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(A)Rise In Power National Convergence

(A)Rise In Power is a gathering for Christians and other Jesus followers who are committed to the Movement for Black Lives and interested in exploring how liturgical direct action can best serve that movement.  The weekend convergence will take place in Oakland, CA, from February 9-12, 2017.At the convergence we will combine prayer and scripture study with  creative and effective nonviolent direct action strategy, tactics, action logic, etc. We hope to emerge with plans for a series of stirring, dramatic actions around the country during Lent and Holy Week, as well as a sense of how we can continue to support and encourage each other across geographical distances as we further the agenda of the Movement.

Because we want to both reflect the diversity of the Movement for Black Lives and also honor the powerful leadership emerging from queer and trans women of color in this historic moment, we are using an application process that will help us ensure that the convergence is at least 50% people of color, 50% women, and 30% LGBTQ. You can apply now by going to https://goo.gl/forms/RaYSPmmGeMTc9yQ22.

We want to do everything we can to ensure that people who are accepted can get here regardless of income level, so we have a sliding scale registration fee from $25-200. We also have some funds available to help with travel costs, and we will attempt to arrange places to stay for those who need them. You can apply for travel and housing assistance on the application.

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Who We Are

We, the conveners of the convergence, are members of a small Christian direct action affinity group called Second Acts that has been organizing direct actions on major Christian liturgical days for about two years–since the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson police lit a prairie fire across the country and in our own hearts. (You can see an example of what we do here: https://www.facebook.com/events/218398718511973/?active_tab=posts.)

Our members are Black, White, and Asian American, mostly but not entirely female-identified, and mostly but not entirely queer. We share a conviction that in new-Jim-Crow America, the Body of Christ is Black. We further believe that following Jesus demands that we be on our way to that Jerusalem that is represented by the systems and structures that uphold white supremacy and wage war on Black bodies and Black culture. We are interested in both #ShutItDown and #BearWitnessToTheKindomAtHand type interventions–in other words, in both getting in the way of injustice and prefiguring the justice we want to see. Our actions, which tend to be poetic and visually stirring, emerge out of our shared vulnerability and our communal prayer. We are so eager to be in relationship with like-hearted people in other parts of the country!

Here again is that application link: https://goo.gl/forms/RaYSPmmGeMTc9yQ22. Please share it with people you would want to be here with you. We’ll be sending out a first round of acceptances in mid-November so that attendees have plenty of time to make travel arrangements.

If you have questions, please contact Nichola at ntorbett@gmail.com.

We believe that God is calling us to fire up our prophetic imaginations and step into greater risk in the service of Black lives, and thus of all lives, at this historic moment. We hope that you will join us in Oakland in February!

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