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Introducing... Megan Herrema!

Megan is the newest member of the Office of Social Justice team. She joins our team as our Communications Coordinator. Megan comes to us with a background in English Literature after attending Taylor University.  Most recently she's been using her communications skills on behalf of a church. We are thrilled to welcome Megan to the team!  

Who is one of your favorite social justice heroes? 

My favorite social justice heroes are the ordinary folks I’ve encountered who consistently advocate for the marginalized in their various spaces: the ballet teacher who first opened my eyes to the challenges faced by dancers of color, the professor who chose readings from diverse authors for my American literature class, my youth-leader friend who recommends activities that are accessible and fun for teens of all abilities at her church youth group. But if I had to name a more widely-recognized hero, I’d choose Austin Channing Brown. I heard her speak at a student leadership conference and she encouraged me (and other students) not just to talk about justice, but to do it. 

You have a degree in English Literature and Systems.  What has been one of the most formative experiences or lessons learned from either your education or work in that field?

As an English major, I learned that I respect writers (and speakers and justice advocates) who present the dignity and resilience of people who struggle against external forces and systems rather than exploit their situation for “thriller” pieces. In my work in social justice communications, I hope that I, too, will highlight the dignity and strength of those for whom I advocate. Reading literature has also taught me to recognize when a narrator of a story might be interpreting experiences according to their personal biases and that I can fall into this habit in my own life. 

Tell us about a time you have been inspired by your congregation or church.

I’m inspired by my church’s intergenerational worship teams. I love that anyone, from the middle-school-age drummer to the vocalist entering retirement, can participate and learn to appreciate the gifts of their church family at all ages. 

You worked as a communications intern in Vietnam. What have been some of the most formative experiences you had in that role and how do you think that experience will enrich your work in the area of social justice?

During the time I worked in Vietnam, I learned deep gratitude for God’s faithfulness. Encountering a new culture, new place, new friends and new language all at the same time made the reality that God is unchanging and always present so much more obvious to me. I was also inspired by the hospitality, love, and vibrant faith of my coworkers who generously shared their time and culture with me. I learned it is both humbling and liberating to recognize my perspective and way of life is only a tiny, tiny microcosm of existence. This openness to admitting the limits of my own perspective makes me eager to listen to and learn from a variety of perspectives and I think this is a necessary posture for anyone working in the area of social justice.

What TV show or book character or best embodies you and why?

I don’t watch a ton of TV, but I do identify with Merlin in the eponymously-named TV show. He’s awkward but endearing and cares deeply for the people around him, even if he’s a bit clumsy about showing it. He also has a good sense of humor even in hard situations, which my friends have told me I possess as well...despite my penchant for terrible puns.

The Reformed family is a diverse family with a diverse range of opinions. Not all perspectives expressed on the blog represent the official positions of the Christian Reformed Church. Learn more about this blog, Reformed doctrines, and our diversity policy on our About page.

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