Stacey Schwenker

Advertising Sales Associate

Born and raised in West Chester, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, Stacey joined the Sojourners marketing team in 2011.  As the advertising sales associate she has the joy of partnering with many interesting organizations to bring about greater opportunities for their growth.

Her interest in social justice began when she was 11 years old and went to a Children’s International Summer Village (CISV) in Norway.  It was there that she was connected with kids from over a dozen countries and began to see that, despite the injustice that can take place in the world, there also exists an even greater potential for love and peace between the different members of the human race.  She followed this experience by studying abroad in Rouen, France and volunteering with the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity during her college years at Indiana University.  At IU she received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international business.
 
After graduation she felt conflicted about how best to use her business degree and looked for life experiences outside an office.  Though she had spent three summers interning at General Electric Aircraft Engines during her undergraduate work, she chose to join the team at Wheelie Fun Multisport selling bicycles and running shoes.  She also began working with high school youth and coordinating local service activities with them.  It was in a dimly lit high school theater, after a very honest conversation with several teenagers, that she felt the call to go into ministry.
 
Stacey received her Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary.  While pursuing her degree she worked at the Neighborhood Urban Family Center, an after-school program for at-risk elementary school kids in Pasadena, California.  Through the hours of tutoring, reading, and playing, the children she encountered taught her so much, and she will always hold fond memories of them in her heart.
 
She is passionate about gender equality, healthy Christian sexuality, the book of Ruth, Psalms, and the theme of covenant throughout Scripture.  Her other interests include cycling, running, handwritten letters, a good cup of tea, fresh-baked bread, and the magic of Disney.
 

Posts By This Author

10 Ways to Fight Sex Trafficking

by Stacey Schwenker 04-02-2014
klublu / Shutterstock.com

klublu / Shutterstock.com

Currently there are more people in slavery than any other time in history. In response to this, there are hundreds of anti-human trafficking organizations throughout the world. People are working tirelessly for justice and restoration for the victims.

There are the men and women who are rescued, some are just children. There are also the rescuers, the judges and lawyers who bring justice, and the psychologists who help to rebuild wholeness. Countless numbers of people support the end and rescue of those enslaved by trafficking – especially sex trafficking. But where are the “Johns” - the men[1] who play the role of Demanders in the Supply and Demand economics of this billion dollar international industry? I’d like to put some money toward restoring them.

Aren’t they an important aspect to this equation? Women and girls would not be victimized sometimes 40 times a day without those who pay for it. The captors would move on to more lucrative business ventures if there weren’t men willing to fork over money again and again for something that the world has decried as both illegal and immoral.

I’m surprised that this plays little to no role in our larger conversations about being serious in ending the sex slave trade. What is it that these men are seeking? Why are they paying for sex? Why are they choosing to have sex with someone who is clearly not there willfully? How much is power at play in this situation? What about the men’s ability to be in stable relationships? Why is there still a demand for enslaved persons?

Buying sex from enslaved people does not happen in a vacuum. There is a progression that includes various aspects. If we are serious about ending the sex slave trade we will need to address some serious issues within every nation in the world, particularly those with male-dominated societies that promote male aggression, provide women with limited or no educational and economic opportunities, and deprive men of solid and symbiotic relationships where they can find genuine intimacy and self-expression for their feelings.

Might I suggest 10 ways we can fight sex-trafficking:

Living with 'An Illegal:' How a Friendship Changed My Perspective on Immigration

by Stacey Schwenker 03-21-2014
Stacey Schwenker/Sojourners

The Immigration Reform Now rally. Stacey Schwenker/Sojourners

I don’t know what came over me. Was it what Noel Castellanos (CEO of CCDA) had said? What Jim Wallis (President of Sojourners) had said? Perhaps. I couldn’t keep the tears from coming. Walking up Broadway Street in Los Angeles in the middle of a Saturday afternoon as a crowd of people blew horns, held signs, and chanted, “Immigration reform now,” I wept. It was because of Ivone. I was even wearing my Faith is Greater Than Fear shirt but lurking along the sidewalk, not intending to get involved. But it's too late for that. I love Ivone like a sister, I’m already knee deep in it.

