Elyse Ambrose (M.Div., Ph.D.) is a healing activist, sexual ethicist, and word artist. Her justice work, scholarly research, and art focus on the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and spirituality. Elyse Ambrose is the founder and director of phoeniXspark, which offers workshops and retreats that center the experiences of queer and trans people of color (QTPoC) as it creates space for healing of sexual and gendered selves. Learn more at elyseambrose.com
Julia Watts Belser is a rabbi, scholar, activist, and spiritual teacher. She is a professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University and core faculty in Georgetown’s Disability Studies program, where she brings Jewish texts into conversation with queer, disability, and feminist ethics. Her most recent scholarly book is Rabbinic Tales of Destruction: Gender, Sex, and Disability in the Ruins of Jerusalem. A passionate advocate for disability and gender justice, she co-authored the Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, developed in collaboration with disability activists from 42 countries, to help challenge the root causes of poverty, gender violence, and disability discrimination. She currently directs a project on disability, climate change, and environmental justice – and when she’s not teaching or writing, she’s a passionate wheelchair hiker.
Allison grew up rooted in a culturally German UCC church in St. Louis that her family has attended for 140 years, and she is now an active member of a multi-ethnic, inclusive, open & affirming UCC congregation where she lives in Portland, OR. She studied Gender, Women, & Sexuality at Grinnell College, and earned a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. A strategic systems-thinker, Allison manages development operations at Ecotrust, a nonprofit working for an equitable, prosperous, climate-smart future. She is also a trained facilitator, with a focus on leading conversations about wealth redistribution, whiteness, and racial justice. Some things that nourish her are: morning walks with her gregarious pit bull; growing food in her backyard; queer community potlucks; holding hands with her wife, Becca; and homemade rhubarb crisp.
As founding member of Emerging Queer Asian-Pacific Islander Religion Scholars, Michael Sepidoza Campos researches at the intersection of Filipino-American diaspora, postcolonial theory, queer theory, and critical pedagogy. His writings on queer life and religion include, ” Embracing the Stranger: Reflections on the Ambivalent Hospitality of LGBTIQ Catholics” in More Than A Monologue: Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church – Inquiry, Thought, and Expression (Fordham University Press, 2014); ” The Baklâ: Gendered Religious Performance in Filipino Cultural Spaces” in Queer Religion: LGBT Movements and Queering Religion (Praeger, 2012); and “In God’s House: Of Silences and Belonging” in Theology and Sexuality, vol. 17.3 (Equinox, 2011). Campos co-edited Queering Migrations Towards, From, and Beyond Asia (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014) with Hugo Córdova Quero and Joseph N. Goh. He served as steering committee co-chair for the Asian, North American Religion, Culture, and Society Group at the American Academy of Religion.
Jonathan is a Puerto Rican-Queer-Theologian, founder of Reconciliando Ministerios, a network for Latin American Queer faith leaders and members that today is working on the creation of an online academical formation with a full scholarship for Queer Spiritual leaders. He has a Master of Divinity from Boston University, an MBA from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico, and a bachelor’s degree from Universidad del Sagrado Corazon in Systems of Justice and Sociology. Jonathan believes education to be a powerful equalizer in society, that is why as a classroom teacher, he dedicates his time to connect past and present with his students to unpacked and deconstruct our mistakes as a society, take ownership and fix the damage.
Jonathan worked as a Pastor within the United Methodist Church. His ministry was focused to create spaces and communities of freedom, radical love, and radical spirituality within the church. He is working on the creation of theological magazines in Spanish and Portugues; and more present a broadcast called el Te Caliente -The Hot Tea- where Jonathan and his colleagues unpacked the questions queer people have about the church, spirituality, and our lives.
Alicia T. Crosby (she/hers) is a justice educator, activist, and (sometimes reluctant) minister whose work addresses the spiritual, systemic, and interpersonal harm people experience. Through her writing, speaking, and space curation, Alicia helps individuals, communities, and institutions explore and unpack topics related to identity, inclusivity, and intersectional equity. You can follow her work via aliciatcrosby.com or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via @aliciatcrosby.
