Assembly 2018 speakers

Bold and courageous voices in leadership

Powerful and prophetic women remind us how to ground ourselves in our United Methodist Women identity, cultivated over 150 years of service and advocacy for justice. They provide attendees with tools to position themselves, engage new and existing members and mobilize the whole organization in our social justice priorities, leadership development and service.

To learn more about a workshop speaker, please click on their photo.

Keynote Speakers

Michelle-Alexander

Michelle Alexander is author of the critically acclaimed “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness,” a stunning account of millions of African Americans imprisoned and then relegated to a permanent second-class citizenship and legally denied enfranchisements won in the Civil Rights Movement. A legal scholar and civil rights litigator, Ms. Alexander has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and director of its Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Ms. Alexander has been featured in numerous national radio and television outlets, including NPR, C-Span, Washington Journal and Bill Moyers Journal. “The New Jim Crow” is a 2011 NAACP Image Award winner. She was a featured academic in the Academy Award nominated documentary “13th,” exploring systemic racism and the prison pipeline.

Leymah-Gbowee-headshot

Leymah Gbowee received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 for her work in leading a women’s peace movement that brought an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Ms. Gbowee shared the prize with Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Yemen native Tawakkol Karman. Ms. Gbowee and President Sirleaf became the second and third African women to win the prize, preceded by the late Wangari Maathai of Kenya. Ms. Gbowee is the founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa based in Liberia. Her foundation provides educational and leadership opportunities to girls, women and youth in West Africa.

Workshop Leaders

Donna Akuamoah

  • Breaking Cycles of Poverty: Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management

Donna Akuamoah is from Ghana, West Africa. She is currently executive secretary for International Ministries at the United Methodist Women National Office. Donna completed her primary and secondary education in Ghana, then received a full four-year scholarship and graduated from Claflin University, a United Methodist affiliated college in South Carolina, with a Bachelor’s degree in English and a double minor in French and History. She then went on to study law at Duke University, and graduated with a Juris Doctor degree. Her career goal is to serve as an international human rights advocate on behalf of women and children in Africa.

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Debbie Almontaser

  • Anti-Islamophobia & Aiding Muslims Through Up-Stander Training that is Culturally Sensitive

Dr. Debbie Almontaser is the founder and CEO of Bridging Cultures Group Inc. She is also the founding and former principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy. A 25-year veteran of the New York City Public School System, she has taught, trained teachers and served as a multicultural specialist and diversity adviser. Dr. Almontaser is also the board president of the Muslim Community Network. She frequently lectures on Arab culture, Islam, cultural diversity and interfaith coalition building.

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Shanae Als

  • A Call to Mission: The Personality of Your Spiritual Gifts

Shanae Als is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., currently serving on United Methodist Women’s Program Advisory Group. As a young adult representative based in the New York Conference, she grounds herself in knowing that, “…faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see,” Hebrews 11:1. She credits her local unit for nurturing her and has served as president of the young women's group, Limitless, Too, in the Long Island West District for two years. Shanae holds degrees in History and Public Administration from SUNY Buffalo State College and enjoys learning about social advocacy.

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Elizabeth Boima Amara

  • The Impact of Mining in Sierra Leone: A Witness to Environmental Injustice

Born on the 27th January 1980 in Sierra Leone Freetown. A fervent Christian involved in church organizations and activities and programs at all level. Married to Mr Mustapher Amara with two beautiful girls. Did her primary and secondary in Sierra Leone. Graduated with a Bechelor of Science in Applied Ecology Second Class First Division with Distintion in Field attachment. Master of science food quality management.

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Sarah Augustine

  • Doctrine of Discovery, the Acts of Repentance Working Group (AORWG) and the Four Priority Issues of the United Methodist Women

Sarah Augustine is the executive director of the Dispute Resolution Center of Yakima and Kittitas Counties in Washington state. She is also adjunct professor of sociology at Heritage University. Sarah is the co-founder of Suriname Indigenous Health Fund (SIHF), where she has advocated for indigenous peoples whose health and communities are threatened by resource extraction. She co-wrote the statement repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and organized indigenous leaders globally to found the WCC Indigenous Peoples Program. Sarah is a founding member and chair of the Structures Committee of the Anabaptist Coalition to Dismantle the Doctrine of Discovery. She has represented the interests of indigenous community partners to their own governme... (full bio available in registration process)

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Carol Barton

  • Everyone Has the Right to a Living Wage!

