Diversity Initiatives

Dot 1Go to the main  RESOURCES PAGE  for Training, Teaching and Thinking about Diversity, and to the  EMMANUEL HOUSE  (now THE NEIGHBOR PROJECT) page.  TNP works on poverty, community and education issues, with an emphasis on financial stability and home ownership.  Lack of good home ownership opportunities is the single greatest driver of this nation’s incredible wealth gap, and its even worse racial wealth gap.


I serve as general consultant to the Northern Illinois Conference on racial justice and equity issues and work with several committees associated with the conference’s Anti-Racism Task Force, as well as Friendship UMC in Bolingbrook.

  • CPRES—Clergy Peer Reflection and Engagement Series.  Part of the lead planning team creating seminars where clergy in the Northern Illinois Conference come together to learn about racism, prepare to preach about anti-racism,  lead anti-racism initiatives in their churches and communities, and form support and covenant groups to aid these journeys.  See the Personal Introduction I recorded to introduce myself to the group.  See the Introductory Talk I gave at the launch of the CPRES Pilot Program.  Currently working to refine the pilot for roll out to all clergy in the conference.
  • JEDI— Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion Taskforce at Friendship United Methodist Church.  See the Introduction Video made for the entire congregation.
  • Anti-Racism Training.  Chair of the committee to produce an Anti-Racism curriculum for anyone in the Northern Illinois Conference, both clergy and lay.  The centerpiece of all this is the 4-hour workshop Becoming the Beloved Community: How to Talk About Race in America.  This link takes you to the LEAD POST on the workshop titled “Is It Important If I’m a Racist?”
  • Northern Illinois Conference ARTF Series.  Presents a quarterly series of events.  In 2022 it was a Speakers Series, and in 2023 will be a Film Series. Watch an Interview/QA I moderated, and an interview with Chabon Kernell I conducted.
  • Anti-Racism Champion Team.   Am a member of a large team of Northern Illinois lay and clergy United Methodists, which “champions” the work of the ARTF in our churches and communities.


Congress of Racial Equality buttonC.O.D.E.—COALITION FOR DIVERSITY IN EDUCATION.  This initiative seeks to transform my college, North Central College, into an institution more committed to making race and diversity more central to its life, its mission, and how its students can become social change agents.  The group I formed was initially named CORE, the Coalition on Race Education, an echo of the famous Civil Rights organization the Congress of Racial Equality.  The CORE link above or the Civil Rights CORE button at left will take you to the lead post about this group and the effects and implications of the words “race” vs. “diversity” which caused us to change the name to “CODE.”


DIVELogo of Naperville Community Unit School District 203RSITY PLAN FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT 203

In late 1997, I was asked to lead a committee to write a Diversity Plan for one of Illinois’ largest, most prestigious school districts, Naperville Community Unit School District 203.  The Plan outlined ways to implement Board of Education Policy 2.142 on Diversity, adopted on May 20, 1996.  Of my leadership, one community member wrote: “No one else that I know of could have presented the information with such authority, compassion, and vigor.” Read more below.

—Links go live when material becomes available—


Protests at the University of California BerkeleyAN ETHNIC STUDIES COLLEGE
As an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, I participated in this effort to establish the nation’s first “Ethnic Studies College.”


Cultural Crossings logoCULTURAL CROSSINGS
Friendship United Methodist Church in Bolingbrook, Illinois, is one of the most diverse churches in America, a nation where Sunday mornings are still largely the most segregated time of the week. Still, as diverse as Friendship Church is, it’s only natural to stick to “one’s kind,” so it is difficult to actually form strong friendships across racial, cultural, and age barriers. Cultural Crossings was a program established to attempt this most difficult task.

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