The Good Ground Institute exists to create space for marginal voices that are unheard in dominant stories. Through forums, workshops, arts programming and direct action, Good Ground provides a means for such voices to reflect, educate and create strategies for change.
Good Ground was initially created as the public ministry of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church. Its purpose, to empower through knowledge; to inform the public beyond the walls of the church, and most important to link voices, beliefs and activism. Good Ground embodied the mission of St. Martin’s, “Linking Spirituality and Social Transformation”.
It was established in 2001 and built community programming around substantive themes relevant to the social, economic and civic needs. In 2003 the theme was Lift Every Voice: Affirming Gay & Lesbian People in African American Churches. Supported by an Episcopal Charities and Community Service New Ministries Grant, Good Ground presented a series of five forums featuring nationally recognized scholars, theologians and activists at the church.
Subsequent projects have included the screening of the documentary Dreams Deferred: The Sakia Gunn Film Project and Q and A with director Chas Brack; a screening of At the Edge of Each Others Battles: The Vision of Audre Lorde, accompanied by a panel discussion and poetry slam featuring Audrey Lourde’s work; a workshop, Radical Transformation: The Intersection of Oppressions for the Chicago Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians.
Additionally, Good Ground presented the music programs Blues and Jazz in the Sanctuary. St. Martin’s determined that the Good Ground Institute had the potential to increase its reach as stand alone organization, so in 2011 Good Ground incorporated as a non-profit origination. While the arts have always been a Good Ground component, the organization created the Saint Martin Repertory Theatre to utilize the talents of its artists cadre and add another avenue to lift up those marginal voices in our society.
Board of Directors
Gerri Outlaw-Chair., Rev. Chris Griffin-Vice Chair, Karen Paul-Secretary, Oscar Douglas-Treasurer
Bernard Clay, Derrick Dawson, Ellen Janiec, Matt Kramer, Teresa Paccione, Josephine Wyatt