Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m Californian, have lived in Japan & Vietnam, and I go to school at Union College in New York. I’m very involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and am really thankful for that community. I’m an art major – mainly a painter, though I’ve recently gotten into video.
What inspired you to become a creative activist?
Some main influences were Urbana, 24 Hour Famine, New York City Urban Project, and the reLENTless challenge.
What does being a creative activist mean to you?
Honestly, I’m still discovering! Here are some thoughts though: Fredrick Buechner said “Your calling is where your passion meets the world’s greatest needs”. I’m learning more and more each day about what passions God has planted in me, and what needs those passions are built to meet.
Two main needs I see all are the needs for hope and freedom grounded in the reality of Jesus’ death and life. We (and the things we create) are often unrealistically optimistic or unrealistically pessimistic. The story of Jesus’ life is radical in the way that it deals with pain and the way it instructs us to hope. I believe our lives should embody this and tell this story. Art is a great because it gets past a lot of the walls people build around themselves. It also leaves a different kind of impact than facts or a convincing argument does.
What is one way you have learned to do justice in your everyday life?
Seeking out reconciliation in friendships. Also, using the purchasing power I have to buy goods which are Fair Trade and good for the environment, even when it means abandoning what I prefer.
What is your favorite project, resource, or act:ion that you’ve created or been involved in so far?
Last year, InterVaristy Christian Fellowship at Union sponsored an event called “Hear Her Story” which was a creative initiative raising funds and awareness for Love 146, an abolitionist organization that combats child sex trafficking. We made t-shirts, jewelry, and other items which we sold to the campus prior to the event. The event incorporated video, song, and spoken-word by Jonathon Walton. He said that the exploitation of people isn’t something that just happens far away in Cambodia– it happens in our neighborhoods, and it happens on our campus, and it happens in our hearts. While we need to seek justice for the world, we also need to seek justice in our own lives. I believe the only person who can bring about real freedom is Jesus Christ. Pursuing him in my daily life has grown the way I look at myself, my community, and the world.
See more of Sheri’s activism here!