We had the good fortune of connecting with Rev. Darci Jaret and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rev. Darci, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
We are parents and our son is 7 years old. Prioritizing his education outside of a traditional school setting has been most important for us in this last season of parenting and pandemic.
I returned to a more traditional work life, so that my wife who was a teacher in Dekalb County for 10 years didn’t have to return to the classroom and instead is starting a nonprofit focused on interest-based and nature-based learning.
Our son has thrived with non-traditional learning, whereas, before the pandemic, due to his traumatic response in institutional environments he was in crisis at least once a week. He is more balanced now and with the focused attention and teaching during the day.
We are invested in teaching to liberate and raising free thinking free people is some of the most important work.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For about 5 years I served as the Minister Artist-in-Residence at Park Avenue Baptist Church, where I now am one of the c0-Pastors.
My art is all about brining into tangible practice the reverence and worship of God. Most of my art is about religious themes and my favorite pieces are the ones that are collaborative. I love to invite everyone into the practice of creativity, which is a liberative one. When we allow our minds to think and create in a. nonlinear way then we have the creativity and intuition to begin thinking and recognizing new ways to relate to each other and society in the world.
I often say that I interpret the call of my sacred texts to make the world anew, through liberation and love and to do that we need imagination and dreams and nontraditional thinking.
So we need to practice imagining together. Hence the practice of imagination is essential for the practice of liberation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When people come into town I love doing a tour of amazing murals in Atlanta. Fabian Williams murals along Edgewood. “The Paragraphizer” has captivated me for years. Joe King has some amazing ones too! Education is not a Crime and then of course “Rise Above” at the King Memorial Station. I take folks to the Krog Bridge and talk about democratic process of participatory art!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am a case manager and pastor, two things that considering my past seem unlikely.
12 years ago I experienced a mental health crisis after becoming homeless and losing everything. I went through about 2 years of treatment in a therapeutic community and shelter and during that time had an awakening to my faith.
I have since gone to graduate school and became a pastor serving in an anti-racist, abolitionist queer affirming Baptist church in Atlanta.
I also now do case management with people like me, who are experiencing homelessness and who live with mental illness.
In so many ways my life is all about helping people, by living into the reality of my. own experience and coming from that foundation, all that I do is a testament and a success.