Diana Butler Bass to speak at pre-conference ALLLM gathering

The Association of Leaders in Lifelong Learning for Ministry (ALLLM), a related learning organization to REA, is pleased to announce that Diana Butler Bass will be the featured speaker on Thursday evening, just prior to the beginning of the REA annual meeting. Her comments will address topics of interest to ALLLM and REA member alike: the preparation and ongoing development of leaders for the church now and in the future. Bass is a well-known independent scholar, speaker and author specializing in American religion and culture. REA members may attend this event for the cost of the meal, but must sign up and pay via the annual meeting registration form to do so.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Diana Butler Bass to speak at pre-conference ALLLM gathering

Join us for the pre-conference visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

In alignment with the 2018 conference theme, “Beyond White Normativity: Creating Brave Spaces,” the 2018 conference will commence with a pre-conference excursion to one of the brave spaces established in September 2016, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The excursion will include careful observations of the D.C culture as we travel from the Hyatt Regency Reston (1800 Presidents Street, Reston, Virginia, 20190) to the museum (located at 1400 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C.) via the Metro rail. Participants will purchase subway passes at the entry station for $5.35. Entrance to the museum is free. You will have over 4 hours to explore more than 36,000 artifacts at the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. Following the museum experience participants may stay downtown for dinner, or return to the conference hotel. This special “Beyond White Normativity” excursion will be limited to the first 30 people who sign up. To sign up go to https://religiouseducation.net/rea2018/schedule/. Log into Sched and choose this pre-conference on your own schedule.

Black history image

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Join us for the pre-conference visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Pre-conference at Museum of African American History and Culture

(by our program chair, Kathy Winings)

The Annual Meeting allows each of us to engage the theme from multiple perspectives and to take time to reflect on the challenges of white normativity and how we are impacted by it. One of the best opportunities available to help that reflection process is the National Museum of African American History and Culture located on the beautiful Mall in the heart of Washington, DC. Since the museum’s opening on September 24, 2016, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have visited this amazing museum. Three floors present the harsh history of African Americans from the very beginnings of the slave trade in Africa and the Caribbean up to the present discussion of whiteness and contemporary challenges of discrimination.

In addition, the other floors inspire visitors with a look at the rich contributions of African Americans in art and music, sports, film and television, culture, politics, government and religion. Throughout the museum, hundreds of inspiring stories are told through the lens of historical exhibits and digital technology. The whole experience touches each of our senses. Each visitor cannot help but be pulled in to the vast heart wrenching and beautifully inspiring history of the African American people. One does not have to be American to appreciate the stories presented in the museum. It is certainly well worth one’s time to take advantage of this great opportunity as a way to jump-start their conference experience.

When I visited the museum, I was not sure what to expect, other than the fact that it was part of the renowned Smithsonian and my students in Maryland thought it was awesome. When I was on my way back to campus on the Metro, my mind and my heart were still processing the experience. There were exhibits that moved me to tears and there were exhibits that awed me. More importantly, the museum experience helped take my reflection process to another level. The visuals, the content and everything else worked together to stimulate each of my senses, deepening my experience.

I really encourage participants to the conference to take the time to register for the pre-conference tour of the museum. The added benefit of being able to meet with the curator of the Religion section, Dr. Eric Williams, is an added opportunity. He travels extensively for the museum, speaking to a wide range of organizations and schools about this incredible addition to the Smithsonian. Sign up now for the excursion to reserve your ticket.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Pre-conference at Museum of African American History and Culture

Registration Open!

Registration for REA2018 is now open and early-bird pricing is in effect until mid-September. Register now!

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Registration Open!

Proposal deadline extended to May 15th

Please note that we have extended the deadline for responding to our Call for Proposals to May 15th.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Proposal deadline extended to May 15th

Beyond Normativity: A Response from Europe

I wanted to share this response from Monique van Dijk-Groeneboer and Ina ter Avest to my blog post of this past November. …Kathy


In her blog Kathy Winings writes: “Unfortunately we have no models within the larger arena to guide us in moving beyond white normativity.” In our pre-REA meeting in Utrecht, March 7-9, we (Michal Opatrny Natascha Kienstra Ozlem Atay, Duncan Wielzen, Julia Ipgrave, Silke Leonhard, Peter Schreiner, Cok Bakker, Monique Van Dijk-Groeneboer, Ina ter Avest) discovered that – although there are no guidelines available – we could learn from each others’ failures to move beyond white normativity. Reframing our question (from: best practices, to: poor practices) moved us beyond powerlessness, since we learned from each other what definitely would NOT help us any further.

Continue reading

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Beyond Normativity: A Response from Europe

Share our REA2018 meeting flyers

Plans continue for our next annual meeting to be held November 2-4 at the Hyatt Regency Reston near Washington, DC. We now have two versions of a flyer that you can download and print, or send to friends and colleagues electronically.

This is a great way to start a conversation about our organization, and invite people to join us for the meeting.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Share our REA2018 meeting flyers

Welcome to the Blog: Let’s Get Started

Welcome to the REA Annual Meeting 2018 blog. As announced in St. Louis at REA Annual Meeting 2017, the theme for the REA2018 is “Beyond White Normativity: Creating Brave Spaces.” I want to encourage you to participate in this blog throughout the year as a direct way to exchange thoughts on white normativity and your own experiences in creating brave spaces in preparation for REA2018. Take this time to think about this theme and how it impacts the context of your work, research and life experiences. In this way, we can begin to see the numerous and diverse ways in which white normativity is interwoven into the heart of the global challenges we are witnessing. This includes not only the challenges of racism as seen throughout the United States, but also the xenophobia around the influx of migrants and refugees throughout Western and Eastern Europe, the rhetoric of fear used by nationalist candidates for political office in France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, the limited access to power by the First Nations People in Canada and the debate on the redress of past wrongs committed against them, the treatment of the aboriginals in Australia,  and the treatment of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to highlight a few. Issues of sexism and discriminatory behaviors also fall under the umbrella of white normativity, as does the colonialist mindset of multinational companies working in what they might call the “third” world nations.

Continue reading

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Welcome to the Blog: Let’s Get Started

Welcome to the REA2018 website

This website is being launched in time to share with members at REA2017. Please remember that everything here is still in draft form until the REA Board meets and approves the theme and call. Feel free to let us know of any issues you see with the site any time.

Posted in Information | Comments Off on Welcome to the REA2018 website