Lead Organizer, RISC in Richmond, Virginia

Lea grew up in church.  She served in many different aspects of church life from children’s ministry to overseas missionary work but often felt that the work was not dealing with the root causes of people’s problems.  Spending time in teaching in orphanages in Africa wasn’t changing the foundational problems that the people were facing.  Lea stumbled across the job with Richmonders Involved to Strengthen our Communities (RISC) and couldn’t believe she could actually be a part of addressing the root causes of injustice in the community and get paid to do it.

Over the last four years with RISC Lea has begun to see how the church can be a powerful force for change in the community.  Most of her life in the church Lea saw the church strictly as a space where people could get individual spiritual healing and maybe get their physical needs met once in a while. For Lea the church was not a place where we really considered how to address serious community problems outside of personal piety. Organizing congregations to do justice has given Lea hope that the church can become the driving force behind solving the root causes of serious problems that our communities face on a daily basis.