Thursday, March 23, 2017

From The Magazine

Jo Saxton was interview by Faithfully Magazine in issue number one

[This is excerpt of Jo Saxton’s Q&A on Women Who Lead appears in Faithfully Magazine No. 1. The questions here may vary slightly from what appears in Faithfully Magazine No. 1 to provide better context for readers.]

Jo Saxton is an author and speaker known for her passion to help women step into their calling to lead. She is the director of 3D Ministries, a global organization focused on helping leaders to implement discipleship and missions in their churches. The international organization’s roots lie at St. Thomas Church in Sheffield in the U.K., where Saxton served as a youth pastor and college pastor before moving to the U.S. with her husband.

What are some of the issues you take on with the Lead Stories podcast you host with Steph Williams?

It grew out of a sense of there are a lot of women and—we have…maybe 20 percent of our listeners are guys—but there are a lot of women in particular who say, “You know, I do feel called to stuff. I’ve got an idea. I’ve got a dream, but there’s no one to invest in me.” And we wanted something that was accessible, that was free, and that would hopefully be a resource to people who are trying to work out how they lead. We also wanted to give room to voices that maybe people don’t normally hear.

My personal feeling is we have so much to learn from everybody but we don’t often have the chance to if we go to a church which has one majority group and such. So we wanted to hear what do our different brothers and sisters from different churches, different ethnicities, different socioeconomic groups, what can they teach us about everything? About leadership, about discipleship, about giving, about pioneering, about family, about marriage, about life? So part of what we do is do our general stuff on leadership and then we love to do interviews with people that can just help inform us all and speak to our lives in general, our leadership life because everybody’s got something to share.

Nigerian culture in the actual…I mean we are a tribe, we are a people. Extended family is our norm. So for me, when I think of leadership and thriving as a leader, I cannot think of it without extended family, without thinking of who my people are, because if I don’t have my people I can’t lead.

Are there any particular standout guests or moments from the Lead Stories podcast that have impacted you personally?

I think the standout moment, and one where we’ve had a lot of response to, was a series we did basically on holistic health and burnout. The amount of feedback we got from leaders who were at the end of themselves who are caring for their families, who are often the sandwich generation—caring for their kids but also for the parents, also working a job and who are stretched on every level. I just found it very humbling. Then there’s a series we did call “The Leader Behind the Scene” talking about the self-management stuff, how do we deal with our way of doing relationship, our own personal hurts, our own struggles, things like that. And how to do we build community.

The U.K. can be quite individualistic on certain points, but Nigerian culture in the actual…I mean we are a tribe, we are a people. Extended family is our norm. So for me, when I think of leadership and thriving as a leader, I cannot think of it without extended family, without thinking of who my people are, because if I don’t have my people I can’t lead. It’s not even my philosophy. It’s just part of my being. So [I] wanted to share that with people as well and say, “Well, you know that that may not be [your] cultural background but you still need your people if you’re going to come into your own, rather than just be by yourself.” I think the most humbling part of doing the podcast is when we meet people, like when we’re speaking in places, and people are in tears. It’s been humbling. It’s just been really humbling to recognize how much need there is for encouragement and resource, that it’s a valuable thing.

You mentioned that about 20 percent of the “Lead Stories” podcast listeners are men. How do you advise men for whom the idea of women as pastors is foreign? Or men who feel uncomfortable or insecure about embracing women as leaders?

We talk about it on the podcast, but we’ve realized we don’t actually talk about it that much, which I haven’t worked out if it’s a good or a bad thing, partly because we want the content that we give to do the talking. And we want to be unapologetic about who we are was women, so we share from our perspective and we assume that’s valid. We assume it has something to say to men, just as when men are leading and teaching and preaching, I assume they have things to say to me. I expect it to be vice-versa.

Sometimes we ask guys if there are particular questions they have. So they may ask us questions about women in leadership and things like that. Now, I remember one time meeting a guy who hadn’t heard the podcast when I was at an event. And he said, “You know, I was fine with everything until I realized that you were a pastor. Then I felt really conflicted because I’ve already heard you speak. I really enjoyed it, and now I don’t know what to think. Will you help me?” I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it, to be honest. But I asked him to take another look at the Bible and ask what the women [were already doing]. What was Deborah already doing? What was Phoebe already doing? What was Priscilla already doing? [I would] say, “I’m not here to convince you but I would encourage you to look afresh. There will always be people with different points of view but if you’re saying to me that God is speaking to you through this, then maybe that’s the conversation you need to have with God. If you’re finding that you’ve already been inspired or challenged or encouraged, then maybe that’s the beginning of your journey with God on [that] stuff. Because God has invited us all into his Great Commission.”

