In 7 short segments. Participant-made production written and directed by Lauren Quock and Zumi Mizokami. An impression of the spirit and texture of 'critical faith' - and a glimpse of 'grassroots critical pedagogy' in practice. 19 min

Sophay Duch, Luse Pesaleli, Dawn Jackson, Siou Paogofie, Crystal Talitonu repairing Mrs. Jackson's 9th Ward home in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. R2W Critical Faith was investigating historical racism and class inequality as factors of  the struggles of people hurt by this disaster.

Critical Faith is a leadership development method. It employs 
a grassroots critical pedagogy which integrates spirituality and
personal and community healing with political 
consciousness,  cultural and class awareness,
 and social action to empower people
in the work of changing the world.

Ale Sanchez receiving a blessing from a Buddhist priest at an East Oakland Cambodian temple. A dimension of 'critical faith' is spiritual exploration and discipline. Participants are required to  critically and rigorously study and exercise their personal spirituality and faith traditions as well as acquire critical exposure to other religions and practices. Deepening one's spirituality requires moving from a cursory to a critical understanding of one's faith, belief system, or philosophy, or even the absence of one. One element of Critical Faith is problem-posing the social contradictions identified within these respective traditions. Young leaders raised in traditional religious backgrounds learn to distinuguish between structural and individual authority, between cultural practices and spiritual values. They are encouraged to deepen their beliefs by respecting them with study, practice and spiritual discipline. Critical Faith  strentghens leaders' ability to represent their spiritual traditions with coherence and humility.

The Critical Faith Project (formerly "R2W:" Represent 2 Witness) is a leadership program created in 2003. To date 190 young adults of color have participated (60% working class and 40% middle class). During its seven years as a program of the PANA Institute at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA., the project included a two-week residential intensive, quarterly training retreats, a 'graduate' program (Congregational Leaders Internship- CLI) and a one-week immersion experience (e.g. post Katrina New Orleans; Tohono O'odham Reservation, Arizona/Mexico). Most participants began as high school seniors and completed the two-year experience as college students.

Bishop Rev Yvette Flunder blessing R2W leaders at City of
Refuge United Church of Christ, San Francisco

Rev Deborah Lee, R2W/ Critical Faith Spiritual Director leading ritual to connect to our roots and ancestors, and acknowledge the strengths and struggles of our peoples

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