In this current season, rising leaders are studying the leadership of those who came before and adding their energy to the ongoing work of dismantling racism.
On Wednesday, August 26, 2020, a panel of younger leaders discussed their strategies for changing the world and their encouragement for partners in this work. They shared their vision for how to take action with intention and how the Church can draw from the wisdom of the past and hope for the future.
Our hope is that this Town Hall series will help equip the United Methodist Church as we engage in our anti-racism work across the Connection.
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Ann Jacob has served at Edmonds UMC
in Edmonds, Washington since July 2019. She grew up in the United Methodist Church as a pastor’s kid in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference and has served the church in various capacities starting at age 13. Ann has served as the co-chair of the Division on Ministries with Young People, lay representative to the World Methodist Council in South Korea and as an elected delegate to the Northeastern Jurisdiction Conference in 2012 and 2016. She is a graduate of Boston University (B.A. in International Relations and Political Science) and Yale University (Master of Divinity). Ann is currently serving her second term as a board member of the UMC General Board of Discipleship and is an elected delegate to the 2020 General Conference. She has lived on six continents and has traveled to over 40 countries. In addition to English, she speaks several languages including Malayalam. She enjoys traveling, hiking, playing the ukulele, poetry, and ice cream.
Rev. Theon Johnson III, Ph.D.
Rev. Dr. Theon Johnson III is a Mississippi native who is currently creating “home” while building community in Oakland, California. An Ordained Elder in The United Methodist Church, Dr. Johnson has served as a campus minister and in local churches in both Mississippi and California. In July 2018, he was appointed to serve among the people of Downs Memorial United Methodist Church in Oakland, California.
Dr. Johnson has earned degrees from Millsaps College (Jackson, MS), Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, D.C.), and Jackson State University (Jackson, MS). His research interests explore dynamics related to organizational leadership, culture, and strategy.
Andres De Arco
Andres De Arco is a proud Afro-Colombian who is passionate about seeking creative educational and entrepreneurial platforms for black and brown communities in and outside of the U.S. Andres currently serves as the National Assistant Director to the United Methodist Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy (HYLA) and is pursuing a master’s degree at Harvard Divinity School. He is a member of Esperanza Viva UMC in the West Ohio Conference.
Katelin Hansen, Ph.D.
Katelin Hansen is a United Methodist deaconess serving as Director of Operations for the faith-based nonprofit Community Development for All People
, and as Minister of Music for the United Methodist Church for All People
. UM Church for All People is a multirace and multiclass church engaged in authentic worship in Columbus, OH. Community Development for All People is a faith-based, non-profit dedicated to building an opportunity-rich community that welcomes and empowers all people. Katelin is also the editor of By Their Strange Fruit
, an online ministry facilitating racial justice and reconciliation for the sake of the Gospel.
Erin Hawkins, Moderator
Ms. Erin M. Hawkins is General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, the denominational agency that cultivates racial inclusion and the full participation of all people into the work, witness, and life of The UMC. GCORR empowers church clergy and lay leadership to utilize the values of inclusion, racial equity, and justice in the transformative work of vital congregations in order to build up the body of Christ. Ms. Hawkins works to share lessons in creating holy relationship with God by, “holding in tension our capacity for greatness that calls us, as Christians, to persevere in the struggle towards becoming our better selves, and to combat our worst tendencies of racism, sexism, and classism.”
Ms. Hawkins’s two Masters Degrees in Organizational Development (from American University in Washington, D.C.) and Public Policy (from Indiana University) have provided her an awareness of how system processes can perpetuate the sin of racism and carry from the local to the global arena.