One thing we do address, we do address guys who are saying, “I want to equip my women leaders. How do I do this we?” We do actually have some podcasts dedicated to that space and giving that voice and saying these are some of the mistakes that we would really encourage you not to make, and to think through. I actually was surprised by the guys who were listening. I didn’t expect it. We just thought we’d put it out there and see who came our way. So it’s been great to discover that there’s this community of guys who are listening and sharing. One of my daughter’s choir teachers, he listens to it regularly and tells his friends to listen to it, which I didn’t know. He just came up and told me he did.

If you enjoyed this excerpt of Faithfully Magazine’s Q&A with Jo Saxton on Women Who Lead, purchase Issue No. 1 to read the full interview. In Faithfully Magazine No. 1, Saxton discusses her experiences doing life and ministry in the U.K. and how it compares with her ministry in the U.S.; how, as a pastor, she finally came to understand the meaning behind the oft-asked question of “where’s your husband?”; and much more.

[This review appears in Faithfully Magazine No. 1]

Reach Records mainstay Trip Lee stays true to his Christian roots and paints a vivid picture of life as a believer on earth with his new mixtape, The Waiting Room. The 10-track surprise is packed with songs that dive into the darkest parts of the Christian walk while addressing more pertinent issues, such as social justice and materialism.

The Waiting Room opens with “Clouds,” an upbeat banger filled with altered hope manipulated by dreams deferred. Lee raps the story of a man who has been redirected so many times but never lost hope. The song could fit on the playlist of any rap fan, but it also presents a Christian-themed message of God’s providence and direction. Lee follows the hopeful track with a proclamation of stability on “Too Cold.” He turns coldness into a metaphor for staying steady in the face of storms. “Can’t move, too cold,” he raps on the chorus. Lee also alludes several times throughout “Too Cold” to the fact that, with God on your side, nothing can move you.

“The Waiting Room” album cover. (Reach Records)

After the strong declaration of “Too Cold,” doubt starts to set in on tracks like “Lord Have Mercy” and “IDK.” On the former of the two, Lee insists you don’t need to be a criminal to have a long list of sins. On the latter track, the rapper illustrates the kinds of thoughts that come with living in a world full of death and misery.

Lee then decides to confront death head-on in “Ready” (featuring Dimitri McDowell). He begins by telling the story of losing his father and ends the song by letting listeners know that he is ready to die. “Ready” has an undertone of hope and keeps with the theme of viewing life as waiting room for eternity with God. By the time the chorus hits, Lee admits he is ready for his impending death. His morbid reflection is followed by one of the highlights of the mixtape, a throwback to the classic Reach sound.

On “Still Unashamed,” Lee is joined by Tedashii and the two trade bars about the 116 Clique still being down for Jesus Christ despite criticism they have received over the years. The song has a laid back, infectious vibe and functions much like a modern-day “Jesus Muzik,” a 2006 track by Lecrae featuring Lee.

The Waiting Room loses some steam after the much-needed re-dedication to Christ laid out in “Still Unashamed.” The next track, “Money Up,” which, of course, deals with the topic of money, is consistent with The Waiting Room concept. The song attempts to answer questions stemming from struggles presented on the album and specifically on tracks like “Longer” and “Billion Years” (featuring Taylor Hill). Lee makes it clear that something better is coming and that Christians need not lose hope.

Lee raps over a nice mix of beats and even provides something for the CCM audience with “Longer” (featuring India Shawn) and “Billion Years.” In fact, there is something for everyone on The Waiting Room. Songs like “Still Unashamed” and “Ready” will satisfy the appetites of longtime Reach Records fans who miss the early days of the label. Tracks like “Clouds” and “Cold” might attract the average hip-hop fan who has never heard of Lee. Finally, “Longer” gives Christian soccer moms something to vibe to while shuttling their kids to and from practice.

