The Fahs Collaborative Staff
Mark A. Hicks, Director of the Fahs Collaborative
Directing the work of the Fahs Collaborative is part of Dr. Hicks’ portfolio as Angus MacLean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard. Specializing in the discipline of transformative learning, Dr. Hicks comes to The Collaborative bringing his experience of establishing a gold-standard professional development program for public school teachers in greater Washington DC (1996-2009). As director, he merges his interest and talents in developing communities of inquiry, collaboration, innovation and social action. One can see his ideas come to life in curriculum projects such as the UUA Tapestry of Faith’s "Building the World We Dream About" and The Fahs Collaborative’s "Beloved Conversations: Meditations on Race and Ethnicity. He is currently working on a ground-breaking curriculum project that supports the faith formation for People of Color titled, “Gathering Our Selves.” The curriculum will be launched in 2018.
Dr. Hicks’ scholarship has appeared in referred publications such as The Oxford Handbook on Religion and American Education, The Journal of Transformative Education, Multicultural Perspectives, Educational Studies, and Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy. He lectures and leads workshops regularly for national conferences and district meetings, as well as summer gatherings of lay and professional educators. [See markhicksedu.com for complete listing.] In the intellectual tradition of Fahs and MacLean, he completed his doctorate at Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City in Philosophy and Education.
He is a lay leader at All Souls Church, Unitarian; Washington, D.C. and formerly at The Riverside Church in New York City.
Ashley Horan, Learning Coordinator & Retreat Leader
Rev. Horan provides spiritual and organizational guidance to congregations as they discern and prepare for their participation in Beloved Conversations. Along with Dr. Hicks, she also collaboratively stewards the evolution of the curriculum as it seeks to meet the learning of congregations in the Beloved Conversations Network.
Outside of her commitments to the Fahs Collaborative, she is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance, where she works with the 26 Unitarian Universalist congregations around that state to fulfill its mission to "unleash courageous leadership and collective power to build a just and loving world." In her spare time, she is closely involved in interfaith and secular organizations for racial and economic justice, both locally and nationally. Ashley brings with her years of experience as a teacher and curriculum developer, in settings as diverse as public school classrooms, adult learning, religious education and wilderness experiential programs; she also brings her perspective as a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and an ordained minister who has served in both congregational and community settings. She holds a BA in Francophone African Cultures from Harvard University, and a Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She lives in Minneapolis with her partner, the Rev. Karen Hutt, and their two children.
Rhonda Brown, Bellevue Washington
Rhonda Brown comes to Beloved Conversations Staff with over 20 years of experience in human resource development in large, multi-national corporations. As a certified business and life coach, she brings insights about how people learn and adapt to new and changing conditions around them. Rhonda first came to Beloved Conversations as a facilitator, hosting the curriculum three times which, she believes, forever changed her congregation’s level of awareness of how race shapes congregational life. She and her husband are active lay leader of East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, Washington. Rhonda currently serves as chair of the People of Color Caucus, the Racial Justice team, and a member of the Ministerial Search Committee.
Julica Hermann de la Fuente, Williamston, Michigan
Julica Hermann de la Fuente is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is passionate about helping Unitarian Universalists become more effective in their anti-racism efforts. Born and raised in Mexico City, her commitment to this work began she first immigrated to the United States in 1994 to attend college. Julica brings two decades of experience as a social justice educator and trainer to her work as a Retreal Leader and coach. She holds a Master’s degree in social work from the University of Michigan, and is also certified as a master life coach. Julica and her husband Michael are raising two fierce little girls in Williamston, Michigan.
Kierstin Homblette Allen, Denver, Colorado
Rev. Homblette Allen grew up at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando and has been a member of Unitarian Universalist communities in Pittsburgh, Washington DC, New York City, and Denver. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary, and is currently serving as a community minister at The Delores Project, a homeless shelter in Denver for women and transgender folks. Rev. Homblette Allen previously served as the Beloved Community Coordinator for ten Unitarian Universalist congregations on the Front Range of Colorado, facilitating their collaboration with each other and with community partners on issues of immigration, LGBTQ awareness, and racial justice. She began her anti-racism journey in college as a student organizer with the United States Student Association and as a young adult member of Groundwork, a Unitarian Universalist Grassroots Anti-Oppression Training and Organizing Collective. She lives in Denver with her wife and sweet pup, loves reading, swimming, knitting, and ice cream!
Linda Russell, Walnut Creek, California
Linda loves to help people navigate the “messy places” of our spiritual lives as well as encouraging herself and others to lean in to their own process of growth. She is a member of Mt. Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, California, where is chair of the Worship Associate Ministry. She fell in love with the Beloved Conversations curriculum, first participating, then facilitating, and now serving other congregations as a Retreat Leader.
Linda works as a medical social worker at a public health hospital in Oncology and Palliative Care. Linda believes that "Beloved Conversations” informs and enhances her ability to be present for sensitive and necessary conversations associated with healthy living.
Dr. Jenice L. View, Washington, D.C.
Jenice is a life-long member of All Souls Church Unitarian, Washington, DC, and has served as immediate past president of the board of trustees. Over the years, she has been active in most areas of congregational life, serving on countless committees within the congregation, including the creation of multicultural-multiracial rituals and practices. Her core passion as a community-based educator has led her to be an executive director of a national environmental justice and labor organization. She presently works as a tenured professor of education, proving professional development to graduate students across the nation.