Fear and hatred of the other are increasingly shaping the world in which we live, leading to cries of 'Build the Wall' and 'Send her home', contributing to the imprisonment of over a million Uighur Muslims in China and to the genocide of the Rohingya in Myanmar. Fear and hatred lead to mass shootings, to children in cages, and to the rise of dictators and demagogues around the world. On the island of Ireland, growing fear and hatred of the other leads to violence against mosques, to online and community harassment, and to riots, racism and stabbings against our neighbours and kin.
We wish it wasn't real. We wish it was exceptional. The truth is, it's a tale as old as time. Throughout history, we have always had a tendency to fear what we do not know ... and, more importantly, who we do not know.
As Christians, we believe in a Kingdom of God that is for everyone, no exceptions, and yet we live a world that thrives on building and maintaining systems and structures that keep others out. This year at Rubicon we want to confront how the realities of identity and inclusion intersect with a world of increasing fear and hatred and to explore together who we are and who we are called to be.
Join us on October 12th at The Sugar Club.
lisa sharon harper
From Ferguson to New York to Germany and South Africa, Lisa Sharon Harper leads training and helps mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good. A prolific speaker, writer and activist, Ms. Harper is the founder and president of FreedomRoad.us, a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap in the United States by convening forums and experiences that bring common understanding, common commitment, and common action toward a just world. Ms. Harper is the author of several books, including: Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican...or Democrat (The New Press, 2008), Left Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Elevate, 2011), Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014), and the critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong can be Made Right (Waterbrook, 2016). The Very Good Gospel, recognized as the "2016 Book of the Year" by Englewood Review of Books, explores God’s intent for the wholeness of all relationships in light of today’s headlines.
In 2015 The Huffington Post recognized her as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day.” Most recently, Relevant Magazine recognized The Very Good Gospel as one of “Six Books that Will Change the Way You See the World” and Ms. Harper as one of “Seven Leaders to Follow in 2017.”
DR. EBUN JOSEPH
Dr. Ebun Joseph is race relations consultant, career specialist & life coach who addresses social justice issues and advocates for equality. She is a lecturer and coordinator of the first Black Studies module in UCD where she completed her PhD on 'Racial Stratification in the Irish Labour Market' and she is the author of two books, Becoming Unforgettable and the hard hitting novel, Trapped: Prison Without Walls.
Before working in academia, Dr. Joseph spent nine years working Business in the Community (BITC) as as a Training & Employment Officer providing guidance to migrants from over 73 nationalities seeking access to access in the labour market.
Much of her free time is spent on advocacy and empowerment work through community initiatives. She serves as CEO and seminar speaker for the The Unforgettable Women's Network, is a columnist for the Dublin Inquirer on race, writes for the African Voice Newspaper, is a founding member of African Women Writers in Irelandand is chairperson of African Scholars Association Ireland(AfSAI). Recently, Dr. Joseph launched the #NoToBrainWaste Campaign which highlights the barriers faced by under-employed and over-qualified migrants and Irish-born ethnic minorities.
Dr. Joseph has unmatched insight into the lived experience of people of colour in Ireland and we are delighted that she'll speaking at this year's Rubicon!
Debs is a proud Dubliner who moved to Houston 13 years ago. It was there that she and her husband Josh founded 7More as a direct response to finding and then adopting their youngest son. 7More is a charity which aims to intercept cycles of poverty at various points. They serve low income neighbourhoods, homeless communities and ex offenders. This year, their work with ex-offenders was a winner of the John Legend “Can’t Just Preach” award. 7More meets over 10,000 ex offenders a year being released back into society, offering them practical supplies on the day of release, next steps help for their new season and is a bridge to any resources that are available for them.
For additional info go to: www.7more.net
Evaleen Whelton made the wonderful discovery that she is Autistic 5 years ago at the age of 37. Since then she has been advocating for positive change for Autistic people in Ireland.
As an advocate Evaleen concentrated her efforts in raising appreciation for Autistic thinking, delivering educational workshops, and set about her journey to normalise the perception of autism in the wider community. As well as writing articles, organising conferences and talks on various topics relating to autism, Evaleen has developed many programs to train others with the most current thinking around autism in an effort to remove the immense stigma attached to autism.