Although the underlying message of The Waiting Room is consistent on all 10 tracks and Lee provides hope for those impacted by injustice and other issues, the rapper plays it pretty safe with the content of his lyrics. It is unclear if Lee is speaking about himself directly or from the perspective of someone else.

Overall, The Waiting Room is short and sweet, and a well-balanced project. Lee’s mixtape is a breath of fresh air in the Christian rap world, overrun of late with projects focused on other things besides the gospel. Lee keeps current by addressing some social justice issues, but does not allow them to water down his message—which has been pretty consistently gospel-minded since he hit the rap scene 10 years ago.

Vin Funaro is an artist, writer and tech worker from New York City. He has written for various publications, including The Christian Post and Vlad TV. He has also released two full-length rap albums under the moniker Vinny Jett.

Christian rapper and recovery minister Dusty Marshall.

[This feature appears in Faithfully Magazine No. 1]

On his new album, Christian hip-hop artist and recovery minister Dusty Marshall speaks about the challenges he and his wife faced with the birth of their special-needs daughter.

Beauty in the Struggle, a 10-track album, features Marshall accompanied on three songs by his wife, Krystal. The songs tell the journey of how their first-born had the odds stacked against her just weeks after being conceived.

Dusty and Krystal Marshall’s oldest daughter, Amnesty Noel, was diagnosed with a severe form of spina bifida while still in the womb. She was born, just before Christmas 2014, with part of her spine exposed.

Amnesty had also been diagnosed with a heart defect. But when she arrived, doctors were stumped to discover that the condition they had confirmed week after week during her mother’s pregnancy had suddenly disappeared. They had even initially suggested the Marshalls terminate the pregnancy due to the severe challenges and possible short lifespan that Amnesty would face.

The Marshalls, however, knew before they even conceived her that God had Amnesty on His mind.

“We named her Amnesty because my wife was given that name by God in a dream,” Marshall, 32, explained via email. “In the dream, God was peering over my wife’s shoulder, pointing out the word ‘amnesty’ in a book. He then told my wife that ’amnesty’ was not only a word, but also a girl’s name.”

Dusty and Krystal had not planned to have children until years down the road, so the revealing dream stayed parked far back in their minds.

As the Yiddish proverb states: Man plans, God laughs.

Six months later, Krystal was pregnant.

The dream all but forgotten, the couple almost named their daughter Noel. But God reminded them during prayer the night before her delivery that He had already given her a name, Marshall said.

Although Amnesty no longer needed heart surgery after she was born, doctors had to operate on her spine and brain, where they implanted a device to prevent excess fluid build-up.

Amnesty was finally discharged from the hospital into the frozen landscape of a Denver, Colorado, winter. Her terrified parents took her home and conveniently parked just a few steps away from the front door of their motorhome.

“In fact, we lived in the parking lot of the hospital for a couple of months until God told us to go,” Marshall said. “We were scared to take her too far from the hospital because she was so fragile to us. It was 20 degrees outside, barely any insulation, and I had never even ridden in a motorhome, let alone lived in one.”

For the first nine months of her life, Amnesty traveled with her parents around the country while her story was told.

Those were “scary” times and the “challenges were frequent,” Marshall said.

“Doctors said she would never have use of her legs,” he said, “and right now she is defying the odds by walking with a walker and leg braces.”

Amnesty, whose name points to God’s immeasurable grace and willingness to forgive and forget sins, is now two years old and enjoying life with her little sister—named Noel.

Dusty and Krystal Marshall with their daughters, Amnesty and Noel.
Dusty and Krystal Marshall with their daughters, Amnesty and Noel. (Photo: courtesy Dusty Marshall)

The Album

Beauty in the Struggle, which Marshall worked on for six years, opens with a skit about a doctor’s dire diagnosis. The title track is the centerpiece of the album due to the story it tells and how it was crafted.

“I wrote the first verse before she was born, I wrote the second verse after she was born, and I wrote the third verse when we finally got her home,” Marshall said of the song, “Beauty in the Struggle.” He wanted verses to authentically reflect his emotions from seeing Amnesty in the womb, witnessing her birth, and finally holding her in his arms.

