Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

Write Now

Seminarian engagement connects students to the program of theological studies at CCDOC and supports McCormick’s commitment to training the next generation of faith leaders who are committed to justice, freedom, healing, and peace for all people.

WriteNow. In this current time of increased uncertainty, the program for Theological Studies at Cook County Department of Corrections, seeks to establish a Letter-Writing Solidarity Community. McCormick students, staff and faculty have been invited to write letters of encouragement, prayer and support to students at Cook County Jail.

We invite you to join us! Learn more about the WriteNow initiative and join the Letter-Writing Solidarity Community with incarcerated learners at Cook County Department. Click WriteNow to learn more.

WriteNOW Resources

In May, we co-hosted the “Write Now! Your Words Matter” Webinar with Solidarity Letters, featuring formerly incarcerated activists Yohance Lacour, Aaron Smith, and Yaacov Delaney and advocate Tracey Olsen. Watch it here!

As part of the Letter-Writing Solidarity Community at Cook County Jail, we invite letter-writers to review the following video resources. The resources share the perspective of the criminal justice system from the point of view of the formerly incarcerated, lawyers, faith leaders, community members and advocates.  Learn more about the initiative here.

  • TEDxNaperville When do prisoners wrongs end, and their rights begin?

    The path to rehabilitation of an ex-con [formerly incarcerated] is stacked against them. The term itself even carries a stigma. Ex-con turned Adjunct Professor Benny Lee challenges us to re-think what prisoner reform is really about.
  • Ted2016 A prosecutor’s vision for a better justice system

    When a kid commits a crime, the US justice system has a choice: prosecute to the full extent of the law, or take a step back and ask if saddling young people with criminal records is the right thing to do every time. In this searching talk, Adam Foss, a prosecutor with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office in Boston, makes his case for a reformed justice system that replaces wrath with opportunity, changing people's lives for the better instead of ruining them.
  • Ted2004: Why your worst deeds don’t define you.

    In 1991, Shaka Senghor shot and killed a man. He was, he says, "a drug dealer with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol." Jailed for second degree murder, that could very well have been the end of the story. But it wasn't. Instead, it was the beginning of a years-long journey to redemption, one with humbling and sobering lessons for us all.
  • We need to talk about an injustice

    In an engaging and personal talk -- with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks -- human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness.
  • How we are priming some kids for college—and others for prison

    In the United States, two institutions guide teenagers on the journey to adulthood: college and prison. Sociologist Alice Goffman spent six years in a troubled Philadelphia neighborhood and saw first-hand how teenagers of African-American and Latino backgrounds are funneled down the path to prison — sometimes starting with relatively minor infractions. In an impassioned talk she asks, "Why are we offering only handcuffs and jail time?"
  • Darnell L. Moore, Let’s Get Free: A Case for an Abolition Theology
  • Writing to prisoners unlocks more than you would think