Joanna Arellano-Gonzalez is a first-generation Mexicana-American, born and raised in La Villita, Chicago. She is the Director of Spiritual and Theological Formation at the Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership (CSPL), a Catholic-rooted community organizing coalition based in the Chicagoland area. At CSPL, she leads the organizing training and theological formation grounded in the methodologies of popular education and theology of the historical Jesus. In addition to being a co-founder and founding board member of the Coalition for Spiritual & Public Leadership, she was a founding board member and Board President of The Co-Op Ed Center, a worker cooperative incubator dedicated to helping build cooperatives with communities of color in Chicago.
She formerly worked as the Associate Director at the Archdiocese of Chicago in the Office for Peace & Justice, and later in the labor movement for five years leading communications and press strategy at a local and national level.
Joanna received her Master’s in Christian Spirituality at Fordham University, with a concentration in Spiritual Direction. At Fordham, she received the first Women in Leadership Scholarship from the Graduate School of Religion & Religious Education. She works to center mujerista/womanist, indigenous, and liberation theologies and spiritualities. As an artist, Joanna centers her embroidery and beading practice around honoring her Mexican culture and spirituality. She currently lives in Chicago with her partner.
Parables were meant to unsettle Jesus’ people and us today. So let’s reflect on our own birds, rocks and thorns that prevent us from rising up to this challenge - the pursuit of justice and equality in our communities.VIEW