But Beauty in the Struggle, Marshall’s second album after the 2014 EP Return of the Wordsmith, also tells of his own journey from being a drug addict, dope dealer and womanizer to becoming a follower of Christ, a family man and ministry leader. His story is specifically on “The Light” featuring his wife, Krystal.

On the melodic “Forever You’re Loved,” Marshall raps about his dedication to his wife, whom he met through a dating website. When confronted during a moment of clarity with the reality that he needed help getting free of his vices, it was Krystal he called on for help. They married in 2010—the same year Marshall decided to follow Jesus.

“Fallen,” featuring Scott Armstrong, is a reflection about the suicides and overdoses of two of Marshall’s friends. The track concludes with a somber eulogy about a missed older brother.

The first song from the album to get a video release, “My God,” features Illuminate & Jenisis Praise. It is certainly the praise track of the album, closely followed by “Soul Glow” featuring Hope Shorter, another song showcasing Marshall’s distinct delivery, wordplay, and sold-out-for-God sensibilities.

“I purposefully placed songs of celebration along with songs of struggle in this album to show the light that pierces through the darkness of our lives,” Marshall said. “We walk in the light as He is in the light. That light should be reflected to expose and reveal the darkness that blinds so many still walking in bondage. Our testimony and Christ living in us is that light.”

That is a part of the message the Marshalls share with others through their Irregular4Christ Ministries, the nonprofit that owns Beauty in the Struggle. The couple also leads Celebrate Recovery groups and performs at events year-round in prisons and juvenile detention centers.

“We share our testimonies of overcoming drug and pornography addiction, sexual abuse, mental illness, and choosing life for our child with a disability,” Marshall said.

Reflecting on the six-year process of bringing Beauty in the Struggle to life, Marshall expressed gratitude for his wife’s encouragement and his mother’s financial investment in their work. He also credited fellow rapper JGivens with encouraging him to take his music more seriously, and shouted out Arize Lisea of Rize N Shine Records for his “amazing mixing and mastering skills” and “amazing video work” with Lisea’s media company.

Dusty Marshall's latest album Beauty in the Struggle
Dusty Marshall’s latest album, “Beauty in the Struggle”.

Asked for his parting thoughts, Marshall shared the following via email:

“If someone is reading this and they feel utterly hopeless in their lives, there is a hope I have found and His name is Jesus. If Jesus can take a man like me, who was a drug dealer and drug addict, a full-time criminal, someone struggling with depression and mental illness, and turn him into a man with true hope and peace, then He can do the same for you. He is a Maker of Ways where there seems to be no way. He is a Healer of hearts and brokenness. He is a Restorer of broken families and lives. There is nothing the Creator of the universe isn’t capable of. The greatest restoration He does is in our hearts, when He comes to dwell in them and change us from the inside out.

“So if you don’t know Jesus, I can tell you that you can find out who He is right now by simply asking Him to reveal who He is to you. If you’re ready, you can accept Him into your heart as your Lord and savior and ask for forgiveness of your sins, by praying just that. Pick up a Bible. My recommendation is to start in Matthew, and begin to learn who this Jesus is. There are so many resources out there. If you need recovery you can reach out and find a Celebrate Recovery group near you by going to and going to the group finder to search by your zip code. Celebrate Recovery has groups all over the world. You can also reach out and email me at dusty @”

Krystal responded:

“Our struggles are our own. Each person reading this has very unique and personal struggles. Maybe you can relate to some of the specifics of our story, but the underlying theme is what is most important. We were created by a God Who cares about our struggles. He desires to take our brokenness and make beauty; to make our hurts into healing; to use our testimonies to bring hope. If you are feeling hopeless, lean on Him. Take it to the cross. Find your Beauty in the Struggle and then share it with others.”

This article was edited by Heidi Wallenborn.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.

[This Q&A appears in Faithfully Magazine No. 1]

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is perhaps one of the most influential Evangelical leaders in the United States, particularly when it comes to representing the interests of Hispanic communities. As the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Rodriguez represents “more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,118 U.S. churches and over 450,000 churches spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora,” according to his organization’s website. He has worked alongside Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and read a prayer at Donald Trump’s inauguration, making him the first Hispanic Evangelical to ever participate in the ceremony. In the following Q&A with Rodriguez, conducted Feb. 3, the Assemblies of God pastor and bestselling author shares his thoughts on immigration under a Trump presidency.

