Join the Resistance: Step into the Good Work of Kingdom Justice, By Michelle Ferrigno Warren alt

Join the Resistance

Step into the Good Work of Kingdom Justice

by Michelle Ferrigno Warren
Foreword by Latasha Morrison
Afterword by Dominique DuBois Gilliard

Join the Resistance
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Published: October 04, 2022
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A0434
  • ISBN: 9781514004340

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An awakening has been happening across our society. People increasingly recognize how long-standing, systemic issues have prevented many from flourishing. But often Christians are not sure how best to engage. Does it help to march and hold signs? What can we do to contribute and not further complicate things?

Faith-rooted justice advocate and activist Michelle Ferrigno Warren equips Christians to join Christ's restorative work in the world. In nearly three decades of experience, she left much of her privilege to work alongside the poor and marginalized in the restoration of individuals and communities, collaborating with community leaders, marching in streets, and meeting with and speaking truth to power. She says, "How you show up is just as important as showing up." From the grassroots to the grass tops, Warren invites us to understand our place in this moment and learn from those who have gone before: the poets and prophets who call us to resist oppression and injustice.

Biblical, historical, and contemporary examples give us ways to walk in God's righteousness, truth, and peace. We can better understand our shared solidarity, persevere in the midst of struggle, bring people along, and remain rooted in joy as we continue the good work of kingdom justice. 

"Michelle Warren has learned from personal experience how drawing near to those who hunger for justice can bring us closer to God and God's dream for our lives. Join the Resistance is a gift to those who've sensed that the Spirit is stirring in the streets, inviting us to follow Jesus among neighbors crying aloud for their lives. Receive the gift, and join the resistance in Jesus' name."

Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, author of Revolution of Values: Reclaiming Public Faith for the Common Good

"Recent years have revealed a new generation of women and men who are ready to defy injustice. But how do we move from passion about justice to participation in the day-to-day work for justice? Drawing from the experience of her years of collaborative advocacy and the wisdom of the biblical prophets, Michelle Warren offers us an accessible vision for how each of us—no matter our social location—can join the beautiful resistance."

David Swanson, pastor and author of Rediscipling the White Church

"Michelle Warren gets the message of the gospel. She has lived among the oppressed and understands their struggles. In Join the Resistance she gives us insight into what is needed to overcome the forces that stop the church from standing for our oppressed sisters and brothers."

Carlos L. Malavé, director of the Latino Christian National Network

"Join the Resistance is more than one woman's reflection on her own journey toward racial advocacy. It is testimony to the Spirit's power to transform and use a surrendered life, and a road map for those seeking a way out of supremacist practice into co-conspiracy with God toward the shalom that is only found in justice."

Donna Barber, cofounder and executive director of the Voices Project, author of Bread for the Resistance: Forty Devotions for Justice People

"Those who have been stepping into the troubled waters to resist racial injustice and division with the light of Christ can help us all know where to go. Michelle is one of those light-shining kinds of people. She has been stepping into good work that actively repairs and restores what is broken at every level, from individual restoration and social justice transformation to the work of dismantling systemic injustice. She helps shine this light on a new, necessary way forward in this book. She does not leave people with an imperative to go and do without showing us a way."

Latasha Morrison, founder and CEO of Be the Bridge and author of Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation, from the foreword

"This book clarifies what faithful allyship entails. True allyship requires consistency, humility, perseverance, and a conscious dependence on the Holy Spirit. Faithful allyship is never about showing up to impart preconceived solutions. It necessitates listening, learning, and serving in all the unglamorous ways that garner no headlines. . . . This book gives allies marching orders and explains what it looks like to heed Scripture's call to be ambassadors of reconciliation and repairers of the breach."

Dominique DuBois Gilliard, author of Rethinking Incarceration and Subversive Witness, from the afterword

"Join the Resistance is a call for the people of God to live their beliefs in a way that makes the heart of God tangible in our world. Michelle Warren speaks out of her experience and does so humbly. Her prophetic words do not demand we do more, but they help us see that by joining the resistance we will find the kind of life Jesus came to give, which is 'life to full.'"

Michael Hidalgo, lead pastor of Denver Community Church and host of The Changing Faith Podcast

"In Join the Resistance, Michelle Warren inspires readers to act at a time when it's most needed. Social justice movements sometimes stall when people don't know what they can do to help. Warren uses her own intriguing personal journey and a collection of historical anecdotes to show how we all have the capability to do extraordinary things. This book is the guide change agents in the making need to go from can't to can."

Adrian Miller, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches and author of Black Smoke

"Join the Resistance describes resistance to the powers and principalities as the work of one community—a community made up of biblical prophets, activists throughout history, and faithful advocates today. It will convict you of your apathy and inspire you with biblical teaching. But most importantly, it will equip you with resources for joining that community's work in the world today. This book is not merely about Michelle's journey, it is about how to live a life upended by the coming kingdom of God and shaped by the faithful work of the family of God."

