Dr. Iva Carruthers to Engage Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation in Keynote Address at EAD 2015
NOVEMBER 21, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC — Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that Dr. Iva E. Carruthers will serve its April 17-20, 2015 national gathering as the opening policy plenary keynote speaker. The 2015 theme for EAD is “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.”
Dr. Carruthers is General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), a interdenominational organization within the African American faith tradition focused on social justice issues. As founding CEO and a trustee of SDPC, she has steered the organization as a unique, influential and esteemed network of faith based advocates and activists, clergy and lay.
Former director of the Black Theology Project, Dr. Carruthers has a long history of engagement in community development initiatives and social justice ministry, fostering interdenominational and interfaith dialogue in the United States, Caribbean, South America and Africa. She is also founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center, Chicago, Illinois. She currently serves as a Life Time Trustee for the Chicago Theological Seminary and trustee for The Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Chicago; American Baptist College, Nashville; Shared Interest, New York; Bread for the World, Washington, DC
At EAD 2015, Christian advocates will be called to build a movement to shake the foundations of systems of human exploitation (Acts 16:16-40), including a prison-industrial system that incarcerates millions of people in the U.S. and abroad. EAD’s theme description for the April gathering reads, “A world that incarcerates so many and allows some to profit from the exploitation of slave, trafficked and forced labor remains far from the ‘beloved community’ which we are all called to seek.”
“As people of faith, we will highlight the elements in our world that justify systems of exploitation and mass incarceration, and Dr. Carruthers is the perfect theologian, ethicist and policy expert to bring this message to the nearly 1,000 faith advocates who will attend EAD,” said Douglas Grace, director of EAD. “At EAD, we will confess our personal and corporate failure to break the chains of poverty, racism, and greed institutionalized in our laws, economy, and social behaviors that collude to perpetuate such human exploitation and strip civil and human rights. As people of Hope, we will be reminded that Jesus’ radical message was one of liberation for all and restoration of right relationships.”
Dr. Carruthers’ work highlights that those who are oppressed, criminalized and marginalized among us are worthy of our service, our compassion and our care. As its leader, the Proctor Conference’s vision is to strengthen churches, empower leaders and transform communities with vision, by faith and through action.
Dr. Carruthers’ is clear in her analysis of the problem of mass incarceration and systems of exploitation and has noted that if these issues are not taken seriously by the church, then it is flirting dangerously with the annihilation of people(s) that the church is called to serve and to minister.
“She continually encourages church leaders to answer the question, ‘Who do you serve?,’ continued Grace. “Her goal will be to name and humanize those who comprise the aggregate that EAD 2015 will focus upon, ‘mass incarceration and systems of exploitation,’ striving just as each EAD national gathering attempts, to equip the church with the tools and testimonies it needs to fight the injustices of our time.”
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