The Odyssey Impact Young Adult Initiative (YAI) focuses on engaging young adults in faith and seeks to discover responses to issues of social justice and inequalities by young adult partners using the lens of Christianity. Our YAI partners are young adult faith influencers who are engaging with Odyssey’s campaigns, documentaries, projects and relevant social justice issue areas to reveal how they and our targeted audience of young adults respond to issues of mass incarceration, sexual assault and violence, collective trauma and other social justice issues and inequalities.
Through Odyssey’s films, social media, and other forms of digital engagement our partners are currently hosting screenings and discussions, developing tangible items including digital devotionals, podcast recordings, short film reflections, how-to guides, blog posts and study guides that will serve as long-term resources for Odyssey.
Micah 6:8 declares,
In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and marking the end of The Rape of Recy Taylor social impact campaign, YAI partners Shakisha Morgan and Christina Jones, hosts of the Mary & Martha Podcast, hosted a live town hall on healing from trauma and hearing women’s voices. Over 30 Black women between the ages of 18-34 years old gathered for the town hall with invited guest Christian Counselor Erica St.Bernard. Their goal was to have a conversation the church is not having. Participants said they felt empowered. Shakisha and Christina also hosted a podcast on Recy Taylor and are currently developing a Recy Taylor devotional.
In July Rev. Lauren Bennett facilitated a discussion on Queering Racial Justice and how Christian-queer communities should show up in addressing policing, mass incarceration and racism. The moderator for the discussion was Rev. Max Hill who led panelists from St. Louis and Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Milwaukee in a meaningful conversation on mass incarceration, the impact on the queer and trans community, the criminal legal system, destigmatization, reentry, time as punishment and other areas. The conversation was centered around our documentary and social impact campaign for Milwaukee 53206. Rev. Bennett is currently developing a blog post and devotional to accompany the event.
PAST EVENT: Wednesday, August 26th at 2pm EST
Join the Odyssey Impact Young Adult Initiative for a candid discussion about how the Christian Church of 2020 can show up to help lead the work of anti-racism in society and equitable policing in Black and Brown communities. Topics of discussion will include but are not limited to: Policy and Advocacy, Theological Foundations of the Church, Dismantling Systems and “Jesus and the Disinherited” In this classic theological treatise [By Howard Thurman], the acclaimed theologian and religious leader Howard Thurman (1900-1981) demonstrates how the gospel may be read as a manual of resistance for the poor and disenfranchised. Jesus is a partner in the pain of the oppressed and the example of His life offers a solution to ending the descent into moral nihilism. Hatred does not empower–it decays. Only through self-love and love of one another can God’s justice prevail.”
|Full Name||Christian Denomination Affiliation||Odyssey Film||Project Output|
|Sandy Poveda||Non-Denominational||Run for His Life||Blog post, Watch event + short video|
|Omari Hughes||Baptist||Healing the Healers||Podcast, App-based Study Guide|
|Laurel Capesius||United Methodist||Stranger/Sister||Online Study Guide|