Gratitude is a central practice in Ignatian Spirituality and many faith traditions. Leading with gratitude as we attempt to build a more just world promotes change that is based in curiosity and relationship building and can fundamentally transform our own perspective and the depth of our work. In this two-part series, learn about the why and how of gratitude-based learning (GBL), particularly in schools attempting to make ecological change on their campuses.
Brenna Davis joined the Ignatian Solidarity Network in February 2019, originally as director of Education for Justice and ecological initiatives. Originally from Tennessee, Brenna graduated from Boston College in 2010 with a B.A. in theology and Spanish. After graduation, she moved to Cleveland as a Jesuit Volunteer and served at The West Side Catholic Center, a multiservice center for people experiencing homelessness. In this role, she started holistic wellness classes such as yoga and creative writing for center patrons. At the end of her JV year, Brenna began working at Saint Martin de Porres, Cleveland’s Cristo Rey High School, as a theology teacher and cross country coach. After four of the most joyful and challenging years of her life as a social justice teacher, Brenna transitioned to the role of main office coordinator at the school and focused on not only administrative functions but also developed initiatives to promote joy and self-care for faculty and staff. More importantly, she was the self-proclaimed assistant to the director of facilities in all sustainability initiatives on campus. She is a certified spiritual director, Cuyahoga County Master Recycler, and is a member of NCR’s EarthBeat Advisory Panel. In her spare time, Brenna enjoys reading, running, bullet journaling, speaking Spanish, writing letters, and digging through trash cans to properly sort recycling.
Sam King is a Research Associate with the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology and a Project Manager for Journey of the Universe. A former Fulbright scholar, he has taught in Peru, Sri Lanka, and Connecticut. Sam recently completed a Masters in Religion and Ecology at Yale Divinity School with a certificate in Educational Leadership and Ministry. He has worked closely with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim, Co-Directors of the Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology, and helped them build six massive open online courses (MOOCs) on religions and the environment. Sam is passionate about how ecological spirituality can inspire the transition to a more just and sustainable world.