David Potter

Special Projects Manager

In his role as Special Projects Manager, David Potter brings his study of Conflict Transformation and experience in community development to build relationships and equip faith communities.

As a trained mediator and circle keeper, David is a listener committed to creating spaces of connection and mutuality. Before joining Sojourners, David worked in nonprofit program development in communities across the U.S. and as a Restorative Justice Practitioner in Chicago Public Schools. He comes to D.C. by way of Chicago, Minneapolis and his hometown of Akron, OH.

David spends a lot of time thinking about contemplative activism, enneagram theory, and the overlap of social justice and whiteness. When not deep in head space, he enjoys keeping house plants alive, disc golf, and brunch.

Posts By This Author

In the Wake of Hate Marches, a Charlottesville Attorney Is Prosecuting 3 Black Men. Why?

by David Potter 03-16-2018

Image via Heather Wilson

Solidarity Cville, a “community defense network” of multiple local activist groups, is pressing Charlottesville Commonwealth Attorney, Joe Platania, to drop all charges against Harris. In addition to holding a vigil outside the police department in the District Courthouse on Thursday evening, the group is preparing a sustained response to Harris’ trial on Friday.

God, Come Near

by David Potter 12-08-2017
A Prayer for Advent

God of wholeness,
come and fill our hearts and minds,
and our bodies
with deep abiding love.

Becoming Whole

by David Potter 12-01-2017
The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth, by Christopher L. Heuertz. Zondervan.

THE SACRED ENNEAGRAM infuses a centuries-old personality typing system with an often-neglected perspective: grace and compassion. With nuance and genuine curiosity, Christopher L. Heuertz moves beyond personality caricatures common to many writings on the Enneagram and explores the complexities of being fully human. Rather than type-calibrated condemnation, Heuertz’ insights extend affirmation, hopefulness, and an invitation to self-liberation.

A sacred map to the soul, as described by Heuertz, the Enneagram illumines a journey of discovering our true self beyond false identities upheld by “self-perpetuating lies.” This transformation begins with an honest awakening to how we have invested in one of nine identity illusions and continues as we begin to relinquish our defense of this surface-level version of ourselves. Through self-observance and “empathetic detachment,” we cultivate the gifts of mental clarity and emotional objectivity and increase our capacity to reflect the essential nature instilled within us. In this slow conversion toward embracing the imago dei within, we return to God.

Interwoven throughout this work is the wisdom of master spiritual teachers. Thomas Keating’s “three programs for happiness”—in which happiness requires an integrated balance of security and survival, affection and esteem, and power and control—is brought alongside Henri Nouwen’s “three lies of identity”: I am what I have, I am what other people say or think about me, and I am what I do.

Protest, Renewed Hope In St. Louis

by David Potter 09-23-2017

Image via David Potter/Sojourners

The last time dissent rose in St. Louis, it elevated the platform of Black Lives Matter and fueled a sustained, nationwide struggle over police brutality and systemic racism.

We should not ignore the dissent rising in St. Louis again this week.

White Supremacy Versus the Gospel in Charlottesville

by David Potter 08-15-2017

Clergy protest the white supremacist rally Aug. 12. in Charlottesville, Va.. Photo by Heather Wilson (@aNomadPhotog) / Dust & Light Photo.
 

On Friday, I traveled to Charlottesville, Va., to bear witness. What I saw there deeply unsettled me. White supremacists, gathered for a rally at a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, boldly manifested the evil legacy of America’s original sin. Unfolding in streets throughout the city the heritage of whiteness was revealed in full display. Perhaps most disturbing was the unashamed nature of this hate-filled display: In 2017, white supremacists wear no hoods.

‘White Supremacy Will Not Win Here’: People of Faith to Counter-Protest Alt-Right Rally in Charlottesville

by David Potter 08-08-2017

Lukas Maverick Greyson / Shutterstock.com

“It is our duty as white folks to dismantle white supremacy,” Caine-Conley said. “… People of color, both black and brown bodies, have been absorbing violence since our country was created as our country. Showing up in body to absorb some of that violence and tension ourselves, to put our bodies in places that black and brown people have been for centuries, is really important as we begin to dismantle white supremacy.”

How Can Spiritual Practice Sustain Activism?

by David Potter 07-27-2017

In recognizing the challenges of working for social justice, spiritually-rooted social action provides something of substance to the people in movements. From this place of rootedness, social movements can set intentions that point towards sustainability.

What the Enneagram Can Teach Us About Beloved Community

by David Potter 03-22-2017

Image via Krenn9/WikiMedia 

Transformation, whether offered through the Enneagram or elsewhere, is limited by the courage of those who receive it. Like someone who looks in a mirror and immediately forgets what they look like after departing, knowledge is futile unless taken accountability for. We can close our eyes and pretend circumstances or negative behavior patterns don't exist, but we can't passively will our way into a new reality. Personal growth happens as a result of intentionality and a commitment to doing hard work. Those who have done the hard work of “coming alive” within themselves till rich soil. Out of this place, beloved community will flourish.

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