2014 Winter Studies Web Shadow

All classes begin at 9:45 a.m. in the Atrium (ground floor of the Oglesby Building)
Lunchtime Practicum:  following worship in the Brotherhood Room off Tull Fellowship Hall

Advocacy for Workers - And for Those Who Want to Work

January 5                       Charmaine Davis

Charmaine will discuss the work of the 9to5 organization, which for 40 years has worked at "Winning Justice for Working Women." 9to5's Atlanta chapter was founded in 1980 when a group of office workers organized to improve their working conditions. Over the past three decades the chapter has spearheaded the Georgia Coalition for Family and Medical Leave, provided job retention skills workshops for women in welfare-to-work programs, and led the Atlanta Living Wage Campaign. Charmaine Davis helps lead all organizing and membership-building activities for the Georgia chapter of 9to5.. She also helps lead the campaigns for family-flexible workplace policies with the Georgia Job/Family Collaborative. In 2012, Charmaine helped lead a campaign to remove the discriminatory question “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” from city of Atlanta job applications.

Prison Reform – Who Cares?

January 12          Mary Sidney Harbert and Kathryn Hamoudah

This session will discuss reform advocacy within the criminal justice system. We will briefly examine three cases (on the state prison level, the county level, and on an individual level) and provide examples of how the public can participate.

Lunchtime practicum: We will examine a local criminal justice issue and discuss what considerations must be made in the pursuit of changes to policy.

Mary Sidney Harbert – Central member since 2001, board member and former chair of advocacy committee of the Outreach and Advocacy Center, deacon, usher, Sunday school convener, board member of Child Development Center, where her two girls spend their days.  She has been Senior Investigator and Paralegal at the Law Offices of the Southern Center for Human Rights since 2002.

Kathryn Hamoudah – Public Policy and Communications Manager at Law Offices of the Southern Center for Human Rights; Chair of Georgians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty; former staff of All About Developmental Disabilities, an organization that provides support services to thousands of families in the Metro Atlanta area.  

Issues and Advocacy: From Letter Writing to Community Engagement

January 19   Wende Ballew

This session will highlight the focus of Central Presbyterian's Issues and Advocacy committee for the year. We will discuss issues such as the intersections of the LGBT community and homelessness, gun control, and talk about how  members can make an impact in each area. We will also discuss upcoming Issues and Advocacy events designed to engage the congregation.

Lunchtime practicum: Wende will discuss the work that
Reforming Arts (an organization she founded) is doing in the prison system.

Wende Ballew is the co-chair of Central's Issue and Advocacy Committee, a member of the OAC's advocacy committee, Central's liaison to Presbyterians for a Better Georgia, Central's Prison Ministry Coordinator, and the Executive Director of Reforming Arts Incorporated. Additionally, she is a part-time instructor at Kennesaw State University. Wende has served on Issues and Advocacy for the past four years and has coordinated Central's Prison Ministry for the past three. When Wende is not teaching inside Lee Arrendale State Prison and at KSU, she is involved with advocacy and community building.  

The Office of Public Witness - The Voice of Presbyterian Public Policy

January 26         Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson

Dr. Nelson will discuss the work of the Presbyterian Office of Public Witness (OPW), the public policy information and advocacy office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The OPW's task is to advocate, and help the church to advocate, the social witness perspectives and policies of the Presbyterian General Assembly. The church has a long history of applying these biblically and theologically-based insights to issues that affect the public — maintaining a public policy ministry in the nation's capitol since 1946. Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, serves as Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness in Washington, DC. Dr. Nelson is a third-generation Presbyterian Pastor who, before coming to Washington, served as Founder/Pastor of Liberation Community Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tennessee.


For a printable PDF copy of the information above, click here.