Go 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.
- 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, and to train trainers to deliver this curriculum in person or virtually. More info as development progresses.
- Anti-Racism Champion Team. Member of a large team of Northern Illinois lay and clergy United Methodists. We conduct seminars and special anti-racism events, plus “champion” the work of the ARTF in our churches and communities. Watch an Interview/Q&A I moderated with special guests.
C.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.”
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—
- View the Diversity Plan brochure sent to every home in District 203.
- Read “Leadership & Diversity,” my comments to The Board of Education upon Plan completion.
- Read one letter nominating me for a state award for leading the plan.
- Read the story of my involvement in the Plan process.
- Read about Peggy McIntosh’s “White Privilege” essay and the Plan.
- Read comments on Trayvon Martin, the plan, and colorblindness.
- Read a history of this effort.
- Read “The Accidental Radical,” one story from this time.
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.
- See the Cultural Crossings brochure.
- Read “From Diversity to Friendship.”
- Read “Overcoming Segregated Sundays.”
- Read review of Racing Across the Lines: Changing Race Relations Through Friendship.