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Saturday, December 4, 2021

Spirit & Place Festival to explore change

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The 2021 Spirit & Place Festival will explore the theme of change throughout 29 events from Nov. 4-14. Topics will range from religion to climate change to the impact of COVID-19 on society.

Events are a mix of in person, hybrid and virtual. Some events cost and some are free, but registration is required.

Below are some Spirit & Place events. Learn more and register at spiritandplace.org.

Public Conversation

The public conversation this year is with Robert P. Jones and Leah Gunning Francis, who will talk about how white Christian America can change for the betterment of the U.S.

Jones is the CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute and a scholar and commentator on religion, culture and politics. He is the author of “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity” and “The End of White Christian America.”

Francis is vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Christian Theological Seminary. Her book, “Ferguson and Faith,” includes interviews with more than two dozen clergy and young activists who were involved in the racial justice movement in Ferguson, Missouri.

• When: 4:30-6 p.m. Nov. 14

• Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 6050 N. Meridian St.

• Cost: Free

• How to participate: Hybrid

Past the Klan: The Roots of Racism in IPS and Beyond

“Past the Klan” will explore the last 100 years of Indianapolis Public Schools to uncover hidden truths about racism, religion, gender and politics. Participants will go into small groups and propose steps to address past harms.

• When: 6-8 p.m. Nov. 10

• Where: Center for Black Literature and Culture at Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.

• Cost: Free

• How to participate: In person

We Are The Change We’ve Been Waiting For: A Practical Guide to Social Change

Participants will learn from activists about strategies they can use to confront challenges they see in the world. There is an accompanying exhibit meant to inspire attendees to turn their feelings into action.

Guests will include representatives from Flanner House’s Food Justice Project, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, Indianapolis First Friends and Project Lia.

• When: 6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 10

• Where: Indiana Interchurch Center, 1100 W. 42nd St.

• Cost: Free

• How to participate: In person

Tearing Down Boxes and Embracing Change

Fiber artists from two guilds will create an art exhibit to help people break out of their comfort zone and embrace change.

Artists from INFiber and Akomo Ntoso have partnered to share ideas and expose each other to new points of view. Their work will be on display during a Trail Talk session at the Phoenix Theatre, and fiber artists and actors with the production “Alabaster” will discuss how art is a tool for healing, growth and change.

• When: 5:30-8 p.m. Nov. 5 (exhibit open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday Friday from Nov. 4-Dec. 23)

• Where: Phoenix Theatre Cultural Center, 705 N. Illinois St.

• Cost: Free

• How to participate: In person

Coming Through to the Other Side: Changes in Schools and Communities COVID & Beyond

Participants will join educators and families to consider what equity and inclusion means for schools and communities as they emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conversation aims to help people recognize the ways varying school and home situations have shaped the pandemic experience.

• When: 7-8:30 p.m. Nov. 11

• Cost: Free

• How to participate: Virtual

(Un)Comfortable Conversations: Telling Our Stories, Transforming Our World

Spoken word artists, writers and community leaders will discuss what it means to struggle with and accept the consequences of change.

Some of the questions that will be addressed: How has change strengthened their sense of identity and community while disrupting tradition? Are some of these divides worth bridging or letting go?

Contact staff writer Tyler Fenwick at 317-762-7853. Follow him on Twitter @Ty_Fenwick.

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