Invisibility: A Super-Power to Some, Lived Experience for Others

Ryan Muralt, Program Development Associate
ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation (@reconcilingwrks)

Invisibility is often a desired “super-power” to be used against enemies or to light-heartedly spook your friends and family. However, there are those in our society who are forced into their invisibility; they do not get the choice to become invisible. Marginalized people like sex workers, transgender people, men who have sex with men, lesbian, gay, bisexual people and children with HIV are often forced to the margins and out of sight only illuminated for the split second mention in a high level speech.

“Love the sinner, hate the sin.” Pause for a moment and think about how this phrase lands on your ears and then continue reading.

Continue reading “Invisibility: A Super-Power to Some, Lived Experience for Others”


Jesus, Politics and the Praxis of Protest

Peter Severson (Twitter: @lutheranAdvoCO); Director of Lutheran Advocacy Ministry – Colorado

Being in the city of Durban for this 21st International AIDS Conference is being in the center of a roiling cauldron. This event brings together a huge and complex and disparate group of people whose focus is supporting individuals with HIV and working to prevent the spread of the disease. The presence of many high-level world leaders, from heads-of-state and diplomats to United Nations officials and world agency leaders, gives all attendees a higher level of access than usual to key decision makers. As a result, activist actions and protests have been a part of the proceedings from the beginning, as people agitate for change.

One of those moments happened on Tuesday afternoon, during an otherwise quiet afternoon hour of downtime for me. I was outside on the conference center plaza, having a snack with an acquaintance of mine from college, when suddenly a knot of people formed inside and began chanting. Curious, I walked inside to see what was happening. I discovered a mass of people surrounding a man in a suit who had just come out of a session. The protesters were holding signs that said “Thank you,” along with drawings of pills and medicine, while the man in the suit looked uncomfortable but was evidently trying to listen to some of the protesters ask him questions. Continue reading “Jesus, Politics and the Praxis of Protest”

How to do a Mission Visit

Kristell Caballero Saucedo

Notes from the Ecumenical Women “How to do a Mission Visit” Workshop

Official CSW Documents

IMG_8031Violence Against Women & Girls

  • Sexual abuse must be fundamentally addressed. We focus on it because it might lead to other problems, like sex trafficking, for example.
  • Address true causes, like your government changing policies related to education.
  • There are major truck routes that have major hubs related to sex trafficking, like in Pennsylvania and Florida. What can we do in our homes to stop this from happening?
  • Trafficking flourishes because it is high reward and low risk. For example, 35 thousand dollars are spent per week for sex trafficking around major events, most recently in Denver and Washington.
  • It is easier to criminalize the women than look at the people who are exploiting them.
  • Funding for civil societies and education to help protect these girls is crucial.
  • Ask about the protocol to prevent and suppress trafficking of women.
  • There are faith- based organizations working with nonprofits to help educate girls about sex trafficking.
  • Parallel Event: Wednesday at 8:30 am on the 8th floor (United Nations Church Center)

Access to Quality Education, Decent Work, & Decision-Making

  • Socio-economic disparity
  • Allocate more funds to cities and schools
  • Provide incentives for teachers to stay in schools for longer
  • Most public schools are funded by property taxes
  • It is important to look at the fundamental causes that we can’t undo in a heartbeat
  • Look at the fact that young girls are being sent to jail. What does that school to prison pipeline look like?
  • Privatization of prisons must stop.
  • Parents must be involved in decision making. “You are your child’s first teacher” –Universal preschool
  • Reallocation of funds must go to early childhood: more literacy-based components and skills that need to be ready for first grade level education.
  • Decent work and decision making practices
  • Holistic approaches to parenting. Meet parents where they are. Also consider that some parents may not understand the work and process.
  • There needs to be more regulation for charter schools, while also making public schools better.
  • “There is a brain drain from the community” particularly from charter schools
  • Recruitment from HBCU’s for teachers
  • Livable wage for people is important and interconnected with children’s education.


  • Reproductive rights
  • Women don’t have living wages, and therefore, they don’t have healthcare coverage, meaning their children are also not covered.
  • Inexcusable infant mortality
  • Care of aging relatives. Women care for children and parents. They have difficulty accessing the services. They miss work and lose jobs. By the time they reach the point to receive social security, there is nothing there. It is a systemic issue.
  • Health care coverage in the private sector is more expensive if you have maternal health care coverage.
  • If you are an hourly worker and have to take care of a sick child and family members, you are the most affected.
  • Business hire two or three people for part-time work so that they do not have to pay for access to healthcare for their employees.
  • Big contracted work where employees don’t have full rights of employement, particuarly notable in the IT field.
  • The U.S. tried to ban Planned Parenthood.
  • Maternity leave must be paid.

The Importance of Women in Faith-Based Communities

  • We have access to every community at every level, and therefore, can help bring groups together.
  • Giving the money directly to grassroots organizations that benefits people directly from that grant.
  • We have accountability.
  • Give it directly to the people instead of bigger corporations.
  • Faith-based organizations of women
  • Women for Women
  • Being faith-based does not mean the work is just for women but for all people.
  • If we are family, then we are expected to be with everyone.
  • Undocumented immigration and the intersection between all points listed above.


  • Cathryn Surgenor – Faith
  • Jennifer Allen – Health
  • Marvella and Destinity – Education
  • Cynthia and Gillian – Violence Against Women

Get there early and sit upfront.
Approach: This is what you have, this is what we want, and this is why.


Rozella White
Program Director, ELCA Young Adult Ministry


Intersectionality is a term used to describe how various identities merge to create a person’s reality. In terms of social justice work, intersectionality points to the fact that one issue of injustice is uniquely tied to other issues of injustice. For instance, I am a Black Latina young woman, who lives at the cross roads of certain intersections, specifically race and gender.

“There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”
– Audre Lorde

Audre Lorde, the radical writer, Black feminist, womanist, and advocate describes intersectionality in this quote. For many, issues of injustice are viewed through a single lens and that becomes their primary focal point. This is problematic. Human beings are made up of many identities and society is ordered in such a way that these identities become inextricably linked to a person’s lived reality. We cannot talk about gender injustice without talking about economic systems, hunger, poverty, race, and any other number of realities.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 9.57.43 AM

Continue reading “Intersectionality”