Carol Barton is executive for Community Action with United Methodist Women. She works with members across the U.S. to link faith and action for justice, particularly around priority concerns of Economic Inequality, Climate Change, Criminalization of Communities of Color and Maternal and Child Health—all through the lens of racial and gender justice. She leads the current justice priority on Economic Inequality with a focus on Living Wages for All. She previously served as lead staff on United Methodist Women's Immigrant and Civil Rights Initiative and in the Racial Justice office. Carol is a co-founder of the global Women in Migration Network. She has created many workshops and curricula on social justice concerns and leads Mission U studies. Carol has also worked with Global Ministries,... (full bio available in registration process)

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Dionne Boissière

  • Lovers of Justice Dwelling Together in a Multi-Faith World

Rev. Dionne P. Boissière is the chaplain of the Church Center for the United Nations (CCUN). She is the first woman of African descent to hold this position. Owned by United Methodist Women, the CCUN exists to expand the ecumenical community’s capacity and access to the United Nations, in order to bring greater voice to the broad moral and ethical concerns of the church in international affairs, peacemaking and advocacy. Rev. Boissière ensures that the CCUN provides sacred space, worship, hospitality, community advocacy and a forum for partners and civil society to engage in transformative education that seeks to empower and build the things that make for peace. Rev. Boissière received her Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and is currently on the ministerial staff at ... (full bio available in registration process)

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Diane Braun

  • UMW 101

Diane Braun is a retired high school counselor and West Virginia regional tech prep coordinator. She currently serves as national director—and member—of United Methodist Women’s Finance Committee, Assembly Steering Committee and Legacy Steering Team. Residing in St. Marys, W.V. as a member of the county Development Authority, Diane also serves as chair of the finance committee, web master, and newsletter editor at St. Marys UMC. She has previously served as United Methodist Women president at conference, district and local levels, and as vice president of the Northeastern Jurisdiction United Methodist Women. Diane holds a B.S. from West Virginia University and an M.A. from Marshall University.

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Shelly Brooks-Sanford

  • A Good Start: Impacting Maternal and Child Health

Shelly Brooks-Sanford works with the Wespath Center for Health promoting health and well-being in the UMC. She is an ordained elder in the Central Texas Annual Conference, has pastored local churches of all sizes for 20 years and served as a district superintendent. Shelly also practiced family medicine in central Texas for five years. She received a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.), an M.Div. from Perkins and a Master of Public Health (M.P.H.).

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Carol Burnett

  • Making Women Economically Secure

Carol Burnett is executive director of Moore Community House, a United Methodist Women mission agency in the diverse community of east Biloxi, Mississippi, providing services to promote low-income women’s economic security. Carol was a delegate to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, attended the White House Summit on Working Families, and serves as a Center for American Progress Faith and Reproductive Justice leader. Carol holds an M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and is an elder in the Mississippi Annual Conference.

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Garlinda Burton

  • Freedom Schools: Fostering Justice for Children in Your Community

Garlinda Burton is executive director of the Nashville Freedom School Partnership, a program that serves more than 200 children each year through literacy enhancement, mentoring, civic/social engagement and supporting parent education and networking. Ms. Burton, a United Methodist deaconess, has more than 35 years experience in faith-based advocacy, social action, spiritual formation and leadership development.

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Vicki Busby

  • Resisting Racism

Vicki Busby is a member of the United Methodist Women Racial Justice Charter Support Team (RJCST), which supports conference charter committees and conferences in all jurisdictions with concrete tools and consultation, helping to meet the daily urgent racial justice needs. In her role, Vicki helps to undergird jurisdictional and RJCST work on racial equity.