What is your position in terms of President Trump’s directive about building a wall along the Mexico border and his desire to ramp up deportation efforts for undocumented immigrants?

As it pertains to the wall, the wall is an issue of national security, so I’m one who has articulated since I’ve been an adviser to President Bush, the idea that we do need to increase border security. We need to have some sort of affirmation of our sovereignty. There’s a narco-trafficking war taking place in northern Mexico. It behooves us to make sure that we protect our border. So whether it’s a physical wall, a virtual wall, a wall that’s a hybrid engaging infrared technology, satellite imaging, and so forth, at the end of the day I believe that will be the inevitable outcome. So the law is both a necessity and an antidote to not just illegal immigration but addressing the issue of the narco-trafficking issues impacting the border of Mexico. That’s not necessarily an egregious issue whatsoever.

As it pertains to deportation, I had a conversation with the president last June. I had a conversation with the transition team over a month ago, prior to the inauguration, where they assured me that there will be no deportation force. Where they assured me explicitly that good, God-fearing people, terrific people would not be deported. So until they violate their word, I’m going to trust them that they will execute the very promise that they made me, that they subsequently declared and issued upon “60 Minutes” and in Time magazine. So it’s not anecdotal. It’s a commitment they made to me and 50 other bishops that were on the line [during a phone call] that I facilitated and invited to participate in. But they likewise made that commitment on the “60 Minutes” program the Sunday immediately after the election and in the Time magazine interview. So I do believe at the end of the day…of course, deporting 10, 12 million people is not practical. It would require such a massive police force and that’s not going to happen.

If, by some chance, that were to happen or something close to that happened, how would the churches affiliated with your organization and their communities be affected?

That would be like an extreme, unbelievable … stretch of a hypothetical. So, again, if I were a betting man, which I’m not, I’m 99.9999 percent sure it’s not going to happen. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, for the sake of your question, that there would be a massive pivot and all of a sudden they would attempt to deport 10 million people—because they are going to deport those involved in the nefarious activities and I actually agree with that. I agree with the president. If you’re here and you’re selling drugs, if you’re raping and killing, we’re going to kick you out of America and you deserve to be kicked out. But if you’re God-fearing and you’re hardworking and you’re here, even though you entered illegally, and even if your children were born here, we’re not going to separate families. That’s not who we are as a country. It’s not Christian. It’s not American. So we’re not going to deport them.

But let’s just say, in the worst-case scenario, that there’s this radical policy shift and he violates his promises and they attempt to capture and deport 11 million people, 12 million people, good luck with that. Yes, the churches will become sanctuaries. But beyond that, 11, 12 million people will hide under the shadows… The point is, you know, let’s just say they’ve been hiding for all these years. My people know how to hide. So, good luck with that.

Some Christians have called President Trump’s executive order targeting refugees and other visa holders a “Muslim ban,” because it specifically cites seven majority-Muslim countries. Some have also been critical of Trump promising to prioritize Christian refugees, going so far as to call this preference unbiblical. What are your thoughts on that?

I was very uniquely critical of the president when he was campaigning on his rhetoric regarding immigrants in the Latino community. But then I did have a conversation with him. He did reach out, we engaged and we’ve had constant conversations, and we are in conversations now with his administration on the matter. I’m an Evangelical pastor, so as a pastor, I have this crazy belief that if the good Lord Jesus permits these people to come over to our country, this may be the only way we could ever reach them with the gospel of Christ. So as an Evangelical pastor committed to sharing the good news of salvation exclusively through Christ, I believe these refugees coming here from different currencies and different faith narratives, this may be the only way that we can get the message of hope and love and grace and truth to these people. So that’s me as the Evangelical pastor.

Now, Samuel Rodriguez the American, who wants to protect his children and his children’s children, the word “ban” is a strong term because in reality, what the president is doing is a temporary moratorium until there is a rigorous system in place that will vet those that are attempting to come into this country. So I resonate with that. I just think the roll-out, the way it was rolled out, the bureaucracy could have been done better, meaning dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s, addressing issues of green card holders and visa holders and so forth so people won’t be stuck in airports, I think that should have been done in a more fluid way. We should have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s. So the spirit or the motivation behind it, as it pertains to protecting Americans from those who want to cause us harm through a very vigorous reading system, I agree with. The roll-out could have been done better.