Rev. DaSaint (Dasha Saintremy), is an Afro-Caribbean American, Womanist. She is an artistic minister and a spiritual guide. She holds an MSW from Barry University and a MDiv from The Interdenominational Center of The Morehouse School of Theology. DaSaint currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in her respite home known as WynEvaLand.
DaSaint is the founder of the nonprofit LiveLoveLiberate: A Sacred Space for Creative Expressions and creator and host of TTYL… Or Not! A platform that aims to shift the way people see, hear and experience G-d/ The Divine and/or Spirit. She is also a certified yogi and meditation guide. Her life’s mission is to continue to minister through the arts, for she believes this is indeed her “soul work.”
Jessica is a life-long problem-solver and passionate sojourner. For more than a decade, she has been focused on social determinants of health, namely food security, as director of health care partnerships and nutrition at Feeding America. Her work has centered on the development and execution of a national strategy aimed at improving food security, dietary intake and health outcomes through cross-sector partnerships, applied research, and hunger-relief sector transformation. She also co-led the inaugural diversity, equity and inclusion planning team, laying a foundation for evaluation and systemic change within the organization.
Currently a resident of Chicago with her wife and pup, Jessica grew up in Texas where she was involved in Austin’s non-profit sector. She holds a MA in Social Service Administration from University of Chicago, and received her BA in Communication Studies from Southwestern University. In support of self-care, Jessica takes time for travel and food adventures, with dancing bringing her the most joy – everything from her heritage’s Manipuri to the more recent Aerial.
Cassidy Hall (MA) is an author, filmmaker, podcaster, student, and holds a MA in Counseling. She works as a Teaching Assistant at Christian Theological Seminary where she is studying for her MDiv and MTS degrees. She also serves as Student Pastor of First Congregational United Church of Christ. Since 2017, Cassidy has been the Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society. Cassidy worked on the production team of the documentary feature film In Pursuit of Silence and her directorial debut short-film, Day of a Stranger paints an intimate portrait of Thomas Merton’s hermitage years. Her podcast, Encountering Silence features interviews with contemplatives, modern-day mystics, and explores the ambiguity of silence in our modern-day lives. Cassidy’s work centers around the tension and intersection of silence and social action and contemplation in a world of action.
Grace Imathiu is a citizen of the world who was born in Kenya and educated in England, USA, Israel, and Kenya. Called into the preaching work early in life, Grace was among the first women ordained in the Methodist Church in Kenya, by her father who was her Presiding Bishop for 25 years! Grace is a founding member of Kenya Methodist University and has served as a short term missionary in Tanzania, a youth director in Washington, a circuit minister in rural Kenya, an associate pastor in Tennessee, a seminary professor in Kentucky and in Meru, a district superintendent in Nairobi, an interim pastor in Wisconsin, a Senior Pastor to large urban churches and a preacher in Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, Ireland, Denmark, Togo and Estonia. Grace is married to David and is mother to one teenage son.
Wonhee Anne Joh is Professor of Theology and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, the faculty Director of Asian American Ministry Center as well as Faculty Affiliate in the Departments of Religious Studies and Asian American Studies at Northwestern University and member of the research faculty cohort on Religion, Race and Global Politics of the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern University. Joh’s research interests are at the intersection of constructive theology, transpacific Asian American studies/theologies, empire and post/decolonial studies, war, migration, militarism, carcerality, race, gender, sexuality, cold war, trauma studies, affect theory, global anti-colonial movements, internationalism and political theologies. Her publications include Heart of the Cross: A Postcolonial Christology and she is co- editor of Critical Theology Against US Militarism in Asia: Decolonization and Deimperialization, and Feminist Praxis Against US Militarism. Forthcoming from Fordham University Press is Trauma, Affect and Race as well as numerous other articles and chapters.
abby’s heart work is devoted to living with integrity at the intersections of eco-feminisms, social justice, and spirituality. abby is a long distance runner, mixed media artist, farmer, and climate justice activist, and she brings each of these pieces of herself into everything she creates. she works with individuals and groups to build cultural and social competency, particularly using art and creativity to develop radical relationships. abby is committed to using creativity and our bodies as catalysts to disrupt systems of oppression. rev. abby mohaupt is an ordained clergy person in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and lives in rural North Texas as she completes her PhD through Drew University.
