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Woodson, Richards to headline community-oriented conference at Union

Union's Center for Politics and Religion will sponsor
Union's Center for Politics and Religion will sponsor "Seek the Welfare of the City," with Robert Woodson and Jay Richards, Oct. 8.

JACKSON, Tenn.Sept. 10, 2013 – Two nationally known speakers will lead Union University in a conversation Oct. 8 on helping a community flourish.

Sponsored by the Union’s Center for Politics and Religion and the Heritage Foundation, “Seek the Welfare of the City” will feature Robert Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, and Jay W. Richards, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center on Wealth, Poverty, and Morality. It will be held at the Carl Grant Events Center from 7-9 p.m.

The event will focus on how to effectively partner with those struggling with poverty, broken homes and violent neighborhoods.

“God has called us to learn and live and love in the city of Jackson, and we do well to think about how we can love our neighbors as we love ourselves,” said Micah Watson, assistant professor of political science and director of Union’s Center for Politics and Religion. “This is an important conversation for Union to have, because we are called to be more than a learning community restricted to the physical boundaries of our campus.”

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C., has sponsored similar events at a number of Christian universities across the country. All of the events focused on serving community members in need.

Sean Evans, chair of the political science department, believes the conference is a “good opportunity for Christians and those concerned about the poor to engage in a discussion to see how we can better coordinate our efforts and to maybe consider more effective ways to help the disadvantaged.”

Woodson has been a social activist since the early 1960s. He has directed community development programs and overseen neighborhood-based organizations. His own organization, the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, provides training and capacity-building technical assistance to more than 2,600 leaders of community-based groups in 39 states.

Richards is the co-author of the best-selling book “Indivisible: Restoring Faith, Family and Freedom Before It’s Too Late.” His articles, which focus on how Christianity and capitalism relate to one another, have been published in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He has also appeared on a variety of national TV and radio programs. Watson hopes the event will bring “increased awareness of the good things that are already going on and the beginning of a conversation about how the initiatives championed by our speakers can bear fruit in the Jackson area.”

Admission is free. For more information, contact Watson at (731) 661-5411 or mwatson@uu.edu.

By Jenaye White (’15)

Media contact: Tim Ellsworth, news@uu.edu, 731-661-5215

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