Jim, Noel, and Jenny Yang (World Relief) had just been speaking on a panel at the Justice Conference about immigration reform. Jim said that we had to pass comprehensive immigration reform now, before the summer recess. And I knew in my heart that he was right. Because if we don’t, then Ivone will continue to lie in limbo along with 11 million other aspiring Americans, perhaps being deported in a couple of years. We will both continue to live in uncertainty and fear.

'The Butler:' Owning Our Collective Story

by Stacey Schwenker 08-21-2013

As people stepped on our toes and stood anxiously in front of us, waiting to exit the crowded theater, three of us sat weeping at the close of Lee Daniels’ The Butler. Even now, as I recall that moment, it brings tears to my eyes.

How do I describe the movie? Utterly intense. Remarkable. Heartbreaking. Inspiring. A genius capturing of the complexities of the Civil Rights Movement, of the history of race in America in the 20th and early 21st centuries, of presidential decision making, and of family.

I sat next to my colleague, Lisa Sharon Harper, who sobbed at the violence, tragedy, and passionate courage displayed on screen. It was a challenge. To be a white woman sitting next to an African-American woman as she wept over the suffering of her people — often at the hands of my people. It was neither her nor I who had perpetrated these specific acts, but we are certainly still caught in the tangled web of systemic racism and the histories that our ancestors have wrought us.

Even as we had waited in the theater prior to the movie's start, we spoke of serious subjects. She shared some of her lineage and the challenges of legal records that simply do not exist when ancestors are slaves or perhaps a Cherokee Indian who escaped the Trail of Tears in Kentucky and suddenly appears on the U.S. Census in 1850 as an adult. We spoke of her leadership in the church, and I encouraged her to continue speaking even though she is one of the lone women who graces the stages in front of national audiences. I told her, "You must do this so that other women who come after you can do this. You must do this for women right now. You must do this so that I can do this." We bonded over being women in ministry.

And then the separation came. I do not know Lisa's shoes — the road that she walks due to the color of her skin. I see her in all of her glory — passion, intelligence, creativity — and not in all of her blackness. Our world sees her with racial eyes.

From Shame to Grace

by Stacey Schwenker 09-01-2012

Ashamed No More: A Pastor's Journey Through Sex Addiction. IVP Books

Mother's Week: Standing Up for Fairness

by Stacey Schwenker 05-10-2012
Daughter holding her mother's hand, OtnaYdur / Shutterstock.com

Daughter holding her mother's hand, OtnaYdur / Shutterstock.com

Our health care system is not arbitrary. It does not operate by a set of principles that are beyond comprehension. We govern it. We participate in its capitalistic maneuvering and its political favoring. My family has health insurance in part because we have been given advantages due to racial identity, family networking, and being part of the 1 percent. All of these things have worked specifically in my favor to save the life of my dear mother. None of this is fair. 

When I praise God for my mother’s enduring health, it is impossible not to think of how many others have indirectly contributed to this success. And to wonder if we have also indirectly contributed to their failures.

Naked Before God

by Stacey Schwenker 04-19-2012
Woman praying, Smirnof/Shutterstock.com

Woman praying, Smirnof/Shutterstock.com

This morning I prayed naked. This exercise is part of a 50 Day Challenge I am doing.  Some friends of mine created 50 Suggestions to Embrace Healthy Sexuality and one of them is strip off one’s clothes and prostrate oneself. For me it looked more like huddling under my covers to stay warm (my bedroom is in a basement and my sensitive body doesn’t much care for its constant 65 degrees).

As I sat there praying, naturally I thought about my body. At first I began to consider all of its shapes and sizes—the feel of my skin and hair and curves underneath my palms. I thought about its beauty and how uniquely it was created. There are few other things that have skin similar to us humans. And we each have our own and only attributes: fingerprints that will never have a match; the unique combination of height, hair color, facial composition, and idiosyncrasies.

I am the only me. You are the only you. Ever. Period.

Halloween Treats Can Be Tricky: The Ethics of Chocolate

by Stacey Schwenker 10-28-2011

800px-Hersheys_Chocolate

If you buy your candy in the United States, chances are that your treats are filled with more than sugar and empty calories. They also may hold the blood, sweat, and tears of an African children who should be in elementary school rather than slaving in cocoa fields.

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