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Emma Cantor

  • UMW Leadership for the Next 150 Years

Emma A. Cantor is a Deaconess of the UMC, currently serving with United Methodist Women as regional missionary to the Asia Pacific Region. She facilitates leadership development with and among churchwomen, youth and children’s ministries. Emma brings in leadership for gender trainers, empowerment of women and youth, help to deepen spiritual growth, and love to educate and transform women into becoming leaders and inspire them to own their lives. She works with church women’s and youth organizations, ecumenical women and youth groups and nongovernmental women’s organizations. She also works with social advocacy groups for justice and peace, human rights, human trafficking and migration.

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Mary Cheng

  • Building Thriving Communities

Mary W. Cheng, Ph.D. is Director of Transformative Education with United Methodist Women. Her passion is to help individuals and groups grow to their full potential in Christ. She recently received her doctorate in Christian Spirituality and has developed spiritual formation programs in small and mid-size churches. Her background also includes work in helping students succeed at the California State University.

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Neal Christie

  • Living Our Principles: Connecting the Social Principles to Economic Justice

Rev. Neal Christie serves as assistant general secretary for the Education and Leadership Formation of the General Board of Church and Society. He has designed and facilitated hundreds of workshops and seminars for a plurality of participants using the Social Principles as the primary foundation. Rev. Christie earned an M.Div. from Yale University, a Th.M. from Princeton Seminary, and completed doctoral work in conflict transformation at American University and doctor of ministry work at Wesley Theological Seminary.

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Sharon Conley Cottingham

  • Mindful Compassion: Using Guided Spiritual Practice to Grow a Compassionate Heart

Sharon has served with The Upper Room since 2005 in a variety of capacities with COMPANIONS IN CHRIST, WEAVINGS, ALIVE NOW, and SOULfeast. Currently, as Director of eLearning Design, she creates online experiences featuring the books, magazines and programs of The Upper Room. A relative newcomer to the UMC, Sharon’s spiritual journey has consistently taken her to new and surprising places. She holds a master's degree in theology from Regent College (Vancouver, BC).

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Ann Connan

  • The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women

Ann Connan has been world president of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women, 2011-2016, and is a primary school teacher with experience in children’s ministry. She served for 12 years as a missionary with the Methodist Church in Tonga and established the first school for disabled children there. For 20 years she co-pastored with her husband John in the Uniting Church of Australia, and for two years in Los Angeles. Ann has trained volunteers as teachers of Christian education in government primary schools.

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Judith F. Daka

  • Connecting Leadership Development & Economic Justice: A Zambian Woman's Story

Judith’s education began in 1971 with subsequent certificates in numerous fields. Most notably, Judith holds a Master’s Degree in development studies from schools in Japan and the United Kingdom. Judith’s work has included extensive training of others, including those of 4030 vulnerable women.

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Glory Dharmaraj

  • Reading the Bible for Transformative Spirituality

Dr. Glory Dharmaraj is the retired director of Spiritual Formation and Mission Theology for United Methodist Women. An author and co-author of books including A Theology of Mutuality: A Paradigm for Mission in the 21st Century (2014) for United Methodist Women, Glory has served as a leader of workshops and Mission u for the last 25 years. Glory received her Ph.D. from Loyola University, Chicago, and has done special studies at Harvard University.

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Jacob Dharmaraj

  • Taking Forward Mutuality in Mission

Jacob Dharmaraj, Ph.D. is president of the National Federation of Asian American United Methodists. He has written more than a dozen books and published numerous articles in the areas of Christian mission, immigration and interfaith relations. He served the church-at-large in various capacities, including teaching and conducting workshops around the world. Jacob earned master’s degrees in Political Science, Public Administration and Theology. He has experiences in various cultural settings and interfaith relations.

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Darlene DiDomineck

  • Crossing the Road: A Workshop on Intersectional Organizing

Darlene DiDomineck is a Deaconess serving in a dual appointment as the interim executive director for the Methodist Federation for Social Action and on the ministry team of the Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia, Pa. In her appointment to Arch Street UMC, Darlene coordinates the Philadelphia Affiliate of the Global Mission Fellow US-2 program and Grace Cafe, a restaurant-style community meal. She previously served the General Board of Global Ministries of the UMC as a US-2 missionary, a missionary in residence for Young Adult Programs and a Deaconess/home missioner in residence. She is most passionate about intersectional, faith-based, justice-seeking, community-based movements that are rooted in story.

