Praxis Forums was pleased to have Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston speak last month to leaders from across the city and engage in a meaningful dialogue about leadership, collaboration, and how we might more effectively reduce poverty & increase opportunity among our neighbors who live on the margins. First on March 16th we were blessed to have Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies President, Jennifer Jones Austin speak at our Emerging Leader Dinner hosted in partnership with Nyack College. Jennifer described her call to change to reduce poverty and increase opportunity for those on the margins and challenged those there to consider working in government stating that creating systemic change requires understanding about how the system really works. In addition, she encouraged everyone to embrace reality, gain clarity by removing the clutter, and to stay true to and strengthen their core. The dialogue between Jennifer and the dinner participants was very enriching for everyone!
Then two days later we were additionally blessed at our Praxis Forums Leadership Breakfast hosted by the Salvation Army with World Vision US Vice President, Romanita Hairston who spoke about Ministry Models on the Margins for Child Well Being. Romanita holding up a piece of paper stating that the margins are becoming bigger than the rest of the page. She challenged us to go beyond our silo-ed efforts to collaborate and seek more systemic change while cautioning us to not lose our distinctiveness as believers (our saltiness) but to fully meet our neighbors and neighborhoods needs with spiritually driven efforts that seek measurable change. She challenged everyone to think out of the normal box solutions.
It’s difficult to capture in a few paragraphs all of what both Jennifer & Romanita said. The responses from those who attended was extremely enthusiastic where some said “it changed my view of ministry”, “life giving”, and “very powerful”. One of the greatest outcomes was the connections made between those who attended. We had a robust conversation at both Praxis Forums events. I’m thankful to both Jennifer Jones Austin and Romanita Hairston for taking the time out of their demanding schedules to to be with us! A special thanks to our partner at Nyack College & Salvation Army for hosting Praxis Forums. Please take a look at the pictures below of each event and you will get a sense of the time we had together!