The Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda takes a critical look at traditional Christian practices throughout history and our ideas about mass incarceration. Using the life story of “Amazing Grace” hymn writer John Newton, he urges all of us to consider ways we can practice and apply amazing grace. Following the talk renowned singer Kim Michael Polote shares a moving rendition of the classic hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Rev. Guillermo A. Arboleda serves as the Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Savannah, and as the Missioner for Racial Justice in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. In addition to his pastoral duties, his work includes community organizing, political advocacy, training others in antiracist leadership and researching criminal justice policy from a theological perspective. A grandchild of Ecuadorian, Dominican and Puerto Rican immigrants, Guillermo is married to the Rev. Kelly Steele and enjoys watching sports, creating music, teaching CrossFit and doing yoga.

Kim Michael Polote is a vocalist, recording artist, educator and a former TEDxSavannah speaker. An American Traditions Gold medalist, Kim has shared the stage with Al Green, Harry Connick, Jr., Charlie Daniels and more. At the request of acclaimed singer Otis Redding’s family, Kim works with the Otis Music Camp in Macon, Georgia to provide guidance and instruction in songwriting and stage presence as well as recording studio coaching.

Kim is an artist in residence at Thomas Heyward Academy in South Carolina, engaging and teaching Pre-K through 12th grade students. She also assists with performance and vocal technique in the music department at St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia.