Matthew Westfox, who graduated in 2006 with an MDiv degree, was initially attracted to PSR because of the accessibility of the seminary and the city of Berkeley for people with disabilities and because of the theological diversity on “Holy Hill.”
Since graduation, Matthew has been working as a regional field organizer for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), which seeks “to give clear voice to the reproductive issues of people of color, those living in poverty, and other underserved populations” through programs such as the Black Church Initiative and La Iniciativa Latina.
“PSR’s focus on de-constructing racism helped to prepare me for this work in ways that I find myself constantly drawing upon,” says Westfox. “I provide pastoral care to women and families in the midst of difficult reproductive decision-making and in the wake of reproductive loss. I speak to students, clergy, and other groups about the importance of making reproductive justice a religious issue and what it means to be ‘pro-faith, pro-family, and pro-choice.” He has worked with activists throughout the northeastern United States to build interfaith coalitions for reproductive justice.
In March 2007, he was ordained as a minister in the United Church of Christ. “I am in a four-way covenant with RCRC, the New York Metro Association of the United Church of Christ, myself, and All Souls Bethlehem Church. Since that time, along with my ministry to RCRC, I have served as an associate minister of All Souls Bethlehem Church, preaching every six weeks; teaching adult education; leading our new ‘Open Mic with a Soul’ event; and assisting with weekly liturgy by performing music and leading pastoral prayers.”