Johnson University students invited to attend Faith and Justice Summit

KNOXVILLE – On Feb. 11-12 at 6:30 p.m. the Future of Hope Institute will host its annual Faith and Justice Summit via Zoom for its high school students, as well as any Johnson University students who may be interested in attending.

This event was originally designed for the local high-schoolers involved in the Future of Hope program in order to showcase what they had learned throughout the year. The 2020 Faith and Justice Summit kicked off the event’s new annual theme with an introduction to the relationship between faith and biblical justice.

Matthew Best, Director of Future of Hope Institute and Multicultural Student Affairs invites Johnson University students to take part in the 2021 Faith and Justice Summit

“A lot of people don’t think that there is one, so one of the things that we like to do with students is highlight that justice has been part of God’s story, literally since the Fall,” said Matthew Best, Director of Future of Hope Institute and Multicultural Student Affairs. “So much of what God is about is about restoring broken things.”

To achieve the goal of spreading a biblical view of justice, the theme for this year’s Summit is mass incarceration. Speakers lined up to educate attendees on this topic include Dominique Gilliard, author of Rethinking Incarceration; Dr. Harold Trulear, a professor at Howard Divinity School; and Dr. Michelle Clifton-Soderstrom, a director at the School of Restorative Arts.

Best invites Johnson University students to join in on the event.

“That will also be streamed live on our Facebook,” said Best. “However, folks who are watching on the Future of Hope Facebook page won’t be able to ask questions and interact with the speaker.”

While those on Facebook will only receive live video of the main sessions, students who choose to participate on Zoom have access to Q&A with the speakers and the opportunity to choose between two second-hour workshops in Zoom breakout groups.

For Thursday, the first option is a seminar with Best and Dr. Heather Gorman over how justice is woven throughout Scripture. The second will be on how juvenile incarceration within the Tennessee justice system could be reformed. On Friday, the first option is a workshop on Christian community development, while the second, led by a local criminal court judge, will cover the need for bail bond reform.

Best believes the event to prove beneficial for Johnson students looking to help their surrounding community.

“And what does it look like for Johnson to meet the needs of the Knoxville community?” Best said. “And in asking that question, you then find out that there are a lot of social needs in our community. And so, we figure what better way to do what Johnson does well.”

For those who are interested in meeting the social needs within the Knoxville area, Future of Hope offers this event to raise awareness of both local and national issues within the justice system.

Those who wish to take part in the Faith and Justice Summit via Zoom must register here, and pay the $10 admission fee. Those who do not wish to take part in discussion can watch the livestream on the Future of Hope Facebook page.

Current Johnson students can access the Zoom meeting for free, using the code FoH2021.

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