Tonight: A theologian on leadership for social change speaks in Koloa


KOLOA – The Reverend David Vásquez-Levy, a progressive religious leader who has consulted with Barack Obama’s White House, will discuss “wisdom-based leadership” at 7 p.m. today at Union Church in Koloa on Po ‘ipu Road.

According to Vásquez-Levy, president of the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Calif., the pandemic, protest and polarization have rocked communities in recent years.

“All of this places a lot of demands on leaders,” he said.

Wisdom-based leadership is her organization’s alternative approach to male-dominated white western traditions.

“They make decisions and they’re the leader who rushes into the field and leads the battle, right?” Vasquez-Levy asked. “Well, that kind of leadership model just doesn’t work. It certainly doesn’t reflect many cultures that are much more collaborative, including the traditions of cultures in Hawai’i and other places.

Tonight, the pastor will focus on the lessons his group has learned from leaders in communities of color around the world.

Vásquez-Levy will also provide information on a new certificate program offered on Kaua’i, called “Theological Education for Leadership,” which includes a curriculum specifically designed for Hawaiian students.

The course provides support and formal training for leaders of established and emerging congregations.

Many new congregations are forming among the growing immigrant communities across the islands, according to Vásquez-Levy.

“Often their leaders are from their home countries, so it’s an opportunity for them to develop their leadership in Hawai’i and learn together the new contexts in which they’re trying to lead,” he said. declared.

Tonight’s presentation, titled “Wisdom-Based Leadership: Preparing a New Generation of Spiritually Grounded Leaders to Create a World Where All Can Thrive,” is for anyone interested in leadership for social change.

Vásquez-Levy looks forward to engaging in dialogue with attendees.

“It’s not necessarily meant to be a conversation only between people who share a narrow understanding of Christianity or religion,” he said. “…I want to share my own thoughts on this, but also engage in conversation and be really eager to hear people pitch in from leadership in any area.”

The presentation will take place at the sanctuary of Koloa Union Church at 3289 Po’ipu Road in Koloa.

An overflow room with a widescreen TV screen will be available in the Fellowship Room should the sanctuary reach its pandemic-reduced capacity, or if attendees prefer to sit in an area with more space.

Church officials ask attendees to check the church’s website prior to arrival for pandemic guidelines,


Scott Yunker, journalist, can be reached at 245-0437 or [email protected]


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