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Organizing in the Spirit of Accompaniment | 2023 Symposium Week

October 24, 2023 at 7:30 pm9:00 pm CDT

“Organizing in the Spirit of Accompaniment: Lessons from Ella Baker to the Zapatistas” | 2023 Symposium Week

As part of Symposium Week (October 23–25), United is hosting a public-facing event on Tuesday, October 24. In this lecture and workshop, Dr. Ry Siggelkow, Director of the Leadership Center for Social Justice, and Ricardo Pérez, artist-organizer of the same, will explore what contemporary organizing lessons we can learn from prominent Black civil and human rights activist Ella Baker, the work of the 1960s’ Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the Mexican Zapatistas (also known as the Zapatista Army of National Liberation). After introducing these figures and movements, they will lift up and elucidate some of the common principles and practices that might inform efforts related to “organizing in the spirit of accompaniment” today.



Dr. Ry Siggelkow

Ry O. Siggelkow, Ph.D., (he/him/his) is the director of the Leadership Center for Social Justice. He earned his PhD in Theology and Ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary and previously served as the director of Initiatives in Faith & Praxis at the University of St. Thomas where he taught courses at the intersection of race, class, and gender with a focus on migration, the abolition of borders, and theologies of liberation. An ordained Mennonite minister and former pastor of Faith Mennonite Church (Minneapolis), Ry has been actively involved in grassroots community organizing for several years alongside Spanish-speaking undocumented people. He is co-founder of Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza (Peoples of Struggle and Hope), a faith-based, women-centered, and immigrant-led organization that seeks to build power in the community so that all people have a place to belong, a place to stay, and a place to grow.

Ricardo Pérez

Born and raised in Mexico, Ricardo (he/him/his) is a self-taught mixed media artist with more than 15 years of creative experience who now lives in the Twin Cities. Partial to watercolor and ink, Ricardo has recently created murals to reflect a spirit of collaboration with marginalized communities and lift up those whose voices need to be heard. In August of 2022, Ricardo was announced as The Leadership Center for Social Justice’s new artist-organizer in residence.


MJ Luna


United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities
767 Eustis St., Suite 140
Saint Paul, MN 55114 United States
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