Juneteenth and the Meaning of Freedom: A Reflection by PSR Professor Dr. Leonard McMahon
Home » Professors of Practice Lecture Series: Building a Violence-Free World — Lecture 1, Witnessing Dignity » Professors of Practice Lecture Series: Building a Violence-Free World — Lecture 1, Witnessing Dignity

Pacific School of Religion’s Professor of Practice program is a cross-disciplinary series that brings together leaders from social movements, industry, and the arts in conversation with our students and the public. Our Professor of Practice for the Spring 2023 semester is Nikole Lim, a speaker, educator, author, and founder of Freely in Hope, a nonprofit which equips survivors and advocates to lead in ending sexual abuse.   

Lim will join Professor Leonard McMahon’s Pastoral Care for/with Marginalized Bodies class for four free public lectures based around the theme: Building a Violence-Free World: Caring for Survivors of Sexual Violence in our Communities. After each lecture, Professor McMahon and PSR Dean Susan Abraham will enter into conversation with Lim, introducing questions from participants.

Each lecture will center a theme but will incorporate stories from Lim’s work, visual poems by survivors, and contemplative practices to ground body, mind, and soul in the difficulty of the topic.  

Lecture 1: Witnessing Dignity 

In the first lecture of the series, Lim will discuss the practice of identifying with stories that aren’t our own. She’ll begin by defining sexual violence and illustrating its pervasiveness from a local and global perspective. She’ll help participants to unlearn biases against other bodies and learn to honor all bodies in their diversity and shared humanity. She will also share her personal philosophy of how stories shape our perception of the marginalized.  

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God… — Isaiah 61:1-2a 

The public is encouraged to register for one or all of the free lectures using the button below.


Nikole Lim is a speaker, educator, and author of the book, Liberation is Here. Nikole shifts paradigms on how stories are told by platforming voices of the oppressed–sharing stories of beauty arising out of seemingly broken situations. Her heart beats for young women whose voices are silenced by oppression and she desires to see every person realize the transformative power of their own story.

As the Founder and International Director of Freely in Hope, Nikole has been deeply transformed by the powerful, tenacious, and awe-inspiring examples of survivors. Their audacious dreams have informed her philosophy for a survivor-led approach to community transformation. Nikole graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Film Production from Loyola Marymount University and a master’s in Global Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is a student in Embodied Contemplative Psychotherapy through the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. She is a native of the Bay Area and can often be found buying African fabric on the streets of Nairobi. 

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