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The New Executive Director

Julian ForthMy name is Julian Forth and I began serving as Executive Director of the Festival Center in October, 2016. My predecessor, Joseph Deck, has given me large shoes to fill, but I am both humbled and excited to serve in this capacity. I come with a persistent commitment to social justice that has shaped my career and education. I am a first generation American with more than six years of experience working alongside low-income DC residents who seek economic stability in housing and employment, as well as experience working on the Board and Advisory Council of the Washington Peace Center and on the Board of the Potter’s House Cafe and Bookstore.

During my brief time at the Festival Center, I0’ve witnessed the beautiful people and work that grace our halls. I’m warmed by the many organizations and the many faith communities that call this place home. Offering hospitality to organizations like these, which strive for positive changes and a flourishing world, is one of the essential ministries the Festival Center provides.

While remaining connected to its rich past and present, the Festival Center will become an ecumenical hub for Christians seeking faith-based education and opportunities to engage in social issues. This will entail building partnerships with communities, activists, and organizations near and far; enriching our pedagogical approach; and improving and diversifying our avenues for connecting people to movements for justice.

By working closely with Dawn Longenecker, the Director of our Discipleship Year Program, Zach Spoerl, the new Director of Soteria (formerly the Servant Leadership School), and all of the Festival Center staff, I believe we can be a place where Christians can be partners in ongoing struggles for liberation and justice. Any resources, skills, or wisdom you can share are greatly appreciated.

At this concerning time in our history, it’s important that Christians are a visible witness of protest, compassion, and solidarity. My hope is that the Festival Center will be such a witness in the coming days.