The Inclusive Collective (IC) is a vibrant and active faith community for university students based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Each spring, we hold a Justice Retreat to equip and inspire our students to pursue equity, inclusion, and human flourishing as they follow Jesus. Hear about our retreat from Matthew Adams, a senior at Wheaton College and member of the IC:
“Feeling alone and without a home is certainly a feeling not foreign to me. Fortunately, I have found a beautiful home within the Inclusive Collective. Growing up, the only spaces where I engaged in topics of activism, community development, and racism were in debate and the classroom. Talking about these issues within the church is a brand new experience for me. The 2018 Spring Justice Retreat was a refreshing and informative weekend that pushed me in the pursuit of justice.
I firmly believe that the center of the Gospel is justice. This plain and simple fact was emulated within our retreat. One of the most poignant examples of justice was shown to me when we visited Reesheda Graham-Washington at L!VE Cafe located in Oak Park. This cafe is actively developing community through funneling its profits back to the people of Austin to create jobs for those in great need. Reesheda’s love for Christ fuels her passion for justice. She showed me how important it is to use your academics and accolades as tools in your toolbox instead of weapons. We need to constantly use our wide array of tools to engage with our communities.
Moving forward, it is incredible to think of the vast amount of ways we can push for justice. Even though there are many ways to push for justice, we do not have the luxury to have decision paralysis. It is imperative that we constantly take steps forward in justice. Even in the little day-to-day battles against microaggressions, we are fighting for justice in dismantling stereotypes that dehumanize people into tropes. This retreat was incredibly life-giving and will inform how I engage with justice.”