Section XI: Reimagining and Reinventing Culture
Track 3: Good Work: Core Challenge for an Ecological Civilization
Henry Atkins, chair
Goal of the Track: We plan to produce several alternative work models that will enable us to move toward a true ecological civilization.
Session I– Introduction of People, Process and Goals of the Work Track. CLUE (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) representatives will speak about how workers relate to the issues of globalization and growth (workers will be asked the following question: “What’s right and what’s wrong about your work situation”? After the workers speak, Pastor Bridie Roberts will be asked to connect what the workers said to issues of globalization and growth. (Bridie Roberts)
Session 2– History and Evolution of Work: including issues of globalization, growth or non growth in the world today. (Richard Gillett)
Session 3– Theology/Philosophy of Work: Towards an Ecological Civilization. (Richard Gillett)
Session 4– Poverty, the working poor and the rape of the earth. Again in this session we will focus on the humanization of work, acknowledging that for the working poor and the earth work has become a form of death. (Henry Atkins)
Session 5– Technology and Work. How will modern technology change/eliminate work as we know it today? (Robert Traer will respond to George Strawn and J. Philip Wogaman)
Session 6 – Group will attend either the Technology or Management Section.
Session 7 – Public Policy- choices in the new global economic order. We would stress in this session the urgency of collective social decisions. (Gordon Douglass)
Session 8– What is possible? In this session we will need to move towardconcrete possible models for an ecological alternative. Strategies to begin organizing and moving into these models.
In preparation for the conference:
Richard W. Gillette, The New Globalization
Russell Muirhead, Just Work
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed
Mirosla Volf, Work in the Spirit
Rev. Canon Dr. Henry L. Atkins, Jr.
Canon Atkins is a retired Episcopal Priest who has taught at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Rutgers University and the General Theological Seminary.
He served for six years as the chairperson of the Episcopal Church’s National Commission on Racism and for eight years as vice president of the Anglican Theological Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. He has served as a consultant to the Episcopal Church’s Commission on Economic Justice for the last eight years and in 2010 was awarded The Hugh White Award for Outstanding Work in the Field of Economic Justice.
He is also a Black Belt in Kickboxing in the Kempo tradition.
Dr. Gordon Douglass
Dr. Gordon Douglass, a graduate of Pomona College and M.I.T., chaired the economics department of Pomona College for many years. The author of thirteen books, his last academic position was as Dean for Academic Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania. He now resides at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, CA.
Rebecca Jane Gifford
Rebecca Jane Gifford has worked over 30 years in urban settings walking alongside people seeking to discover compassionate power for change within themselves and their communities. She has catalyzed leaders to design and carry out a variety of successful action campaigns rooted in deep listening, reflection, and trusted relationships. Rebecca is currently affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation, a broad-based social change network noted for pioneering practices both inside and outside the United States. She has also been enriched by formal studies in music and pastoral ministry.
The Reverend Richard W Gillett
Richard W. Gillett is a long-time activist and advocate for worker justice. He is the author of two books that relate to work, the global economy and the Christian faith: The Human Enterprise: A Christian Perspective on Work (Leaven Press, 1985), and The New Globalization: Reclaiming the Lost Ground of Our Christian Social Tradition (Leaven Press, 2005). He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and is an Episcopal priest. He lives in Seattle with his wife Anne.
Rev. Bridie C. Roberts
Pastor Roberts serves as Program Director at Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, and also serves as appointed Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Alhambra, CA. She has been a community organizer, movement strategist, and activist for many years specializing in the development of new leaders and the use of creative, faith filled tactics of nonviolent resistance.
Formerly Pastor Bridie served as the Pastor of Pico Union Shalom Ministries, a progressive Shalom Zone Ministry of the United Methodist Church serving the heart of the inner city of Los Angeles in Pico Union. Under her leadership, this Spanish speaking/bilingual ministry focused on neighborhood peace building and free community education programs.
Pastor Roberts has worked as a community organizer focused on issues of affordable housing, grass roots urban planning and community greening, and community poverty issues in New York City, NY, Seattle, Washington, and Des Moines, IA.. She has studied and traveled in Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.
The Rev. Dr. Robert Traer
In 2001 Robert Traer joined the faculty of the Dominican University of California where he continues to teach ethics online. From 1990 to 2000 he directed the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF). His latest books are a second edition of Doing Environmental Ethics (2013) and Mindful Health Care (2014). He is Chair of the Environmental Concerns Committee at Pilgrim Place in Claremont.