What does it mean for our church and world when Latinx communities bound by colonial status, impoverishment, underemployment, mass incarceration, fear, and uncertainty dare to claim their own freedom? This event sponsored by the Latinx Caucus and the Alumni/ae Relations Office of Union Theological Seminary brings together voices from the academy and church to reflect on the themes of identity, suffering, and hope for Latinx communities struggling against despairing conditions that call for a prophetic response. Using the publication of Teresa Delgado’s book – A Puerto Rican Decolonial Theology: Prophesy Freedom – as well as the ongoing devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria as a catalyst, this conversation will offer an opportunity to engage on behalf of the Puerto Rican people, and Latinx communities more broadly, to claim freedom as our own.
Reflections by the presenters will alternate with roundtable discussions in order to allow for relationship building and the sharing of stories among participants.
Speakers to include:
Dr. Teresa Delgado, Director, Peace and Justice Studies; Associate Professor and Chair, Religious Studies Department, Iona College, New Rochelle, NY
Dr. Delgado will focus her remarks on what it means for Latinx communities to claim freedom and self-determination in conditions that seem to suggest anything but. She will use the recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico, and the subsequent response, as yet another example of “false narratives that are constructed but do not tell our story. Claiming our narrative is akin to claiming our freedom; our very spirit as a people depends on it.”
The Rev. Canon Dr. Altagracia Perez-Bullard, Canon for Congregational Vitality, The Episcopal Diocese of New York
Dr. Perez-Bullard will be speaking on how churches/congregations are serving as empowerment sites for Latinx peoples. How are liturgies and other communal spiritual practices serving as tools of liberation and transformation among Latinx people, their families and the wider community?
Stephanie Quintana-Martinez, M.Div. Candidate, Union Theological Seminary
Ms. Quintana-Martinez will be speaking about the creative potential of imagination in the articulation of a Puerto Rican political theology, especially as it relates to cross-movement solidarity on issues of identity, suffering, and hope in the Latinx community.
Jorge Juan Rodríguez V, Ph.D. Candidate, Union Theological Seminary
Mr. Rodriguez will be speaking on the notion of story—whose stories are privileged, whose are regurgitated and reproduced, and whose stories speak to freedom as it relates to Puerto Rico and minoritized people generally. How does reclaiming the stories of our communities, our families, and centering said stories provide decolonial imaginaries that speak to and push towards liberation?
Sponsored by the Office of Alumni/ae Relations and the Latinx Caucus. The event will conclude with light refreshments.