As some of you know, The Deep Culture Hive (DCH) re-formed this past May 2021 with ChI’s commitment to center equity and inclusion in all areas of the seminary and community. During our bi-monthly meetings, the Deep Culture Hive (DCH) has been prioritizing group relationships and trust-building, setting up group norms and structures for the long haul. We adopted a mission statement at our last meeting: “to support ChI to uphold its mission, vision and values to create a culture of radical belonging, where every person feels they are an integrated part of the ChI seminary and larger community. DCH does this through intentional and conscious efforts to consider, engage and value diversity, equity and inclusion including, but not limited to: classroom environment, curriculum development, the hiring process, ethics, right relations, and accountability processes amongst faculty, staff, students, clergy and alumni. DCH will strive to carry out this commitment according to the Chaplaincy Institute’s understanding of diversity which includes sexual orientation, ability, gender identity, class, nationality, religion, and race/ethnicity.”
This past July, our new core faculty Rivka Gevurtz crafted and led the new “Prophetic Voice in Ministry” moodle class, which all incoming students will be taking as they enter into the Interfaith studies program to prepare the way for their seminary journey. This class is part of the larger Prophetic Voice and Social Transformation (PVST) thread that runs through the entire curriculum.
This past August and September, over 20 stakeholders at ChI including faculty, board members, community council, and leadership staff all came together for a four-part training series called the “Cultural Mindfulness Institute” through Edutainment for Equity. This opportunity has provided us with some common language and experience from which to assess who we are now, define who we are striving to become, and begin to develop an agreed-upon basis of the actions and practices we need to engage to more fully realize our values and visions.
The DCH along with the leadership team also sent out an email reaching towards our community for experienced conflict resolution, mediators, restorative or transformative justice practitioners to strengthen our ability to show up around conflict and harm. See our letter for more information at this link: Seeking Conflict resolution/Mediators
The Deep Culture Hive is currently composed of the Deep Culture specialist, Wren Ganin-Pinto, the Dean of Students, Katrina Leathers, PVST faculty member, Rev Rivka Gevurtz, a representative from the board, Scott Railsback, a representative from the community council, Nancy Taylor, staff leadership, Shae Green, a representative from the ChI student body, Rika Caseres and representation from ChI clergy, Annalouiza Armendaliz.
Rika Casseres, our current student body representative, will join ChI Clergy after this October 23rd ordination. Congrats Rika! This means that the DCH is actively opening our group to seminarians to join our efforts. We want to hear from you all as we harvest the abundance from this wonderful community and turn inwards to establish our focus and next movement forward. If you are interested in learning more, if you have ideas you would like to share, please contact Wren at firstname.lastname@example.org.