A few months after the Ferguson Uprising began in August 2014, Shirah-Moffatt Darko traveled from Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania to New York’s Hudson Valley to attend a Fellowship of Reconciliation young adult nonviolence training program. That Campus Weekend initiative in January 2015 ultimately helped lead Shirah, now a Bucknell graduate, to enter into a dedicated life of spiritually-rooted service, activism, and social transformation.

Shirah cites, “My relationship with the Fellowship of Reconciliation is something for which I’m so grateful. Almost four years ago my professor, Dr. David Ragland [now Senior Bayard Rustin Fellow at FOR], took me and three other students to a weekend retreat. We were all different ages, all different backgrounds, and our lives were forever changed.

“Over the course of that weekend we explored how our commitment to social justice had been shaped by our faith and, while I didn’t know it at the time, it was my first exposure to ‘liberation theology.’ We shared our stories, each of us leaving with a renewed commitment to nonviolence as a way of ‘recreating’ the world to embody more deeply the values of peace and justice.”

Shirah has continued to connect and collaborate with FOR in diverse places and social contexts.

She traveled to St. Louis to learn more about the Ferguson Movement at the Truth Telling Weekend in March 2015 (through one of the university groups hosted by FOR) and then participating in ongoing conversations about racial justice, structural violence, and community healing facilitated by the Truth Telling Project and FOR.

In 2018, Shirah participated actively in the planning team that organized FOR’s Youth Leadership Retreat, held at the Stony Point Center from June 29 to July 1.

She also joined an intergenerational and multi-faith delegation of FOR and TTP members in Washington DC for the “Rally to Fight Poverty, Not the Poor” national mobilization on June 23rd, organized by the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

Shirah says, “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to find, and be formed by, such a beloved community. I know that I need FOR.

“As I continue to grow in justice work, FOR will always be ‘home’ for me, a place to continue channeling my passions and energy, and to organize.”