Ethics, Morality and the Land Question

A One-Day Forum
August 30th in Baltimore
Description and Speakers

EventBrite Registration:

Questions? Email [email protected] or call 717-357-7617

There are two versions of Christianity. They are not compatible and they cannot be reconciled. The “Sermon on the Mount” or Christic version is inspired by Jesus of Nazareth who taught the nonviolent love of friends and enemies. This version proclaims the jubilee justice laws and holds the land as the “koina” made by the Creator to be fairly shared for the self-reliant livelihood of all.

The Constantine version originated in the third century AD councils convened by the Roman emperor of the same name. These councils codified Christian beliefs in order to guard against heresy. Theologians of this version condone the “just war” theories of Cicero, Ambrose and Augustine.  Constantine Christianity’s land laws are based on Roman “dominium” and legalized land acquired by conquest and plunder – “might makes right.”

These two conflicting versions of Christianity will be the focus of several speakers (details below) participating in Ethics, Morality and the Land Question, a one-day forum being held in Baltimore on Thursday, August 30, at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor. The forum is sponsored by the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation (RSF), Earth Rights Institute and the Council of Georgist Organizations. RSF will have a book table. Register via Eventbrite.

Charles R. Avila received his master’s degree in philosophy from the Divine Word Seminary in the Philippines and is author of the now classic book Ownership: Early Christian Teachings. He is the Executive Director of the Confederation of National Coconut Farmers’ Organizations of the Philippines, Director for Social Justice of the Lay Society of St. Arnold Janssen and staff writer of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines’ IMPACT magazine for social transformation. A former mayor of the town of his birth (Tanauan Leyte), he has served as Consultant of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, as Secretary-General of the 18-nation Asian Cultural Forum on Development, a Research Fellow at the Centro Intercultural de Documentacion in Mexico, at the Institute for Food and Development Policy in San Francisco, a Staff Writer of South Magazine in London, a lecturer on agrarian reforms at the Land Reform Training Institute in Taiwan, and Deputy Secretary General of the Philippine Congress of Agrarian and Industrial Workers. Based in Manila he continues to be involved in the coconut levy funds case, mining issues, and the cause of the peasantry.

Growing up with a musically gifted mother, Courtney Dowe began writing songs from a very early age. She does not think of her relationship to music as a career as much as a calling. Courtney  has performed in places as humble as subway stations and as legendary as The Filmore in San Francisco. Her interest in human rights has inspired songs ranging from the subject of police brutality in the United States to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. She is the founder of WILL – Women’s International Living Library – and Earth Rights Institute’s Project Manager for Itsodi, a School of Living community land trust in western Virginia. In recent years, she has felt called to repair her relationship with the Earth and hopes to support many others in doing the same. To hear some of her performances visit her Youtube channel.

Dr. Quisia Gonzalez trained as a medical doctor in Brazil and practiced medicine in Honduras before moving to the United States in 1989. She is Vice President for Honduras for the International Union for Land Value Taxation (the IU) and also the IU’s Main Non-Governmental Organization Representative to the United Nations holding consultancy status with the UN’s Economic and Social Council.  She has worked extensively in the field of education and is active in the Proyecto de Los Trabajadores Latinoamericanos, advocating for fair wages and immigration reform. An educator and advocate for Georgist economics, Dr. Gonzales has a major focus on land rights for her fellow indigenous Garifuna people.

Alanna Hartzok is International Liaison for the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, Administrative Director and a UN NGO representative for the International Union for Land Value Taxation, and co-founder/co-director of Earth Rights Institute. She received the Radical Middle Book Award for her book The Earth Belongs to Everyone, a collection of 30 of her articles and essays. In the 1990s she initiated and assisted with the nearly unanimous passage of land value tax enabling legislation by the Pennsylvania state legislature. Hartzok is a recipient of the International Earth Day Award presented by the Earth Society Foundation in a ceremony in the UN’s Rose Garden. Currently she is working on land value taxation imple-mentation projects based on the public finance recommendations of the UN’s New Urban Agenda.

Rev/Doctor Heber Brown is Founder/Director of the Black Church    Food Security Network which envisions a sustainable, community-centered, food system supported by black churches and black producers, led by those most directly affected by food inequity in Baltimore. He is also Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and works with community organizations addressing homelessness, poverty, racism, worker’s rights, environmental justice, peacemaking, and national/international social justice concerns. A regular voice in local media outlets, he explores the intersection of religion, policy and activism on his blog, Faith in Action. Pastor Brown is the recipient of the Ella Baker Freedom Fighter Award, the Kingdom Ambassador Award, and in 2007, The Baltimore Afro American newspaper identified him as one of the “25 Under 40 Emerging Black History Leaders.” However, he says his greatest achievement is being a husband and a father.

 Rev. Yolanda D. Brown, a Minister of Economic Development for more than two decades, has parlayed her professional experiences in banking, brokerage and technology into a mission for empowerment and community development in Texas, Chicago, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Rev. Brown is the founding President/CEO of Imani’s Quest Ministries, a faith-based community economic development organization whose mission is to “arrest the trends of poverty by creating pathways to economic dignity.” IQM is centered on neighborhood development strategies, and the innovations in workforce development.  Rev. Brown is the Senior Pastor of the Center of Destiny Christian Fellowship, a Sabbath worship experience on a journey of becoming, being, living and breathing the purposes of God. A fourth generation Brooklynite, Rev. Brown currently lives and serves in New York City where she was first introduced to the principles of Georgist economics in 2003.

James M. Dawsey, PhD, is currently the Wolfe Chair and Professor of Religious Studies at Emory & Henry College, Virginia, where he has also served as Provost and Academic Dean. Dawsey is author or co-author of several books of theology and social justice including Peter’s Last Sermon: Identity and Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, The Confederados: Old South Immigrants in Brazil, From Wasteland to Promised Land: Liberation Theology for a Post-Marxist World, and The Lukan Voice: Confusion and Irony in the Gospel of Luke. Among his eighty articles in English, Spanish, and Portuguese several have a focus on the economic teachings of Henry George including “Liberation Theology and Economic Development” and “The Path to Justice: Following in the Footsteps of Henry George.” Dawsey also enjoys writing fiction and believes that stories relay truths not easily encompassed by prose. “We live our lives by stories,” he claims. “It’s no secret why Jesus and other great religious leaders were storytellers.”

Alexandra W. Lough, PhD holds a degree in American History from Brandeis University. She previously served as the director of the Henry George Birthplace and Archive in Philadelphia and currently works as an assistant editor on the Annotated Works of Henry George. Alexandra serves on the board of directors of the American Journal of Economics and Sociology.


8:45 – 10:00 am – Dr. Alexandra Lough and Dr. James Dawsey – Henry George’s Engagement with the Church as Explored in  New Annotated Issues of Henry George Books

10:30 – Noon – Charles Avila, on Ownership: Early Christian Teachings & James Dawsey on Liberation Theology and Land Economics

1:30 – 3:30 – Human Rights & Land Rights – Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, Dr. Quisia Gonzalez, Rev. Yolanda Brown, Alanna Hartzok
4:00 – 5:00 – Wrap up with all speakers Q & A
Schalkenbach Foundation Book Table Open All Day

EventBrite Registration:

Questions? Email [email protected] or call 717-357-7617

Link to PDF of flyer



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