Community Events | 2019 Harvard LIFE Convening

Harvard University Leadership Institute for Faith and Education Connects National Network of Educators and Faith Leaders

Harvard University’s Leadership Institute for Faith and Education (L.I.F.E) held their annual convening on October 28 – 30, 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Over 60 faith and education leaders from around the country came together to learn from one another, share best practices, and gain ideas to take back to their communities.

United4Hope has served on the LIFE design team for the past three years. This year, our director and partnership manager attended the annual convening and conducted a workshop titled Volunteer-Led Movements: How to Recruit and Retain Highly Qualified Volunteers and served on a panel focusing on collective impact movements, highlighting Nashville’s movement around literacy. 

LIFE aims to: (1) Understand the rationale for systemic, integrated faith-based and education partnerships in contrast to random acts of partnership. (2) Understand the historical context for faith-based and education partnerships, in particular, the importance of critical race theory in understanding the rationale for partnerships between school and church. (3) Understand the First Amendment to the Constitution and its two clauses, the Establishment Clause and the Free Exercise Clause, as they offer parameters, possibilities, and limits to faith-based organizations and education partnerships. (4) Explore and analyze the components of key successful, working examples of faith-based and education partnerships. (5) Begin to devise an Action Plan with which to return to schools, faith-based organizations, and community structures.

Participation in this program has connected United4Hope staff to a network of professionals doing similar work across the country. LIFE team members, including United4Hope staff, have weekly conference calls to stay at the forefront of this movement and understand best practices, trends, and initiatives. We are excited to start implementing the amazing tools we are discovering through this program! 

Damien Howard from Together Chicago, Stan Weber from United4Hope, Nancy Mitchell from Caring for Kids KC, and Tracey Beal from School Connect AZ served on a panel about collective impact movements around literacy.