*Originally Posted at MissioAlliance.org
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This Week on Seminary Dropout…
Michelle Ferrigno Warren is the advocacy and policy engagement director for the Christian Community Development Association. She is an immigration, education, and human service policy specialist and is an adjunct faculty member at Denver Seminary. With over twenty years experience working in Christian community development, Michelle is a part of the national Evangelical Immigration Table and helps consult for the National Immigration Forum. She is a founding staff member of Open Door Ministries, a large community development corporation. Michelle, her husband, David, and their three children live in an immigrant neighborhood in Denver, Colorado.
Noel Castellanos has worked in full-time ministry in Latino, urban communities since 1982, serving in youth ministry, church planting, advocacy and community development in San Francisco, San Jose and Chicago. He is chief executive officer of Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and was the founding pastor of Chicago’s La Villita Community Church. In addition to being a popular speaker, Castellanos mentors young leaders across the United States and directs the CCDA Institute, training emerging leaders in the Christian Community Development philosophy. He was appointed to serve on President Obama’s Council for Faith and Neighborhood Partnerships and has served as the chaplain for the Chicago Cubs. He has a deep passion to serve and invest in the lives of leaders committed to serving the poor. Noel is the coauthor of A Heart for the Community and New Models for Urban and Suburban Ministry and has contributed to various other books and publications including Deep Justice in a Broken World, A Heart for the City, and Crazy Enough to Care. He and his wife, Marianne, have three children and make their home in the barrio of La Villita in Chicago.
We can see evidence of injustice all around us, whether in continuing incidents of racial inequality or in the systemic forces that disenfranchise people and perpetuate poverty. It’s important to learn about the world’s inequities and to be a voice for the voiceless any way we can. But in an age of hashtag and armchair activism, merely raising awareness about injustice is not enough.
Michelle Warren knows what is needed. She and her family have chosen to live in communities where they are “proximate to the pain of the poor.” This makes all the difference in facing and overcoming injustice. When we build relationships where we live, we discover the complexities of standing with the vulnerable and the commitment needed for long-term change.
Proximity changes our perspective, compels our response, and keeps us committed to the journey of pursuing justice for all. Move beyond awareness and experience the power of proximity. -From the Publisher
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