In 2019, The JUSTICE Conference is excited to continue our deep dive into important sectors of justice with another series of JUSTICE Institute events. We are convinced that pursuing justice requires us to join our passion with practical, immersive education.

The Women’s Empowerment Justice Institute is an opportunity to gather and give voice to the experiences that women have in the world, to name the injustices and systems that are designed to disempower and prevent women from moving forward, both externally and internally; and to call every woman to live into the full potential that God has created her for.

We will speak to the historical and sociological realities that women experience, and name those things that keep women silent in the face of abuse, disempowerment and injustice.

We will explore why it’s theologically important for women to contribute and to show up in their full selves. We will explore intersectionality and nuances that come from our racial realities, cultural backgrounds, stages in life, and marital status. We hope to give one another the gift of learning from one another’s embodied lives.

We will talk about what it looks like to stand together in proximity and solidarity in our distinctives, and where choices and opportunities may not look the same. We will address how mutuality can be achieved through understanding and partnership thus communicating tangibly that we need one another.

In particular we will learn from those who society puts on the margins because of their social status, and gain practical tools for how to live in ways that create spaces and structures that foster empowerment of other women in our community.

Check Out What Past Participants Had to Say!

There's a lot I didn't know, even when I consider women’s issues to be my passion. Without the conference I would have been disheartened by that fact, with the conference I now feel inspired to continue learning and starting conversations with people. Thank you so much!

“Equality is more multi-faceted than one would ever know living here in a conservative, mostly white social location. I learned that I have much to learn and undo.”

“My biggest takeaway is that the Bible is full of examples of how Jesus saw women, empowered women, and believed women. Jesus was the first person ever for women.”

“The JUSTICE Institute helped me realize that women can have a voice and we have a long way to go to be heard well.”

“I think my biggest takeaway from The JUSTICE Institute is to use my space, privilege and voice to empower other women. To always be looking for ways to give away my power. I should not be silent out of my fears.”

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The JUSTICE Institute | Chicago May 16-17

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The speakers for this year’s JUSTICE Institute Chicago will be speaking on the topics of Women’s Empowerment. More dynamic speakers and experts for The JUSTICE Institute in Chicago will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Sandra Van Opstal

Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Church and lives on the west-side of Chicago with her husband and two boys. She is a preacher, liturgist and activist reimagining the intersection of worship and justice. Sandra served with Urbana Missions Conference, Chicago Urban Program, and Latino National Leadership Team (LaFe) of InterVarsity. Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through preaching globally on topics such as worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation. Sandra is a board member for CCDA and holds a Masters of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Her most recent books include Still Evangelical and The Next Worship.

Kathy Khang

Kathy Khang is an author, speaker, freelance writer, activist, and yoga teacher.
She is the author of Raise Your Voice: Why We Stay Silent & How to Speak Up
(IVP, 2018), a columnist for Sojourners magazine, and a coauthor of More Than
Serving Tea (IVP, 2006) and brings more than 21 years of ministry experience
with expertise in issues of gender, race, ethnicity, justice, and leadership
development. She blogs at www.kathykhang.com , tweets and Instagrams as
@mskathykhang, and posts at www.facebook.com/kathykhangauthor .

