February 18, 2015

I Am Starr King: Interview with Amanda Weatherspoon

Amanda Weatherspoon

2nd Year, M.Div. Student

Amanda WeatherspoonWhat inspired you to become a religious leader?

I was doing social work for about 10 or so years. Then around when I started doing social work professionally after college, I also started attending the local UU congregation. And the values just aligned so well with my values around social justice. I found myself doing more social justice work with the congregation as well as at work, and it all kind of started blending together. The minister at my local congregation, and my consort, Lincoln Statler, suggested that I consider ministry.

And I also grew up in the church. So church is a very familiar place for me.

Why did you decide to study at Starr King?

Honestly, because it is one of the two Unitarian Universalist seminaries in the country and it is in Berkeley. And I knew that Starr King has a huge emphasis on social action and social justice in countering oppression. So overall it seemed like the place for me to do the kind of theological education I was searching for.

What has been your most memorable or meaningful experience at Starr King?

Oh, wow… It is so hard to say. There are so many things— any given thing that I could put under this umbrella at Starr King, such as working with the choir or doing different side projects with students. Right now we are doing Vagina Monologues, and it is really great. And there are so many things like that going on.

And then there are my classes. Honestly, my very first semester here was such an eye-opener. It was a wonderful experience to be educated in such new and revolutionary ways and moving towards understanding and developing anti-oppression work academically.

There are so many different aspects of Starr King – so many memories and great experiences that I hold – that it is hard to choose just one that over-arches everything.

What do you hope to do with your Starr King education going forward?

I am probably going to continue scholarship in the specific fields of liberation theologies, Africana Studies and womanist theology. Eventually I hope to use that to serve in international peace building and humanitarian efforts.


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