University of California at Davis and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Instagram @mariateresakumar | Twitter @mariateresa | Facebook & Linkedin Maria Teresa Kumar | votolatino.org | mariateresakumar.com
Doug Pagitt is the Executive Director of Vote Common Good and a progressive Evangelical pastor from Minneapolis. He is an author of ten books and speaker on issues of culture, faith, politics and the common good.
@Pagitt | @votecommon | @voteCommonGood | www.VoteCommonGood.com
Rabbi Joshua Stanton
Rabbi Joshua Stanton puts Jewish learning, pastoral care, and social justice first. He loves connecting with people individually and supporting their spiritual journeys and pursuit of meaning.
Rabbi Stanton’s passion for religious pluralism and interfaith dialogue has led to his involvement and leadership internationally. He serves as Director for Leadership at CLAL – The National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, where he focuses on questions of religious pluralism in the United States and Israel. He likewise serves on the Board of Trustees of the Interfaith America, the leading interfaith organization in America, and on the Board of Governors of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, which presides over Jewish-Christian relations with the Vatican and World Council of Churches.
Rabbi Stanton was ordained from Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in 2013.
Twitter @JoshuaMZStanton | www.eastendtemple.org/clergy-and-staff/
Dr. Khyati Y. Joshi
Khyati Y. Joshi is a public intellectual whose social science research and community connections inform policy-makers, educators, and everyday people about race, religion, and immigration in 21st century America. She most recently authored the book White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America (NYU Press, 2020) and co-edited Envisioning Religion, Race, and Asian Americans (University of Hawaii Press, 2020). She is also co-editor of Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd edition (Routledge, 2016), one of the most widely-used books by diversity practitioners and social justice scholars alike, in which she co-authored two chapters.
Twitter & Instagram @profkjoshi| www.linkedin.com/in/drkhyatijoshi/ | www.khyatijoshi.com | www.idsj.usRead more
Raquel Willis is an award-winning writer, activist, and media strategist dedicated to Black transgender liberation. She has held groundbreaking posts throughout her career including director of communications for Ms. Foundation for Women, executive editor of Out magazine, and national organizer for Transgender Law Center. She serves as the president of the Solutions Not Punishments Collaborative’s executive board and a member of the WNBA Social Justice Council.
Instagram @raquel_willis | Twitter @raquelwillis_ | Facebook @RaquelWillisOfficial | raquelwillis.comRead more
Do you yearn to not just belong, but be celebrated for exactly who you are? Do you want a community of folks committed to radical love and justice? Wherever you live, you can call Middle Church home.
This movement needs you! We need your time and talent, but we also need your resources. Make a contribution today and help us be midwives to love and justice.
December 5, 2020
A six-alarm fire spread from the building next door and destroyed our beautiful sanctuary. And yet, no fire can stop revolutionary love! Learn how we’re rising from the ashes and what you can do to help.
Find Your People!
Middle hosts small groups for everything from beginning ukulele lessons, Queer Black Men in the Middle or our Voting Reform team. And all of them have options to gather virtually! Join the groups that best fit your passion and the love you want to offer the world.
How do you change the world? First, you change yourself. Part of how we fulfill our commitment to God’s gospel of liberation is by training leaders with the skills you’ll need to bring freedom wherever you go. Thousands have participated in our digital courses. Will join them?
What We Believe
Middle is on a mission to reclaim and reframe Christianity—to realign our faith with Jesus’ teaching and take it back from the folks who have stolen it. We do this work joyfully, fueled by the Spirit, and strengthened by the community we create with one another.
Celebrate LOVE with Us!
Middle’s worship is a joyful, diverse celebration that gives a taste of what heaven feels like—an experience to soothe your soul and fill you with God’s liberatory fire! Every week is different, but what remains constant is how we tell the story of love through transformative art.
Faith comes alive when our love radiates outwards. At Middle, we’re committed to building an intersectional movement that both addresses the particular needs of different communities and unites us in common solidarity. This is God’s work, and we hope you’ll join us in it.