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Jessica Roland: “Believe them when they come to you”

Our series of interviews with Thursdays in Black ambassadors highlights those who are playing a vital role in increasing the impact of our collective call for a world without rape and violence. Jessica Roland, is senior specialist for Inclusive Peace for the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.

Thursdays in Black Bible Studies Series 1

Listening, Learning and Responding to the Word of God

Led by Thursdays in Black Ambassadors – leaders in their communities committed to being visible and outspoken against such violence – a series of Bible studies are being prepared for individual and congregational reflection on sexual and gender-based violence. Such reflection will help us listen to the word of God and apply our faith and vision of justice, peace, and love in our contexts today. This first series of reflections address critical topics in our societies and Christian communities that contribute to or respond to gender-based violence and provide diverse perspectives from our wide ecumenical fellowship.

A core group of Thursdays in Black Ambassadors oversaw this Bible study series: Anders Göranzon, Claudia Bandixen, and Karen Georgia Thompson.

Thursdays in Black Bible study series-Looking and Seeing (Luke 13:10–17)

Sister Imelda Poole, MBE, a native of Great Britain, is a sister of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM). After many years in the field of education and grassroots mission in the United Kingdom, her ministry moved to Albania where the Roman Catholic archbishop of Tiranë-Durrës invited the IBVM to work in the mission against human trafficking. This led to her co-founding Mary Ward Loreto, an NGO that addresses the root causes of trafficking, including poverty, and is involved in the rescue and rehabilitation of survivors of trafficking. 

Sr Imelda Poole currently serves as president of Religious in Europe Networking Against Trafficking and Exploitation (RENATE). RENATE has grown from a handful of religious sisters into a leading NGO combatting human trafficking in 31 European countries. It regularly convenes in different European nations to support work across borders in partnership with the many members of RENATE. Presently, Imelda Poole is co-founding the NGOs Mary Ward Loreto UK and Anti Modern Slavery Alliance.