Meeting Notes October 25, 2010

“Its only at night when you can see the stars.”
How can the leadership of Romero, MLK, and others inspire us as we enter this difficult period?
How do we create a leadership prepared to enter dark times?
Re-evaluate values (economic and political values) and re-thing idea logical strategy of education.
Re-shape education/formation of leaders in all ways: value formation, community development

Mary Magdalene Project:
Inspired by the life of Mary Magdalene: point at which discipleship kicked off and movement began; the role she played in context of Romans, her qualities and commitment
How develop Committed, Clear, Competent, and Connected leaders?
Reminding ourselves of Christ as an organizers as leading a revolution of values and staying power
Look at figures who gave their lives for the disposed, who inspired and generated commitment of others
What were the qualities of leadership that they exhibited?
What was the point at which they turned over the tables?
What was the point at which took stand against the grain, even when that meant they were threatened?

“When I fed the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why are the poor hungry, they called me a communist.” —Dom Helder Camara (archbishop of São Paulo, Brasil)

How have leaders maintained stick-to-itedness in difficult times? What were their values and lives?
This is relevant for leaders today that must put selves in difficult situations.

Take responsibility for what happening in country and world: at a time when some throw away excess food and others are starving
At a time when some call the poor the sinners while the system is the sin.
Romero applies today.

How will this fit into a leadership development curriculum?
What is the church? Ecclesial base communities have and are re-thinking and re-defining?
How is church evoking a revolution of values?
What is role of religion and church in the movement to end poverty? How people that believe in something revolutionary/transformational can transform the world?
How re-radicalize the church? How not de-contextualize?

Different concepts of love:
One very individualized
Other like that of Romero who gave life for humanity

The Latin American struggle was site of confrontation
We need to learn their stories and tell how leaders have maintained
It is a weakness of the movement that we are not linked up

Only way that can de-radicalize Romero, Jesus, MLK, etc is to take them out of their contexts
We want to inspire a leadership that gives rise to Romeros of today
Romero rose up not just out of any context, but in Central America, out of a control of international struggle over control of Latin America
Think about why Romero was considered a threat? threat to what policies?
They want us to believe it was one death quad that killed him? But was not
We must challenge ourselves to challenge the left as much as the right

Develop a Poverty Scholarship so that everybody can learn from other leaders like Romero
Connected: link leaders of poor people’s movements across time and space
Competence: documentaries, essays, books, Leadership School
Create an archive of materials (economic, cultural, poverty) to be available for Strategic Dialogue
Book studies and Video Screenings
SOA Vigil, Romero Chapel (Mar 24), Poverty Initiative Blog, Romero’s Birthday (Aug 15)

3 Areas of Study:
(1) Context: Political, Economic, Social, and Religious
(2) Where groups are continuing this work: Ecclesial base communities, take advantage of connections, what going on now in this same spirit? People in Latin America share their stories of leadership and movements to end poverty
(3) Liberation Theology

Others to involve: Cruz, Machado, Cathy, Knitter