next MARKED event coming in 2019!
What is Marked?
Marked is an interactive conference that invites followers of Christ to journey together in making real and lasting change in issues challenging women around the world. In our own communities and abroad, women are being marked by statistics of violence, fear and death. Issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, incarceration and armed conflict affect women everyday. We simply believe that women should never be marked by statistics of fear, death or violence, but should only be marked by love, hope and a future.
Theme of Marked 2017:
In our home cities and all around the world, women are experiencing violence, pain, poverty and victimization at alarming rates. We never want women to be marked by these truths. We believe women should ONLY be marked by a future, marked by life, and marked by HOPE.
How do we build a road from what is to what we desire? How do we begin to make things different when the problems are SO big?
DEFIANT: Boldly resistant or challenging.
HOPE: feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen
Defiant Hope is joyful resistance to the reality of the world the way it is. Defiant Hope is a deep and unwavering strength on behalf of those who are hurting. Defiant Hope is believing that OKC can be a part of seeing women everywhere marked by HOPE.
Marked will be led by some committed community leaders we call Ambassadors. These ambassadors will invite a group of individuals to attend Marked with them, to participate together and to learn with each other, encouraging a continued engagement after the event. Ambassadors may lead a group they know from church, school, work, etc., or they may make get to know a table full of great new friends at the event. Either way, Ambassadors’ goal is to make participants comfortable, guide them through the day and ensure a great event for everyone who joins us at Marked!
Partner Agencies are at the heart of the Marked Event. These agencies are working on the ground locally or globally on behalf of marginalized women. They are practicing the ideas we talk about at the conference every day all over the world and we have much to learn from them. Partner Agencies help guide the content of Marked and are available the day of the event to engage participants and offer entry points to action.
It’s so important to us to support Partner Agencies well and encourage them to continue the crucial ministry they are doing. As a participant in Marked, you are not only giving Partner Agencies access to a pool of prospective supporters and volunteers. Your ticket purchase also helps us make a pre-Marked event just for Partner Agencies possible. This event offers tangible training, relational support and pastoral care to staff and key volunteers of Partner Agencies.
Key Values of Marked:
While Marked may, at times, partner with voices of experience and expertise from outside of OKC, it is important to us that most of the leaders and speakers present are based in Oklahoma or have a specific tie to our city (even though they may be working in places all over the world). This is important because: 1. Local leaders understand the local context and can work toward goals that fit our city's specific strengths and needs. 2. Local leaders remain accessible to conference attendees. We aren't just seeking to inspire a fleeting interest in an idea. We want to see real and lasting change that is rooted in consistent relationship and connection.
The Marked conference wants to move beyond highlighting easy-access volunteer opportunities. It's our goal to have the hard conversations that lead to engaging root causes of violence against women. We believe our work has to focus on prevention as much as it is focused on rehabilitation. When men and women in all walks of life begin to believe they can work to change cultures and systems that marginalize women, we will begin to see real change in this city and around the world.
Tangible, hands-on activities at the event spark ideas for daily living that can be integrated immediately. We believe real change happens over time and in community. Finally, the scheduling of Marked is intentional. We hope to provide a conference that is not designed primarily for "vocational Christians" who can attend long conferences during traditional work weeks. A half-day conference on a Sunday afternoon means that we believe everyone in the city who follows Jesus is ready to get involved!
Who hosts Marked?
Marked is hosted by The Spero Project, a local, faith-based 501©3 nonprofit that cultivates innovative engagement in local communities. The Spero Project works with an amazing volunteer planning committee to lead Marked each year.