Dr. Catherine Meeks
Denomination: The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Organization: Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, GA
Catherine Meeks, Ph.D. is the retired Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies, an author, community and wellness activist and mid-wife to the soul.
Educational Background: BA in Speech Education from Pepperdine University (Calif.) , Master in Social Work, Atlanta University (Ga.), Ph.D. Emory University (Ga).
Vocational Highlights : Taught African American Studies at Mercer University for 25 years where an interdisciplinary approach to issues of race, gender and class raised the consciousness of many students. In addition to this there were many opportunities to engage other issues as a professor in the Freshman Seminar Program, Senior Capstone Program, Human Services and Psychology Departments.
Following the Mercer tenure two years were spent serving as a Loaned Executive to the Mayor's Office in the City of Macon directing the Mayor's Youth Violence Task Force. During this time the high profile nature of this volunteer job led to an invitation from Wesleyan College to join their faculty as the Clara Carter Acree Distinguished Professor of Socio-Cultural Studies. This position was held for nine years until retirement in 2008.
Community Involvement: The activities in this section conincided with the 34 year academic career which is highlighted above. Founding Director of the Lane Center for Community Engagement and Service at Wesleyan College, Director of Aunt Maggie's Kitchen Table, a family resource center located in a public housing facility, serving an underserved population and winner of the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter Award for Community and Campus Partnership. Organizer of Standing on Their Shoulders: A Celebration of the Wisdom of African American Women, a nine year project which identified and honored 100 African American Women and published a coffee table book highlighting their lives. Founding member of the Center for Racial Understanding, organizer of city wide marches against violence, organized and implemented major community wellness fairs and events such as weight loss programs for indigent women and food and clothing drives. Created a library at Aunt Maggies Kitchen Table and organized a project to allow the children in the housing complex to build home book shelves and fill them with new books donated by a local bookstore. Along with this funding was acquired which made it possible for third grade students to participate in a writing workshop and publish their stories in individual books at the conclusion.
Current Community Involvement: Serving on the Anti-Racism Commission and the Commission on Spiritual Growth for the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, organizing and implementing spiritual retreats and conducting workshops on a variety of wellness and spirituality issues, teaching courses on Jungian Psychology, cultural issues and spiritual development. Chaplain for the Anti Racism Commission.
Partial list of Awards: Georgia Sociologist of the Year, Leadership Macon Alumnus of the Year, NAACP Earl Shinholster Freedom Fund Award, Distinguished Servant Leadership Award (Wesleyan College) Quillian Outstanding Teacher Award (Wesleyan College). W.E.B. DuBois Award for Distinguished Community Service, Spencer B. King Distinguished Teacher Award (Mercer), Career Women's Network Woman of Achievement, WMAZ Television Straight from the Heart Award for Community Service, Girl Scouts Woman of Achievement
Publications: Author of five books, bi-weekly newspaper column for the Macon Telegraph, daily wellness vignettes which were read on the radio for one year, articles for a variety of magazines and one inspirational CD. Religion columnist for the Huffington Post.
Articles by Dr. Catherine Meeks
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Thursday July 25, 2013
The quasi-documentary film I AM by director Tom Shadyac, the director of ACE Ventura and The Nutty Professor fame explores the question of the interconnections of human life and it makes a convincing case about that connection and the results of continually disregarding that fact. This film can help to enlarge our viewpoint on the Zimmerman verdict and in shifting the conversation.
Saturday July 20, 2013
The forests of poverty, militarism, racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism call us to immobilization, but if we stand still and listen to our hearts and use our heads better, we can catch a glimpse of the light that shines above their density and we can find our way out.
Monday June 24, 2013
The Open Door Community affirms the powerful message that there are no lines of division between us except the ones that we have constructed around race, class, gender, sexual orientation, physical and intellectual ability and any other differences that we can imagine.
Monday June 17, 2013
It is important for us as a nation to reflect upon the idea of expendable people which we seem to embrace with a great amount of comfort. It is too easy to assume that folks who are homeless or in poverty in general are in that shape simply because of their personal inability to do better.
Tuesday May 21, 2013
We watch the stories of the hoarders on television and feel sorry for them and go away being proud not to be one of them, but wait a minute, perhaps we are more kin to them than we realize. As we travel along our life journey, what are the things that we are holding onto that keep us from hearing the voice of the Spirit and separate us from living the life that is meant for us?
Friday January 25, 2013
It has taken me awhile to come to the conclusion that I want to join in the gun control conversation. My heistancy lies in the fact that it is such a polarized discussion and that there are so many people who are willing to make such unkind and violent remarks as they try to express their point of view and feelings on the issue of guns and gun ownership.
Tuesday December 04, 2012
The election is over and some of us feel like winners and others feel like losers, but there is more to our collective lives than politics. We witnessed the demonization of opponents on both sides of the political fence which was offered in the name of the need to do everything possible to win. Though the election is over, many have found it difficult to let it go and to move on to the work before us.
Friday September 28, 2012
While the younger generation of activists does not need dictators, it is no doubt that it will gladly welcome the thoughtful and caring mentoring and nurturing that can come from the elders.
Tuesday July 03, 2012
Last week, while attending the Christian Scholars Conference in Nashville, Tenn., I had the blessed experience of hearing Immaculee Ilibagiza bear witness to the power of grace and love. Many readers will know that she is one of the women who spent 91 days hiding in a small bathroom during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Tuesday May 29, 2012
Every Sunday our closing prayer begins with the above words. Yet all of us struggle to find the place of safety and comfort that will make it possible for us to live without fear.
Sunday April 29, 2012
If the church cannot forge the path to racial reconciliation, it will not happen anywhere. This is the place where miracles occur. Whenever whites and blacks build a bridge of love, respect and true appreciation for one another, where genuine equity emerges, it is a miracle.