The 2017 #metoo movement shed light on the ever-present reality of sexual harassment and abuse in our society. Story after story of abuse emerged in the news and showed up on social media sites. Women (and men too) who had experienced abuse spoke out for the first time, confronting their abusers, telling their stories.
One outcome of #metoo is that the movement empowered women to speak boldly and bravely. It has created a sisterhood of support as women have stood together and offered encouragement and care to one another; and it opened the door to the possibility for change. For that change to come, people of faith must join the movement. They cannot and must not be satisfied with pushing the work of reform onto the shoulders of those who have been harassed and abused. Instead, faith leaders, pastors and people of influence must use their voices, their platforms, their pulpits to call for an end of harassment and abuse.
#metoo is a conversation that won’t end any time soon. New stories about celebrities, politicians and faith leaders continue to make the headlines every week. How do we as people of faith have hard conversations about what has happened and is happening with our neighbors, our local leaders, our teenagers and our church members? How do we talk about sexual ethics, appropriate boundaries, bad theology and brave responses to injustice? How can we be both prophetic and compassionate as we confront sexual abuse and sexism in our culture and in our churches? How do we address the sexism that is prevalent in our culture – that so often we don’t even see or think about – while also addressing the bad theology that is used by some to justify or gloss over sexual abuse?
This workshop, through dialogue, discussion and storytelling, will address the insidious, pervasive problem of sexual abuse in our society and offer practical suggestions for Baptist leaders as they seek to speak truth, offer care to victims and survivors, and lead their churches to work for change.
“#metoo: Join the Movement, Be the Change” will be facilitated by Pam Durso, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry, on Thursday, June 14th at 8:30 AM at the General Assembly in Dallas. Register to attend Assembly today.