Kaitlyn Schiess, author of The Liturgy of Politics

"Michelle Warren knows of what she writes. This book is rich in Bible-based theology, but even richer in real-life, concrete practice based in Michelle's lived experience. Her humility and self-awareness show in her admission she doesn't know it all and still has much to learn about injustice. Still, she doesn't use ignorance to excuse inaction. Instead, Michelle takes what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called the risky venture of responsible action, concerned more for the well-being of those who suffer in the margins than for her doing that action perfectly. You won't know everything after reading Join the Resistance, but you will know enough to step out in faith and help others pursue God's justice while deepening your understanding of it. This book is a gift to all who need justice and those who desire to help them find it."

Rob Schenck, president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, Washington, DC, and author of Costly Grace: An Evangelical Minister's Rediscovery of Faith, Hope, and Love

"Michelle has truly done a marvelous work in this book. Michelle speaks from such a captivating lens because she joined the resistance many years ago and is now writing about what she knows, not just what she heard or read. In this book, Michelle makes the assertion, 'There is a huge divide along racial, political, and theological lines. In today's cancel culture we are led to believe that people are too far gone for us to even attempt to build bridges.' Michelle then goes on to tell us in plain and simple terms how to build those bridges. I've been privileged to work with Michelle for several years in the good work of kingdom justice, and she is one of the best bridge builders I know. I hope this book blesses you as much as it has me. From time to time I get weary in this work, and Michelle has reignited a flame of hope in me to continue to walk toward freedom and share liberation."

Daniel Henley, chief spiritual officer of Agape Child and Family Services and pastor of Journey Church, Memphis

"In Join the Resistance, Michelle Warren lifts up the biblical narrative alongside the stories of modern freedom fighters. She leans in to her own substantial experience to offer practical wisdom for those wanting to join the long, faithful struggle for justice. Her advice is humble and thoughtful. She inspires courage and rightfully centers the voices and stories of those impacted by injustice rather than those wanting to help. In these pages, those new to the work will find expert guidance while experienced advocates will be encouraged and reminded of why they joined the resistance in the first place."

Stephen K. Reeves, director of advocacy with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and executive director of Fellowship Southwest

"This is a book for our time! Exposure of the church's complicity with injustice, though long overdue, has been a marked and painful characteristic in recent years. Warren's clarion call to join the resistance overflows from decades of deep faith, unwavering rootedness in the margins, and commitment to the pursuit of justice. She brilliantly weaves personal narrative and lessons from the biblical prophets together with powerful music lyrics to create a compelling guidebook and soundtrack for justice seeking. As inspiring as it is practical, this book will move you. Read it and join the resistance!"

Lisa Rodriguez-Watson, national director, Missio Alliance

"Join the Resistance is an opportunity to take a master class with a seasoned and savvy leader. Michelle Ferrigno Warren is one of the most strategic leaders in the civic engagement space that I know. In this book, she opens up her playbook and provides practical resources for others who are looking to live their faith in ways that make a difference in our society. Warren brings a unique interweaving of song, Scripture, history, and frontlines stories that touches on the head, heart, and soul needed for deep justice engagement. Warren highlights important issues of proximity, power, and presence in a book that is both inspiring and instructional."

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, executive director of Christians for Social Action

"Weaving personal narrative with the witness of ancient prophets and modern-day saints, Warren forges a pathway toward our collective resistance and liberation."

Michael-Ray Mathews, deputy director of Faith in Action and host of the Prophetic Resistance Podcast

"Michelle Warren's Join the Resistance is a gift to the movement and to the church. Full of relevant stories and practical tips—well-earned by years of faith-rooted resistance and action—this book coaches readers through effective entry and engagement, and prepares readers to help make a significant impact."

Lisa Sharon Harper, author of Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World and The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

"I am grateful for Michelle Warren's wisdom and witness in Join the Resistance. Warren deftly tells her own story while keeping the stories of marginalized people at the center. For privileged Christians like me who are seeking ways to advocate for justice in the public square, this book is a guide, an exhortation, and a call to courage and humility."

Amy Julia Becker, author of To Be Made Well and White Picket Fences

"This book is an excellent starting point for people who are looking to become more deeply involved in resistance work in their communities. Warren lays out compelling stories from Scripture, her own life, and the lives of other movement leaders to show how important it is for every Christian and every person to 'come to the table' and join this work. Join the Resistance offers a prophetic call with concrete action steps for people who are new to movement work, as well as sustaining wisdom and encouragement for those of us who are committed to the long haul."

Jennifer Butler, founder in residence of Faith in Public Life

"In Join the Resistance, Michelle Warren shares hard-earned wisdom for those of us who desire to see change and overcome evil with good. Warren forthrightly acknowledges the wisdom she shares is communal—often originating with the most marginalized people in US history. Indeed, this book is most powerful because Michelle humbly practices what she preaches. I have observed her life and have read this book, and they are both true. She is among the wisest people I know. Even so, she shares insight that is not always easy to swallow, but necessary if we are to be righteous, which entails being just. Is it possible to have so much good judgment stashed in one place? It must be—because it is right here. I cannot recommend this book highly enough for those of us who seek to act like Jesus in a polarized society where the church is often complicit in wrongdoing."

