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Authors

Joella Ranaivoson is the Associate Chaplain of Upper Class Students at Calvin College, her alma mater. She is a native of Madagascar, but was raised in Papua New Guinea, the US, and Kenya. The world, its cultures, and the global church are among her loves. She completed her Master of Divinity at Calvin Seminary (she’s clearly fond of Calvin), and she lives in Grand Rapids. 

Jennifer Randall is a senior at Calvin University where she is studying Social Work. This upcoming year, Jennifer will be spending a semester in Washington D.C. doing an internship and continuing research.  After college, Jennifer hopes to either continue on to get her masters or pursue a job in the fields of policy, community development, or work at a non-profit.

Lori Ransom is an ordained elder of The Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) and member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation in eastern Ontario who has worked in support of Canada’s Indigenous peoples throughout her career. She is presently a Senior Advisor responsible for relations with churches and other faith communities for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. Lori resides in downtown Toronto and in her private life is a passionate supporter of the arts.

Nate Rauh-Bieri is attending COP26 representing the Climate Witness Project (this attendance is privately funded and includes carbon offsets). He will be in Glasgow as part of the Christian Climate Observers Program. He lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Shantha Ready Alonso is Executive Director of Creation Justice Ministries, an ecumenical organization that educates, equips, and mobilizes Christians to protect, restore, and more rightly share God’s creation.

Jennifer Renkema is the Food Pantry Director at Silver Spring Christian Reformed Church in Maryland. She graduated from Calvin University with degrees in Social Work and Spanish, and completed her formal education with a Masters in Social Work from Catholic University of America. Before becoming a food pantry director, Jennifer worked with teen parents, Latino youth, and local government. She enjoys continuing to learn about God, creation, and community with her husband, three boys, and her church and food pantry community. 

Cathy is a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, caregiver, and ally. She recently relocated from Atlanta, Georgia to New Orleans, LA and loves working and playing with young people, yoga, dancing, and podcasts. A deep believer that the peace of Christ will always meet us right where we are, she uses her pastoral gifts to create spaces of hope, safety, and restoration as she pursues a career in social work.

Skyler Rich is a 21 year old student of Calvin University and is the owner of the social enterprise Forgive Everyone Co., an organization dedicated to helping people restore unity through the power of forgiveness, while supporting the least forgiven people: people coming out of prison. He is dedicated to creating communities that value the humanity of each individual and that are radically devoted to restoration and transformation of being as a practical method of accountability and harm reduction. After his graduation in May of 2020, Skyler plans to continue to live and create restorative impact in the West Michigan area.

Troy Rienstra joined Safe & Just Michigan in 2017. As Outreach Director he works to advance the organization’s outreach program by elevating the voices of people directly harmed by the effects of crime and punishment. He is responsible for outreach activities to crime survivors, formerly incarcerated individuals, their family members, and the faith community. Prior to serving as Outreach Director, Troy founded the Network for Real Change, and worked as program coordinator at the Church of the Servant – Prisoners in Christ. Troy completed 22 years of a life sentence in Michigan, during which he obtained training in critical thinking, communication, substance abuse awareness, and conflict resolution.

Debra Rienstra is professor of English at Calvin University and the author most recently of Refugia Faith: Seeking Hidden Shelters, Ordinary Wonders, and the Healing of the Earth.

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