Hello! My name is David Dashifen Kees, and I’ll be your blogger for the next few minutes.
Aside from my own sporadic writing on my own sites (something that I’m hoping to fix in the coming months), this is really the first time that I’ve tried to contribute my words to this sort of work. I’m honored and pleased that Michelle offered me a chance to share my thoughts with you.
I’ve always been a writer. Even during my early school years, I found myself writing short, fictional stories that exceeded the length expectations of my teachers. Quantity does not necessarily equate to quality, but I’d like to think that my skills with the pen … err … keyboard are such that you won’t find my posts to onerous. I’ve been Pagan for almost exactly 14 years as of this writing, and unlike many others in the community, I’ve found that my writing time has decreased during my time as a Pagan while the desire to write has increased. I hope that here at Pagan Activist, I’ll reawaken my writer’s soul.
My contributions here will likely focus primarily on interfaith activism. Professionally, I work for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and, there, I was exposed to a student organization, Interfaith in Action, and assisted in the creation of the University’s Pagan Students Association, though after a run of about seven or eight years, it looks like that specific group might be in hibernation until others pick it up again. Between these two organizations, I’ve sat on a number of panels, shared my faith with others through Interfaith in Action’s “speed-faithing” events, and helped to organize the first Illinois Conference on Interfaith Collaboration (ICIC) which took place in April 2012.
At ICIC, I was invited to explain why, as a Pagan, I was drawn to interfaith activism. You can hear my remarks on YouTube. I come in at about 14 minutes and 20 seconds; the link above should start you right when I come in. I wasn’t able to determine a way to begin an embedded video at a specific time (or start at any other time than on a specific minute) and I didn’t want to embed the video here and confuse people when I didn’t show up for 14+ minutes, otherwise I would have simply placed the video here. Homework for next time!
While my involvement in the world of Pagan interfaith leaders pales in comparison to the work of others like M. Macha Nightmare or Patrick McCollum, I hope that my thoughts on interfaith activism will be of interest and value to you and I look forward to blogging on this and other matters as the spirit moves me.
See you next time!