Marlena Graves, author of The Way Up is Down

"With her vulnerability, prophetic spirit, and empathy, Michelle Warren provides the practical wisdom and encouragement to 'join the resistance' in the steps of our God of justice. This is a book the world needs right now—the guidance of a faith-rooted activist who has been doing the work of justice and resistance in community. When Michelle speaks, I listen because she embodies Christ's command to love and serve those on the margins. Those ready to move beyond awareness and into action will find Join the Resistance to be an essential companion."

Karen González, immigration advocate and author of Beyond Welcome: Centering Immigrants in Our Christian Response to Immigration

"Michelle's book is exactly what any advocate needs to understand the most profound insights and most basic practices of justice work. I've known Michelle for over ten years and worked with her in the movement, and this book makes you feel like you are having a one-on-one conversation with her. She invites you to consider uncomfortable truths and journey into learned experiences from years of relentless commitment to bravery, love, and selflessness."

Agustin Quiles, founding president and CEO of Mission Talk

"Join the Resistance is a worthwhile and meaningful read for any justice seeker. Not only does Michelle have an intellectual command of this topic, even more so, she lives it out in her daily life."

Robert Gelinas, author and lead pastor of Colorado Community Church

"Michelle is my sister, and her book is an important guide for those wishing to engage in the work of justice as allies, but even more than that, as the family of God."

Robert Chao Romero, associate professor in the Departments of Chicana/o Studies and Asian American Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and author of Brown Church

"At a time when political and ideological differences divide our nation and communities seemingly more than ever, Michelle Warren reminds us how building bridges and repairing broken relationships is the sacred work for each of us today. Join the Resistance offers heartening lived experiences and inspiring faith lessons that will surely encourage both seasoned advocates and newcomers to social justice."

Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, executive director of the Catholic Mobilizing Network and coauthor of Advocating for Justice: An Evangelical Vision for Transforming Systems and Structures

"In Join the Resistance, Michelle Warren expertly weaves together Scripture, theology, and personal experience to inspire and challenge all of us to embrace the intersectional activism that our faith requires. This book is a timely, compelling, and provocative read, equipping and mobilizing all of us to become better allies in the struggle for a radically more just and inclusive United States."

Adam Taylor, president of Sojourners and author of A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community

"Michelle Warren reminds us all that faith is not just about what we believe. It is about how those beliefs move us to take action. Scripture itself says that we can have faith to move mountains, but if we don't have love it is meaningless. Following Jesus is a call to live out the revolutionary, countercultural values of the upside-down kingdom of God, where the last are first and the first are last, where the mighty are cast down from their thrones and the lowly are lifted up. This book is an invitation into that revolution."

Shane Claiborne author of The Irresistible Revolution and cofounder of Red Letter Christians

"Michelle Warren believes that the God of the Bible is not just one of charity, but the God of justice. She shows why social action is only the beginning and must lead to public advocacy to make structural change that alleviates oppression. Her amazing personal story of becoming an activist is on wonderful display here as she tells so many other compelling stories of people who are changing things. Michelle has learned the important lesson that just 'showing up' is not enough, but 'how you show up' is now crucial. This book is a teaching tool, especially for white privileged activists like Michelle, who can learn how to show up well. I think the prophet Amos would smile over this book and exclaim, 'Let justice roll.'"

Jim Wallis, chair in faith and justice and director of the Center on Faith and Justice at Georgetown University, author of America's Original Sin

"In Join the Resistance, Michelle Warren teaches us how to serve the movement, stay at the table, and help our people. However, she does not do this through lecture and conjecture but through engaging narrative, challenging reframing, and relational humility. I am thankful for her lifelong witness and her desire to push so that none of us sit on the sidelines but step into the good work of kingdom justice."

Jonathan Brooks, pastor and author of Church Forsaken


Foreword by Latasha Morrison
Introduction: How to Step into the Good Work

Part One: Serve the Movement
1. Walking In
2. Brave Steps
3. Falling Forward
Steps Forward to Serve the Movement

Part Two: Stay at the Table
4. The Long Arc
5. Resilience
6. Leverage What You Have
Steps Forward to Stay at the Table

Part Three: Help Your People
7. Rooted in Love
8. Rooted in Peace
9. Rooted in Joy
Steps Forward to Help Your People
Afterword by Dominique DuBois Gilliard



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Michelle Ferrigno Warren

Michelle Ferrigno Warren is the president and CEO of Virago Strategies, and helped found Open Door Ministries, a community development 501(c)(3) corporation in downtown Denver, to address poverty, addiction, and homelessness through social programs. She has served as advocacy and strategic engagement director for the Christian Community Development Association and done coalition work with the National Immigration Forum. She is the author of The Power of Proximity.