As an Evangelical pastor though, we need to continue to become a nation that will welcome refugees and we welcome those that are legitimately seeking asylum and freedom from persecution and prosecution because of their faith narrative or their ethnicity and so forth. Now as it pertains to Christians becoming the majority, well the number one most persecuted group on the planet right now are Christians. As you know, well-documented by the United Nations. The number one most persecuted religious group on the planet are Christians. So in my world, when he says we should prioritize Christians, I don’t know if we should prioritize Christians. But I do believe [it] should be that from a numerical standpoint, the rubric should be respective of current global reality as it pertains to those who are being persecuted and prosecuted. Which means 20 years from now, if the majority of people being persecuted and prosecuted around the world are Muslim, then a refugee sort of grace card should be extended and reflective of that current reality.

You worked closely with President Obama’s administration on immigration and a few other issues, and just mentioned that you spoke with President Trump before he was sworn in and in communication with his administration. Do you see yourself down the road possibly working closely with President Trump as closely as you did with the previous administration? Or do you feel that there would be differences?

My affinity for President Obama is very well publicized. I just don’t like President Obama, I love President Obama. I respect him. I disagree with him on a number of issues but I have great love and respect for the man. I thanked him for his leadership. When I finished my inaugural prayer, I turned around and he stood up and I was able to thank him again for his leadership and for his presidency. So I have great affinity for him. But, likewise, I was with President George W. Bush and we conversed there a bit where he acknowledged me and, of course, I acknowledged him. But I was an adviser to George W. Bush likewise. So I was an adviser to Bush, I was an adviser to Obama.

If President Trump invites me to be a formal adviser, I would be inclined. I’m nonpartisan. I’m independent. I’m a Lamb’s agenda guy. I have my values that drive me, but I’m a Lamb’s agenda guy. So I’m not a Republican or a Democrat. But if the good Lord permits me to have access at the highest court of power, of political power in order to speak truth to power and advance the common good, then I will manage that with integrity and humility. So yes, if he invites me, I would be more than inclined to serve the President of the United States. And I don’t have to agree with him on every occasion, just like I did not agree with President Obama on every occasion. But I hope that my presence and my input will help bring public policy that will bring people together rather than tear them apart.

For your inaugural prayer, you read a version of the Beatitudes found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). Why did you choose that text?

It’s going to seem overly spiritual, but it is a matter of fact… The Holy Spirit compelled me, convicted me to read that passage of Scripture, simply stated.

And why do you think that is?

I know that because I have a relationship with Jesus and I have a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and I’m a former agnostic so if it’s not 100 percent God, I won’t do it. It was 100 percent God. I asked the Lord, “Give me what you want me to share, because there’s over a billion people watching on the television and social media platforms around the world and it’s not just to America, it’s to the world. In that time, what do you want me to share?” And the message that I heard from the Lord was, “Be light. First of all, address issues of people that are hurt and broken, like the poor, the marginalized, the suffering. So reach out to those that are hurting and bleeding. Then reach out to everyone, and just tell everyone that instead of focusing on the darkness, turn on the light.” So that was the message conveyed in that amount of time that I was allotted.

You often mention the “Lamb’s agenda.” How do you define that? What is the “Lamb’s agenda?”

The Lamb’s agenda is reconciling Billy Graham’s message with Dr. King’s march. It is a Christ-centered, Bible-based, spirit-empower prophetic movement committed to both righteousness and justice. Which means it’s committed to the centrality of Christ and preaching the gospel to people getting saved, delivered, and healed and filled with God’s spirit, vertically. Horizontally, we take care of the poor and the widow and the orphan. We fight for education equality, we fight for racial unity. We come against every message of bigotry and intolerance and discrimination. That’s the Lamb’s agenda. It’s when Billy Graham and Dr. King come together and we live out one selective message of righteousness and justice.

I imagine immigration might not be the only issue you’re focused on right now?

Immigration, the Supreme Court nomination, and educational equality. It will be life, religious liberty, immigration, education equality… These are some of the priorities taking place right now. «