Identity and Inclusion, Fear and Hatred – Rubicon 2019 Explores the Intersection
Rubicon 2019: The Sugar Club October 12
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.
This year’s guests include speaker, writer and activist Lisa Sharon Harper, social justice campaigner and equality advocate Dr Ebun Joseph, founder of AUsome Ireland Evaleen Whelton who advocates positive change for people with autism, Debbie Walker of 7More a charity which aims to intercept cycles of poverty, and Kate Bowen–Evans who has held several senior roles in humanitarian aid and development. Many more will be announcedMany more will be announced over the coming weeks.
One of Rubicon’s organisers, Greg Fromholz, promised that Rubicon 2019 would be a real eye opener. “I expect to leave the Sugar Club with my world changed. I don’t say that to be dramatic. I genuinely feel that there is so much to learn from the speakers. Conversations have potential to be transformative,” he commented.
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 a race relations consultant, career specialist and 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 with Business in the Community (BITC) as a Training & Employment Officer providing guidance to migrants from over 73 nationalities seeking access to access 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 Ireland and 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 the organisers are delighted that she’ll speaking at this year’s Rubicon.
Evaleen Whelton: Founder of AUsome Ireland and Organiser of AUsome Conference
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.
For details on classes, autism training and events :
Debbie Walker: 7More
Debs is a proud Dubliner! Having moved to Houston 13 years ago, then with 3 small kids, she and her husband Josh founded 7More as a direct response to finding and then adopting their youngest son in Houston.
7More is 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 and follow @7Morestories
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 a disabled perspective.
More contributors will be announced soon. Go to
wearerubicon.com for up to date news on Rubicon 2019.