Movement Day Preview: Five Christian Leaders Transforming America's Cities

Movement Day, the brainchild of New York City Leadership Center and Redeemer City-to-City, seeks to bring Christian leaders to inspire and challenge one other as they figure out how to live life and lead in an urban context. The Christian Post is highlighting five leaders, who will be presenting at the conference in New York City today whose work has or is already doing just that.

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(Photo: Redeemer City to City Screenshot)

1. Katherine Alsdorf - Twitter

Alsdorf founded the Center for Faith and Work (CFW) or "cultural renewal arm" of the New York City-based Redeemer Presbyterian Church in 2002 and served as its Executive Director for the next 10 years.

The CFW's mission seeks not only to change the worldview of New York City's workforce but also to connect people to one another who can challenge and inspire one another to make the city better on behalf of the common good.

Alsdorf has said, "The gospel story of work says that we're made to work. And the reason we're made to work is to do the work that God would have us do to help the world flourish.

"Apart from doing that kind of work, we're not fully human; we're not living the lives that God meant us to live," she told Faith and Leadership earlier this year.

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(Photo: YouTube Screenshot / WVUSP)

2. Romanita Hairston - Twitter

Romanita Hairston is the Vice President of U.S. Domestic Programs at World Vision. Hairston has spent close to 20 years working to assist underresourced children by supporting their families and " believes in the power of collective action to impact poverty."

World Vision's domestic programs include providing new school supplies and classroom resources in school districts with 70 percent or higher poverty rates and providing emergency disaster relief.

"Transforming our relationships will not be achieved by systems or institutions. It will be achieved by each of us doing what we can with what we have in every aspect in our lives," Hairston said in a TedxTalk in Tacoma, Washington, in 2012.  

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(Photo: Facebook / Jeremy Del Rio)

3. Jeremy Del Rio - Twitter

Jeremy Del Rio co-founded and directs 20/20 Vision for Schools, a movement to transform public education by allowing grassroots activists the opportunity to speak to their own vision for schools and engage education issues alongside academics and experts. He also is a consultant and advises "businesses, schools, community and faith-based organizations, and leaders on sustainable education reform, coalition building, and youth and community development."

"What matters in crisis is whether we have the courage to show up, exhibit character and compassion, and endure to the end—whatever the end might be...The Kingdom of God arrived on earth as it is in heaven in the person of Jesus 30 years before he ever opened his mouth to preach. He lived among the people he hoped to save, serving them and earning the right to be heard when the time finally came to reason together," Del Rio wrote for in an essay about 9/11 published in Q Ideas this year.

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(Photo: YouTube / Evansville Habitat)

4. Lori Reed - Twitter 

Lori Reed is the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity - Evansville in Indiana. Her organization works provide affordable housing and home ownership for low-income families.

Habitat requires those who apply to put time and energy into the construction of their house and helps provide the hours countless volunteers contribute.

"I have seen families come in with a defeated attitude but there are many people working with Habitat to draw them into relationships. By the time most homeowners get to their home dedication, they are smiling and their heads are held high," Reed told her alma mater, University of Southern Indiana, last year.

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(Photo: YouTube / Infinity Bible Church)

5. Dimas Salaberrios - Twitter

Dimas Salaberrios is founder and pastor at Infinity NY Church located in the Bronx River Housing Projects. The Bronx River is one of the poorest parts of the South Bronx, one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. Salaberrios is also the Director of Youth for Christ Bronx and has worked to help the poor and marginalized internationally in places like Haiti, the Netherlands and Venezuela.

"New York undoubtedly needs the faith community to be actively engaged. Indeed, at times we need to be the voice of conscience. So, we need to be engaged. However, our job is to not be like the world in its regular activities--the continuous generation of political agendas or grasping for handouts. We should show our selflessness for serving the poor and needy. If we look just like another private club or a group with an agenda or a need for money, then our effectiveness will be limited," Salaberrios wrote in an Op-Ed for NYC Religion last year.