Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Thursday, Jul. 13 2:30 PM (Central)
Ends: Thursday, Jul. 13 3:30 PM (Central)
Room: Salon C-5/6
White Christian nationalists and a broader authoritarian movement are mounting a visionary, well-resourced and strategically coordinated effort to ensure white Christians maintain their ongoing dominance in all sectors of U.S. society. Our social movements are lagging behind as this anti-democratic movement continues to expand its influence and consolidate power. We have a critical window of time to close the gap between the high level of threat and our collective response to it.
The MoveOn Education Fund and the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice recently commissioned a new report, “All of U.S. – Organizing to Confront White Christian Nationalism and Build a Pro-Democracy Society.” This report is part of a growing pro-democracy effort seeking to sound the alarm and support collective action. Based on dozens of interviews with organizers across secular and faith spaces, it offers strategic recommendations to strengthen our collective capacity to defend and expand democracy. In this panel, the report’s commissioners and author will present key recommendations and organizing strategies to stigmatize, weaken, and uproot white Christian nationalism and offer concrete examples of effective pro-democracy organizing in the field.
This session is sponsored by MoveOn.
Maurice Mitchell is a nationally-recognized social movement strategist, a visionary leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a community organizer for racial, social, and economic justice. He is currently national director of the Working Families Party.
Other sessions: Opening Keynote featuring Mayor Brandon Johnson
Rahna Epting is the Executive Director of MoveOn, the member-led grassroots progressive organization working to make this country a place where everyone can thrive. Rahna leads both MoveOn Civic Action, which works to advance progressive policies and social change, and MoveOn Political Action, which works to elect candidates who are committed to standing up for an inclusive, progressive agenda.
Rahna has led issue and electoral campaigning at MoveOn in the Chief of Program and Election Program Managing Director roles. Previously, she served as Chief of Staff at Every Voice, where she managed state and national campaigns to make democracy work for everyone.
Prior to joining Every Voice, Rahna worked at the Service Employees International Union in various capacities. In the role of Member Political Programs Director, she designed, developed and managed national programs to engage SEIU members across the country in politics—from recruiting and supporting labor activists to run for office, to activating union retirees to fight for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, to developing member leaders throughout the union. While at SEIU, Rahna also lobbied President Barack Obama’s administration in support of the Workforce Investment Act, Child Care funding, and the prevention of government-imposed furlough days.
Rahna’s work at SEIU was preceded by her service in the State of Oregon running the Oregon Bus Project’s PolitiCorps program—a ten-week summer boot camp for youth designed to train and place them in political campaigns. While working at the Bus Project, she was recruited to be a Wellstone Action trainer and trained with Wellstone for over seven years—supporting state work to advance fair courts legislation and practices, training young organizers on the foundations of organizing, and training folks to run for office. She has a long history of commitment to youth organizing and served as the Chair of the Alliance for Youth Organizing from 2017-2019.
Follow her on Twitter @rahnamepting.
The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is a theologian, pastor, author, and anti-poverty activist. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. Rev. Dr. Theoharis has been organizing in poor and low-income communities for the past 30 years. Her books include: We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, 2021) and Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and she has been published in the New York Times, Politico, the Washington Post, Sojourners and elsewhere. Rev. Dr. Theoharis is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and teaches at Union Theological Seminary. She has been awarded the Freedom Award from the National Civil Rights Museum, the Selma Bridge Award, the Women of Spirit Award from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and many others.