Chris welcomes Rev. Dr. Shannon Fleck, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Faith Network (formerly the Oklahoma Conference of Churches). Shannon works to bring people of all faiths together to promote inclusion and understanding through activities such as the recent No Hate in the Heartland initiative.
Shannon’s passion and commitment are evident from the beginning. We discuss a wide range of topics, including:
- Her experiences studying and working as a young female religious leader, including ways she encountered gender discrimination and misogyny within faith communities.
- We talked about leadership and power structures, and the intersection of politics and religion. Shannon talks specifically about th e influence of Christian Nationalism on life in and outside the church.
- She shares her own struggles as a young female religious leader.
- We also talked candidly about shame triggers in some faith communities, and what Shannon has to say to people who have strayed from the church.
- We also discuss the tremendous ways faith communities can promote resilience and belonging.
I know you’ll want to learn more about Shannon and her work in the Oklahoma Faith Network after hearing this candid and honest discussion.
The Oklahoma Faith Network: OKFaith.org
The Rev. Dr. Shannon Fleck, an Oklahoma native, became OCC’s Executive Director in June 2018. She was ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 2011.
Fleck was elevated to Executive Director after serving as OCC Director of Program Development from May 2017 to June 2018.
She has a passion for social justice and interfaith relations, both core components of the OFN mission.
Prior to her current position, Fleck served as the Central Christian Church Associate Minister in Enid, Oklahoma. There, she was instrumental in initiating several community outreach programs.
She continues that work with OFN by initiating such meaningful movements at the No Hate in the Heartland Initiative and a formal anti-racism/anti-discrimination platform.
Dr. Fleck was selected for the 2017 Human Rights Award from Church Women United. And was a recipient of the 40 Under 40 recognition in 2018 by the Oklahoma Gazette.
She spent her childhood in Guthrie, where she graduated high school before earning a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond.
Following college, she spent two years with the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs. She entered Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she was the Matthew Thompson Fellow. There she was the recipient of the Sojourner Award; the Interpreter’s Award and multiple book awards along with serving in the Phillips Student Senate.
Dr. Fleck graduated with her Doctor of Ministry Degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University in May of 2021 with a focus on Leadership and Community Witness.
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