Saunia has lived in the Lancaster Amish countryside, Indianapolis suburbs, the middle of Iowa, Jiangsu Province, North Carolina’s Appalachia, Seattle’s CD, the north Berkeley hills, the panhandle of Nebraska, West Oakland, NOLA, Chi-town, St. Louis, and back to the middle of Iowa (in that order.) Nomadic not only in locale, Saunia’s homes in multiple religions, occupations, and families make writing a concise bio difficult. Most consistently sprinkled throughout her occupational story are multiple attempts at hospital and hospice chaplaincy, directing for the theatre, and academia. Raised Pentecostal, with a Master of Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion titled “Christian Theologies of the Body,” Saunia’s spirituality has always stayed close to the soft body and followed after what it loves. Whether at a Holy Ghost tent revival, Old Order German Baptist funeral, all day shapenote singing, African grief ritual, dancing at a queer club, or lying under a tree, Saunia believes in incarnation. This “this” of us is God in us. The pain and the ecstasy. She couldn’t be more delighted and honored to walk alongside the faithful attending to divine incarnation and creativity that is enfleshed.
Tyler Schwaller is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and the Ackerman/Hurdle Chaplaincy Chair at Wesleyan College in Macon, GA. He is also an ordained deacon in The United Methodist Church, with membership in the Iowa Annual Conference. Tyler recently completed a ThD (Doctor of Theology) at Harvard University in the area of New Testament and Early Christianity, writing a dissertation entitled “The Use of Slaves in Early Christianity: Slaves as Subjects of Life and Thought.” His research and teaching interests include slavery in the Roman Empire; women, gender, and sexuality in early Christianity; feminist, queer, and critical race theory; archaeology and material culture; as well as the ethics of biblical interpretation. These interests converge around particular concern for how we tell the stories of those who have been marginalized and for bringing attention to people’s intellectual, spiritual, and embodied strategies for navigating their social and material circumstances. As an out, queer clergy person in The UMC, Tyler finds particular joy and meaning through kinship and solidarity with other queer folks, whose lives and loves reflect something of the Good News.
Rev. KC Slack is a Unitarian Universalist minister working at the horizons of art, gender, justice, and pastoral care. Their work is infused with beauty and boldness, with a focus on growing resilient communities with honesty and inclusion. They are the universe prehending itself in the mode of causal efficacy, they are glitter incarnate. Rev. KC heard their call to ministry while working as a Patient Advocate at Preterm, an independent feminist abortion clinic in Cleveland, OH. They completed their MDiv at Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, CA in 2016, after which they completed a CPE residency in Burbank, CA in 2017, and were ordained by their home congregation in Cleveland, OH in the summer of 2018. Currently they wear many hats, serving as the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Verdugo Hills, a facilitator and educator with the non-profit organization More Than Sex-Ed, a regular guest preacher throughout the South Western United States, and a spiritual director working with queer and transgender seminarians. They also serve as co-chair of the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Clergy Council, and as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Election & Campaign Practices committee. Additionally, Rev. KC is a witch. They make art by turning feelings into shapes and colors, choreograph prayerful dances honoring fat bodies in their living room, and pray for collective liberation with each breath, brush stroke, and twirl.
Lisa serves as the Chief Strategy Officer and Director of the InterReligious Institute at Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS). Her background includes an MDiv and STM from CTS where she concentrated her studies on a decolonial interpretation of Christianity and interreligious engagement. She is ordained in the United Church of Christ and frequently leads workshops and provides pulpit supply to local churches. She has worked in community organizing, anti-racism training, and youth development. A visionary leader, she is dedicated to fostering communities rooted in justice, mercy, and love. She makes her home in the Lincoln Square neighborhood with her partner Jake, a beagle named Ripley, and a cat named Walter. She loves games, hiking, travel, and sunshine.