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Dissonance, Discipleship, and the Both/And
  May 31, 2018
Student Engagement Ministries:

Coordinator, Alexandria Renault


Urban Involvement

Coordinator, Kristi Holt



Coordinator, Elizabeth Bartholomew


In Context

Catalyst Ed. Programmer Carly Pena


JPC Publications:

www.spu.edu/perkins/ PerkinsCenter at SPU on Facebook

Perkins Perspective

JPC collaborates with Campus Ministries, both part of the Office of University Ministries, for holistic student development in the areas of worship, discipleship, and reconciliation

  This quarter has given me many feelings from a calming warm of the sunshine to the intensity of works’ grind to relief for the end of a season to the wondering anticipation of new rhythm and things to come. I have appreciated so much the students and staff who have contributed and given voice within our reflections this quarter. I have ended the last 8 years of spring quarter with my student teams and in the classroom inside spaces of mutual learning. I hope that this opportunity to engage multiple perspectives with our newsletter have enriched your own quest for learning throughout this year. Thank you for reflecting with us this year.


The rhythm of my spring quarter includes being invited to join Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil and co-teach in the classroom. (I know, such an amazing opportunity!) She has done well to push me a little more each year to put my teacher suit on. I had the opportunity this year to prepare a lecture on biracial identity to our reconciliation students preparing to graduate. So there I was thinking about what biracial and multicultural identity formation can offer to the practice of reconciliation. One of the things that stood out to me (and reflective of my own experience), is a particular lens that underwrites a discipleship of dissonance.


In reality, those with a multiracial identity, within themselves and their very body, hold an in-between space. If they journey amidst the wrestling and difference brought about through our racialized history, social norms and expectations, and come to embrace their in-between place, there is a way they can teach us something about what is needed for reconciliation work. When I begin my own deep rooting identity work, I looked upon the impact of race on me. In reflection I wrote, “I have realized over the years and especially now, that the pains of being both and not just one or the other is far greater than compromising my identity in order to succeed or get along in the world around me. But internally, all these things are salient to the core of my being.”


It is this both/and paradigm that is challenging and prodding us slowly (and I mean slowly) forward as a people, a society, a community. It is pleading for a paradigm shift that is moving from a mono-cultural worldview to a multicultural worldview. When it comes to race and representation, the diversity of and access to resources, and the representation in media, politics, entertainment, has increased. I see interracial couples on commercials and billboard ads, which is not a part of my childhood or adolescent reality.


However, an increase in these things, does not imply a lack of present day struggles of racism and racialization. I think that my own wrestling with the disruption that my existence causes in challenging ways of categorization, not yielding to check a single box, in allowing for multiple options, and really seeking to wholistically exist in that both/and space; this is what has prepared me to sit and remain in these places of wrestling with others. It has prepared me to see more than one view of something, even within a system at work. Often times the work of reconciliation asks us to occupy unsettled spaces, issues of tension and discord, areas of ambiguity, uneasy realities, and even opposition. These are some of the experiences that I have been privileged to sit in with people. In your own life, on your own reconciliation journey, what kind(s) of disruption or both/and space do you, or will you occupy?


Caenisha Warren

JPC Staff







Highlight of the Week: Urban Impact Summer Enrichment
Camp & Internships

Urban Impact Summer Enrichment Camp is hiring three teachers for their six-week summer program. Urban Impact is a faith-based community development non-profit in the Greater Seattle Area with a mission t partner with families and communities to break the cycle of social, material, and spiritual poverty.


Summer enrichment camp will focus on reading and science, and afternoon sessions with activites around nature, art, and recreation. Classes are divided by K-1st, 2nd- 3rd, and 4th-5th grade.


Position is 16 hours per week. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to Mike Nienaber.


Applications due May 31st.


Internships are also available. For more information, visit Urban Impact’s site here.


Current Events & Opportunities:

  • Homelessness: A Community Conversation
    Thursday, May 31, 6:30-8:00 pm, UW School of Social Work
    Join us and learn about the homelessness crisis in the U-District community from people experiencing homelessness, people who have overcome homelessness, and experts in the field. Gain a better understanding of the contributing factors that lead to homelessness, specifically their connections with race, queerness and systematic oppression. Find out how to engage in your community and help address the issue of homelessness in the University District.
  • The Secret Life of Muslims
    Thursday, May 31, 5:30-7:30 pm, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Discovery Center
    Join us for a special screening of The Secret Life of Muslims; the award winning, digital series that uses humor and empathy to subvert stereotypes. Experience an engaging and interactive evening as we explore social justice filmmaking, the importance of storytelling, advocacy and activism, and global citizenship.

Coming Up:

  • For Charleena: Amplifying Black Womxn’s Voices (Part 1&2)
    Friday, June 1, 7:00-9:30 pm, and Saturday, June 9, 2:00-7:00 pm, Youngstown Cultural Arts
    In June 2017, Seattle's Charleena Lyles' life was taken by SPD. For Charleena: Amplifying Black Womxn's Voice is a two-part series designed to center and uplift the voices of Black womxn, who will use music, dance, poetry, fashion, painting, storytelling, teaching and more to speak back to injustice and honor a beautiful life that was stolen. This event is a collaboration between artist Wynn Adele and Youngstown’s Erika Bell, inspired by Wynn’s piece ‘For Charleena’, which is on display now at Youngstown. For more information on both days, visit here.
  • Stand with Refugees
    Saturday, June 16, doors open at 9 am, program runs 9:30 am-12:00 pm, Quest Church, $10 registration
    One Day’s Wages invites you to Stand With Refugees on Saturday, June 16th in partnership with World Relief, World Renew, and World Vision. This short gathering will encourage you to step into the shoes of refugees locally and around the world through film, storytelling, and conversations with experts in the field. Together we will learn how to take action, become advocates, and use our resources to stand in solidarity with Rohingya, Syrian, and South Sudanese refugees. Register here.

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Questions or comments? E-mail us at perkinscenterstaff@spu.edu.
SPRINT, UI, and Latreia are facilitated as collaborative partnerships with ASSP.
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