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Renewal // Searching for Forgotten Stories

April 17 | 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MDT

Session Description

While some pieces of history may be forgotten accidentally, other stories of the past have been intentionally hidden. Histories of oppression are often pushed to the background in favor of stories that are more comfortable. But how can we build a better future when we are hiding the past? For our April Renewal Session, Dr. Loring Abeyta, Iliff’s John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Religion and Society, will share about her work to bring to light a hidden piece of Iliff’s history, the Iliff Book. She will be joined by Iliff’s User Experience Librarian Ruben Figueroa and current Iliff MDiv student Bry Brannan who have helped to uncover the history of this object and the painful truth that was kept hidden for so long.

In preparation for this session, we suggest attendees view the Rocky Mountain PBS documentary episode, Colorado Voices: A New Chapter, which provides a brief history of the Iliff Book and further information about Iliff’s efforts in light of this revealed story.

Registration Link: https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E345509&id=103

Series Description

This year, our Renewal sessions will focus on History and Memory. How can we remember well in a time when it seems history is repeating itself, when we are fighting the same fights for justice over and over again? How can we learn from history and avoid making the same mistakes? How do we remember as a community, and how do we prepare a legacy that is worth remembering? During this year’s Renewal series, we will delve into topics ranging from national memory and how we hold onto history in good and bad ways, to how we remember one another and how we want to be remembered.

Speaker Bios

Dr. Loring Abeyta, Iliff’s John Wesley Iliff Senior Adjunct Lecturer in Religion and Society

Through her teaching and writing, Dr. Loring Abeyta has shared her expertise in critical race studies, critical security studies, environment and security, and her specialized research focus on worldview. For much of her career in education she regularly taught at the college and graduate school level, and was a head administrator for the interdisciplinary honors program at Colorado School of Mines. Recently Dr. Abeyta embarked on a new career path in elementary education for special needs students, particularly those impacted by autism. She has discovered the joy of teaching students who range in age, as she says, “from the cradle to the grave.” In addition, she has focused on improving how indigenous peoples and communities are included in K-12 public school curriculum. She has found all of her scholarly pursuits to be of deepening value in a world that is increasingly endangered by environmental disruptions that threaten our most vital natural resources, including water. In 2021, she published her chapter, “Worldviews, Water, and Justice: Sustainability in a Time of Scarcity” in the volume, Gonna Trouble the Water: Ecojustice, Water, and Environmental Racism. Dr. Abeyta’s current work is focused on the history of the “Iliff book,” a story that is told in the Rocky Mountain PBS Colorado Voices documentary, “A New Chapter.” She recently taught a course at Iliff on the history of the Iliff book, and continues her efforts to hold the Iliff School of Theology accountable as the institution reckons with its own historical injustices, especially toward Native peoples.

Bry Brannan, Iliff MDiv student

Bry Brannan is pursuing a Master of Divinity at Iliff and is active in the Iliff Reckoning Study Group (IRSG). IRSG is a student and alumni group focused on deepening the Iliff Book institutional reckoning efforts through archival research and oral history while simultaneously expanding decolonial/anti-Indigenous reckoning work to each of our own contexts. Bry is a faith community organizer focused on accompanying congregations to reckon with racism through learning the Land stories where their congregation is rooted. Iliff has prompted Bry to begin to examine the legacy and memories of their familial and religious ancestors through a framework of “radical genealogy.”



April 17
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MDT