Xan West considers herself a street theologian, a messy mystic, radical ritual holder, and a spiritual trauma healer. She is mostly a black queer femme troublemaker. She is Executive Director of OneLife Institute. Prior to joining OneLife Institute, Xan was the Director of Student Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church, where she enjoyed inspiring resilience, preaching liberation, and decolonizing scripture. Before that she worked in multimedia sound production and journalism.
She holds a Certificate of Spirituality & Social Change from the Pacific School of Religion. She was a 2016 Black Theology & Leadership Institute Fellow at Princeton Theological Seminary. In 2017, she facilitated a workshop on liturgical direct action for the Millennial Leadership Program at Union Theological Seminary.
She is currently a member of the Young Leaders Cohort for the Mystic Soul Project, which is aimed at diversifying and reclaiming ancestral contemplative practice. She is a member of Second Acts, a direct action group of Jesus followers and "feral Christians." She can be found teaching direct action trainings, often from a liturgical perspective; preaching around the Bay Area about Black Lives Matter movements and millennial black liberation theologies or tossing money changers out of temples.
Proud to have been born and raised in Oakland, Xan has over 20 years of experience in social justice movement work, mostly related to police accountability, queer rights, and community healing. Lately, she just spends as much time as possible with her infant son, Glory.
Liturgical Direct Action -- Learn the history of resistance and faith, the scriptural/liturgical basis for protest and/or the how-to of planning/supporting direct action.
Faith on the Front Lines -- How is faith showing up in the Movement for Black Lives and other contemporary civil rights movements?
Decolonizing Jesus -- How has Christianity been shaped to serve empire and oppress people? Is Christianity redeemable from this past? How would Christian faith, theology, and scripture be interpreted if we observed it through a lens of resistance to hierarchy, injustice, and other colonial thought?