Dr. Ash Barker, founder of the organization Urban Neighbours Of Hope (UNOH), will lecture from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, November 12 at Grace and Peace Community Fellowship, located at 511 W. Cortland Street in Philadelphia. The event is sponsored by Evangelicals for Social Action, an outreach of the Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer Seminary. In 1993, Dr. Barker moved with his family from Melbourne, Austrailia to Klong Toey, Bangkok’s largest slum.
Dr. Barker is the author of seven books, including his latest, Slum Life Rising: How to Enflesh Hope Within a New Urban World. Based on Ash’s PhD research, the critically acclaimed Slum Life Rising explores how the world has changed before our eyes and how this change affects responses to poverty. The majority of people, for the first time in human history, are now urban, with one in six living in urban slums. The number of slum residents now grows by more than 100,000 each day.
The author observes that modern development methods, which are highly dependent on large, stable institutions, rarely work in slums. He explores what, then, can be done when so many face the rising tide of urban injustice. Ash draws on his gut-wrenching life experiences of living in a slum for more than a decade as he proposes innovative practices, based on his Christian faith, to transform urban poverty
UNOH specializes in engaging urban poverty from within marginalized neighborhoods. Since its beginning in 2002, it has grown to 9 neighborhood-based teams in Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Mae Sot, and Bangkok. An inspiring leader, speaker and writer, Ash is also the convener for the newly formed International Society for Urban Mission (www.newurbanworld.org).