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Student of the Month: Lisa Asedillo Cunningham

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

We are excited to introduce Lisa Asedillo Cunningham as our PANAAWTM student of the month!

Lisa Asedillo (she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate in the Religion and Society area at Drew University with a concentration in Christian Social Ethics. She calls both NYC and the Philippines "home," though she moved several times throughout childhood. She's currently finishing a dissertation on the Theology of Struggle and Ecumenical Women's Movement of the 70s-90s in the Philippines, teaching Global Ethics at Phillips Exeter Academy, and living at the Mutual Aid Society in the Catskills, a new utopian experiment with fellow artists, theologians and writers.

What are your interests in your field of study/work?

I’m interested in how people, especially those most outside the trajectory of dominant society/culture and therefore the most violently impacted by it, find each other and decide risk it all for a different vision—a vision there’s perhaps no evidence for, but a vision everyone feels and actually knows to be more true and exciting and filled-with-God than the realities of the status quo.

What is your area of focus?

My dissertation, titled “Decolonial Hope as Praxis: Pedagogical Strategies of Freedom in the Philippines,” examines the strategies of unlearning and communal innovation generated by Christian activist leaders in the Philippines during the theology of struggle and ecumenical women’s movements in the Philippines in the 1970s-90s.

What brings you hope?

I’ve been teaching a Global Ethics class and my students, who are high school seniors and juniors, were mostly born right around the time of 9/11.

Every week I am devastated and crushed with hope because of their ideas, questions, brilliance, bravery, and love of life—even though they have mostly witnessed failure from the adults and leaders of our current order.

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