Speaker: Rev. Charles Rhodes

This year marks the 60th anniversary in my engagement with human and environmental justice work. My first activism was being on a human protest line demanding the closure of the City Dump in the heart of the black community in Roanoke Virginia when I was about 13. This call to justice is in my DNA and awaken by minister. Over the years, my engagement has been consistent and varied; whether fighting for racial, gender, sexual orientation/affectual preference, economic and environmental justice. Most recently, I was twice in El Paso Texas with the Poor Peoples Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival protesting the treatment of immigrants.

After a forty-year career in higher education administration and teaching, I returned to school earning a Master of Divinity, and am currently enrolled at the Interdenominational Theological Center working on the Doctor of Ministry in Africentric Community Building and Organizing. I am ordained by the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM) and am process for ordination by the United Church of Christ. I served as the liaison from TFAM to the Poor Peoples Campaign, serving both on the steering committee for the Prophetic Council and the Participating Partners group. In 2018, I was arrested five times while doing justice work. I have received a number of awards for my work on equity and inclusion from higher education organizations. I am the 2020 recipient of the ACUHO-I award, the highest honor given by the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International for my contributions to the profession and in part for the work of inclusion for LGBTQ+ persons in higher education.

Adapting from our TFAM theme this year, I have been co-creating with God to build a world of inclusion and justice.

Out of Chaos Comes Creation

According to Hebrew and other legend, the world was formed from chaos.  As John the Seer describes in the Book of Revelation, we are in the period of re-creation.  The re-creation will emerge from chaos.  Our role is to co-create with the Divine … read more.