She believes there must be an arena for an open, frank and honest discussion around autism with Autistic people at its very core. AUsome Ireland is a starting point for this in Ireland.
Since 2004, Kate Bowen-Evans has held several senior leadership roles in humanitarian aid and development. She has worked for Oxfam, Tearfund and SERVE Afghanistan in places such as Bangladesh, Lebanon, India, Afghanistan and Israel, including Gaza and the West Bank.
She is an excellent communicator and an experienced trainer with a passion for helping individuals develop management and leadership skills. She was recently awarded a distinction in her MA in Theology from the Nazarene Theological College where her thesis focused on understanding the idea of the body of Christ from the perspective of disability theology.
Originally from the Deep South in the United States, Dana grew up with sound of soul, rhythm and blues and gospel music all around her. Her love for music developed as she grew up and lead her to study music, majoring in vocal performance at university. Music took Dana from South Carolina to Minneapolis and then on to Los Angeles where she lived for four years and where she met an Irishman who would later become her husband. In 2008 Dana and her husband moved to Northern Ireland. Although she sang sporadically, music generally took a back seat while Dana settled into life in a new country and culture. That all changed in early 2012 when Dana had a chance meeting with Linley Hamilton at a local music venue. During that year Dana, Linley and some of the best Jazz musicians playing in Ireland began a weekly residency in the basement of McHughes Bar in Belfast, the inspiration for Dana’s first EP. From live work with BBC Radio 4 and Proms in the Park to singing regularly with Van Morrison, Dana’s reputation as one of Ireland’s top vocalists continues to gain momentum. Dana is very excited to be writing original material again and can’t wait to share that with people! Calling Northern Ireland home, Dana is passionate about music as a vehicle to make people and communities vibrant.
Dana and her husband Andrew live in lisburn with their three children.
Jenn Clark has worked with YWAM Ireland for 18 years. Alongside her husband Jonny they pioneered a community in the Shankill and Falls areas of West Belfast doing youth work, peace building and discipleship. In helping create a nurturing, ecumenical space for reconciliation, Palestinians, Israelis, South Africans, Rwandans, Syrians, Lebanese and young people from the Balkans are regulars at their dinner table and in their community. In 2010 Jenn and Jonny took over a large centre of Reconciliation in Rostrevor on the Irish border which is now called An Cuan. Jenn speaks regularly on the Mother heart of God, intersectionality and is a renowned story-teller.
Rosaleen McDonagh is a Traveller woman with a disability. Originally from Sligo, she is the fourth eldest in a family of twenty children. She worked in Pavee Point Traveller & Roma Centre for ten years, managing the Violence Against Women programme, and remains a board member. She is a regular contributor to the Irish Times and has written austensibly within the framework of a Traveller feminist perspective. McDonagh’s work includes The Baby Doll Project, Stuck, She’s Not Mine, and Rings. Rings was performed at VSA in Washington DC in June 2010. McDonagh was shortlisted for the PJ O’ Connor radio play Awards 2010. While in the United States with Fishamble, Colum McCann, Booker Prize winner, gave her the rights to adapt his 2007 novel Zoli for stage. In March 2012, Beat Him Like a Badger was commissioned by Fishamble to be part of the Tiny Plays for Ireland series.
Rosaleen was commissioned for a feature article in the Irish Times in 2012 responding to Channel 4’s series My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. In 2013/2014, she worked with Graeae Theatre on its WTP programme. As part of this project, she spent two weeks on attachment in The Royal Court Theatre. Her play Mainstream was directed by Olivier Award winner, Jim Culleton, for Fishamble and Project Arts Centre in 2016. In 2018, Fishamble produced Rosaleen’s play Running Out of Road in the RHK to mark the first anniversary of Traveller Ethnicity recognition. Rosaleen has a BA in Biblical & Theological Studies, an MPhil in Ethnic & Racial Studies & an MPhil in Creative Writing, all from TCD. She holds a PhD from Northumbria University.