Sharon Irving

I take a deep breath and step out on faith.” Those words have been a mantra for South Side of Chicago Native, Sharon Irving, songstress/songwriter/spoken word artist, worship leader and actress, since she was a little girl, performing in front of the congregation at the south side church in Chicago where her grandfather was pastor. Her first tenous steps as an artist were shaped by the influences of his powerful baritone singing and eloquent sermons, and the mind blowing artistry of her father, famed jazz musician and composer, Robert Irving III. With loving encouragement from her mother and grandmother, Sharon has cultivated and shaped her own creative persona. She is an inspiring ‘voice for the voiceless’, a passionate wordsmith spewing truth and inspiration, singing songs of life and love motivated by her personal experiences, and undergirded by her Christian beliefs. Sharon has been a part of the worship team at Willow Creek Community Church in Barrington, Illinois for several years, has contributed songs and words of hope before thousands at liturgical and corporate events, youth conferences, including the popular “CHIC”, (‘Covenant High in Christ’), in small clubs and intimate settings all over the country, at the Angola Prison in Angola, Louisiana, and even entertained millions while a participant on Season Ten of “America’s Got Talent”, where she received the coveted “Golden Buzzer” at her first televised audition, and was chosen by America to compete in the Semi-Finals. “We are all walking art”, Sharon has stated as she fuses her love of fashion and music into a whimsical symmetry of sound and visual esthetic. She also lends her talents to the popular Chicago-based band, “Pocket Radio”, which blends soul, hip hop, funk and fusion. Over the past two years, Sharon has poured her spirit into her debut album, ‘Bennett Ave’, which premiered September 29,2017.. “I like to blend different art forms when I’m writing songs and, with this album, I’ve drawn inspiration from every genre and I mean every genre. I have a passion for shaping words and everyday phrases to melody. ‘Bennett Ave’ is an expression of my thoughts on issues of justice, love and redemption in the darkest situations. It's about what it means to be human when we’re at our lowest and highest points. It’s been challenging, but my heart is to pursue new methodologies in worship music, and reach people through mainstream music. Life is messy and broken. So many people are hiding, living for others, dying on the inside, holding onto unhealthy narratives out of fear but Gods strength is made perfect in those messy places. I'm learning this, daily. There's an unlikely and beautiful story of redemption waiting to unfold in our lives. I want my art to be transparent, raw, uplifting and healing.”

Vickie Reddy

Conference Producer

Vickie has a strong passion for connecting people and ideas, driving creative & entrepreneurial endeavors from TV programs to events & conferences, gathering community & endeavoring to be catalysts in whatever sphere she lands. Vickie is Executive Producer of The JUSTICE Conference; founder of Australian based arts, faith & culture community SPARC and recently spearheaded a movement to mobilize the faith community in the west in response to the current global refugee crisis www.wewelcomerefugees.com. Vickie lives in Chicago with her husband Mark and daughters, Jada & Mischa.

Luz Canino-Baker

Luz’s professional career spans 35 years where she gained leadership experience that has made her an influential leader. She also attributes her grit and determination to her years as a single mother of three children while going to school part-time for her undergraduate degree in management, and later earning an MBA from The University of Chicago’s Booth Graduate School of Business while working full-time as a banking executive. She became a vice president at JPMorgan Chase during her 28-year career where she worked with leading Fortune 100 companies. Moreover, it was her passion and emotional intelligence that allowed her to manage high-performing teams who brought their best to work everyday. Today, Luz transforms emerging leaders and executives with assessments, coaching and leadership workshops

Amy Reynolds

Amy Reynolds is an associate professor of Sociology at Wheaton College. Along with Gordon College provost Janel Curry, she led the Women in Leadership National Study, which analyzed over 1400 Christian nonprofits and academic institutions for gendered leadership patterns. Her research and writing focuses on issues of religion, international economics, development, and gender inequality. Amy previously worked with World Relief in El Salvador and continues to work alongside NGOs in the global development sector. Amy is a graduate of Harvard (AB), Georgetown (MPP) and Princeton (PhD).

Women’s Empowerment Experience

Over two days, we will create an intensive learning experience to motivate us to effectively address this sector of justice in solidarity. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to put your passion for women’s empowerment into action with like-minded believers!


Your guide for when you arrive in Chicago

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
General Session 1
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Breakouts A
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Breakouts B
3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
General Session 2
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Experiential Learning* We will create an intensive learning experience to motivate us to to effectively address this sector of justice in solidarity. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to

Register Today for The JUSTICE Institute Chicago


Grace and Peace Church

1860 N. LeClaire
Chicago, IL 60639
Website: https://www.thegapc.org/home

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Find information on the O’Hare International Airport or Midway International Airport

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Register Today for The JUSTICE Institute Chicago

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