In-Forming Communities of Healing Initiative at Vanderbilt Divinity School

I am just finishing up the first academic year of a three year collaboration with Vanderbilt Divinity School on bodies and healing.  The blog post below, that is posted on the VDS Voices blog, shares some of what is emerging in our work together.

Surviving sexualized violence resonates with surviving violence of many kinds—especially violence that is personalized, violence that penetrates our flesh, our self-understanding, and our ability to connect with the world around us.

Survival skills are idiosyncratic, and they are often wise in ways we can only understand fleetingly. These survival skills can deaden and disconnect us. They can leave our nerve endings raw and exposed. And these survival skills permeate and help shape a world—a world that sometimes re-harms, sometimes supports, and oftentimes wants to move along as if everything is as it should be.

The ubiquity and idiosyncrasy of these survival skills means that anyone can be triggered by anything at any time. This statement may be jarring. (click here for the full post)

Continue Reading

The Pregame Warm Ups for Super Bowl XLIX: Soft Footballs, Crying Quarterbacks, and Other Offensive Formations

An excerpt from my post on the NFL and masculinity on the Justice Unbound website:

Super Bowl week is here! And the NFL is stretched out in all of its media glory for America to adore and, more now than perhaps ever in the history of American football, to dissect.

The scrutiny that football is under right now is, indeed, unprecedented. And the 2014 season has been one thing after another in the world of American football in general, not just for the NFL. From more talk about concussions,  to college players trying to form unions, to domestic violence, to lawsuits against the NCAA for academic fraud, the pressure is building for football to come clean about its problems.

But, human nature shows itself again and again to be agile when it comes to avoiding the big questions. We can say we’re sorry for the little missteps, but changing long held patterns, hallowed assumptions, and unconscious biases are not transitions we surrender to easily. (read full post)

Continue Reading

Safety and Vulnerability in a Dangerous and Fertile World: A Meditation on Incarnation

And excerpt of my latest post on the Feminism and Religion website:

Feeling safe again is often the healing and elusive aspiration of a person like me.

I have been living with the deep and cellular residuum of sexual trauma for most of my life—over thirty of my going-on forty-six years.

For many years, the grief and shame of losing my innocence cultivated an intense orientation to life’s doing. Safety for me back then was activity, noise, frenetic schedules, and a constant soundtrack to my life that meant I never had to be quiet with myself. Safety was in the predictable metrics of success that I could use to measure my self worth. I never had to stop and admit that I didn’t feel safe, ever. (Read full post)

Continue Reading

The Whence of Football’s Death Knell

The conversation is getting louder and louder, out-noised only by the continued roar of the throngs of fans who fill stadiums, sports bars and living rooms to watch the next big game. That louder and louder conversation is the one asking the big questions about football—about its safety, about its hyper-masculine culture, about its financial excesses, and about the integrity of its players, coaches, and administrators. These conversations are desperately needed, and their amplification is generally to the good. Since writing Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse: Lifting the Veil on Big-Time Sports I have noticed several things … Read the full post

Continue Reading

A Technicolor Dream–In Honor of Martin Luther King Day 2015

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of the skin but by the content of their character.  I have a dream today! ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, “I Have a Dream” speech, August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be 86 years old now had his life not been ended by violence in 1968.    For those who shuddered at the vision he had the courage to share with our nation during his ministry, his death no doubt was an illusory … Read the full post

Continue Reading

White Lies

What if we stopped telling white lies? You know, the “little” lies that are supposed to be ok to tell because they are meant to soften the world, to be polite, to protect people’s feelings: like when someone asks you to go to the movies but you really don’t want to go with them so you say you are busy when you are not. Little white lies don’t hurt anyone, right? They are light, polite, and…. white. But, what if they are hurting someone, what if they keep us from a truth that we need to face—what if it is … Read the full post

Continue Reading

Are “entitled athletes” the problem in big-time sports?

My hope for Touchdowns for Jesus and Other Signs of Apocalypse was that it would elicit deeper conversations about the most pressing issues in big-time sports, which mirror the most pressing issues in our country. Many of those conversations are happening and I am thankful for each one.  I wanted to share one here in particular. A review of Touchdowns for Jesus appears in the online journal of Christian social justice, Unbound. The author of the review, Rachel Mastin, raised on important concern about me not including attention to “entitled athletes.” And Unbound invited me to respond. I hope you will … Read the full post

Continue Reading

A short video about a unique new book on big-time sports

Continue Reading

In-Forming Communities of Healing Inititative

This week I am at Vanderbilt Divinity School for the second phase of the In-Forming Communities of Healing Initiative. We are exploring what it means to be a community with a healing intention at its core around issues of sexual violence and abusive power.  We are exploring power through embodied practice, improvisational story telling, art, and much more.  For more information about the events you can click here.  There is also information on the FaceBook page.

Continue Reading

Reactions and Conversations about the Wainstein Report

The Wainstein Report at UNC has surfaced a lot of questions about big-time sports across this country on college campuses.  Below are some reactions and conversations beyond the one that has already been happening here on this website in your responses to my post on the report.  I hope you will take a look and continue the conversation about some of the most pressing issues in sports today.

Article in the News and Observer

Television interview on WRAL

Radio on interview on “Who’s Talking” on WCHL

Continue Reading