Jeffrey Kursonis built and co-built quite a number of non-profits in New York City, including The Haven, an arts and altruism collective with 300 people gathering weekly for ten years in Manhattan. A multicultural and altruistic faith community in Harlem, still going today. The New York City New Sanctuary Movement, one of two main hubs of the national network of faith communities giving sanctuary protection to undocumented families being pursued by Federal Immigration Law Enforcement. It’s a long list.
After my work in NYC, a nascent national organization, Emergent Village, tapped me to lead their early growing network of local cohorts seeking to organize progressive religious leaders. I formed a team and we built it up to over 100 US cities, as well as many regional gatherings and other movement training and organizing (extremely similar to CEA). This “emerging church” movement changed the face of American religion by directly moving thousands of religious leaders and their congregations to the left, spawned a whole publishing genre, helped elect Obama, helped influence our Federal same sex marriage legal structure and sadly became a focal point of the conservative backlash unleashed by Trumpism. As a side note, Jeffrey is no longer religious but still deeply appreciates the proven training ground religion provides. Here is a video we produced about the national cohort network, note my name as producer in the end credits: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-oaU29Z4dg
Jeffrey has been an active EA’er for over a year now, doing the Intro and Advanced Fellowships and working as a Meta-Moderator for Virtual Program trainings for new facilitators and actively posting on the forum. I recently applied to be on the CEA Virtual Programs new Advisory Board.
I have a long career in the religious world, and now I'm no longer religious so I'm rebuilding in the regular world, it's a challenge. Religion is very good at movement building and at persuading people to change their views two things EA is trying to do...in the internet boom of the 90's the term "evangelist" became popular for basically marketing pro's communicating their vision. Many EA's might be surprised to learn that the word charity simply means love...in older English versions of the bible, like the King James, verses that we now use the word love for would then use the word charity. To give with no expectation of return benefit, the very core of EA, is essentially the act of charity which equals an act of love. These less scientific and more artful human kind of expressions are more my style. Because I agree with the core EA notion of bringing scientific method into charity work, I want to see that happen, but implementing it can still be a very human and social and creative thing. I need help evangelizing this message. :)
If you are a young EA and have any anxiety in your work and life, I am a lifelong coach and mentor to young activists, and from the culture of my long experience it has a pastoral quality...definitely not for everyone, but very good for some.