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Liz Dunbar

  • Welcoming the Stranger: Receiving Immigrants and Refugees with Radical Hospitality

Liz Dunbar is the executive director of Tacoma Community House. Liz is a trustee for Tacoma Community College and sits on the boards of the LASCO Foundation, Pioneer Human Services and the Japanese American Citizens’ League. She served for 25 years with the Department of Social & Health Services as state refugee coordinator, diversity director, assistant secretary for Economic Services and deputy secretary. She is the daughter of a Japanese immigrant and U.S. serviceman.

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Tonya Elkins

  • Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Promoting Families: Supporting young parents for optimal health

Tonya Elkins has been the director of the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker (MIHOW) program since 2007. MIHOW is a home-visiting program housed at Vanderbilt University that trains peer mentors to educate and model healthy behaviors for young families. Tonya has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee. She is a certified lactation counselor (CLC) and licensed advance practice social worker (LAPSW).

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Rev. H. Russell Ewell II

  • Disability and the Church: Next Steps

Rev. H. Russell Ewell II is ordained in the Missouri Annual Conference. As a child with a disability in pre-ADA America, his advocacy began when he enrolled in Kindergarten. Educators told his parents, “Blind students don’t succeed in integrated settings, so don’t dream of him graduating from high school.” Nonetheless, he finished college and was the first blind person to graduate from Eden Seminary and be ordained in the Missouri Annual Conference. Rev. Ewell challenges The Church and academia by envisioning and sharing a liberating and empowering theology of disability.

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Patsy Eyachabbe

  • Creating Bold Partnerships with Missionaries in Our Midst: United Methodist Missionary Conferences

Familiar with Irish and Choctaw Indian cultures, Ms. Eyachabbe has a passion for Bible scholarship, education, and singing. A member of St. Paul Talihina UMC, Ms. Eyachabbe serves as vice president of her district’s UMW group. She is the Southeastern Jurisdiction treasurer of the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. She has advocated for education and quality control and is the financial data analyst for several commercial real estate companies.

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Rosie Farmer

  • Meeting in the Middle: How to Connect With Young Women Through Communication

Rosie Farmer is the communications coordinator for the Missouri Annual Conference. She leads a prayer shawl ministry at her church and is an active board member of Baby Grace Ministry. Rosie is also a big sister, with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, to an awesome 12-year-old. She lives in Buckner, Mo.

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Beatrice Fofanah

  • Child Marriage & Teen Pregnancy

Beatrice holds a Higher Teachers Certificate / Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sierra Leone. She also achieved a Post Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Sierra Leone and a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Development from St. F X University of Canada. Beatrice’s Master of Arts is in Linguistics from the University of Surrey, England.

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Cassandra Garcia

  • Teen Track: Climate Justice Simulation
  • Understanding Climate Justice Through Theater
  • Climate Justice Simulation

Cassandra (Cassie) Garcia works as a Spanish teacher at a local private school in West Virginia, and volunteers for her church as the mission coordinator. She is also involved with West Virginia’s new Interfaith Power and Light chapter. She and her co-facilitators met as part of the United Methodist Women New Generations group. Cassie is a native to West Virginia, where she has seen the real problems associated with mountaintop removal coal mining, and while on a mission to Nicaragua she came face to face with the problems associated with unclean water.

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Leigh Goodrich

  • An Expansive God for an Inclusive Church

Leigh Goodrich is the senior director of education and leadership at the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, she served two churches in the New England Annual Conference, a new church start and a historic Boston congregation, before accepting her current appointment beyond the local church

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Melanie C. Gordon

  • Serving Beyond Backpacks
  • Developing Brains Grow Spiritually

Melanie C. Gordon serves as director of Ministry with Children at Discipleship Ministries of the UMC, and is responsible for providing global training and resourcing, while providing research and networking opportunities for leaders and teachers engaged in ministry with children. She wrote What Every Child Should Experience in United Methodist Congregations and Growing Everyday Disciples and blogs at blog.umcdiscipleship.org. Melanie holds degrees from Clemson University and Duke Divinity School.

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Alisha Gordon

  • Who's on Whose Margins? A Fearless Dialogue
  • Spiritual Integration: Social Action as Spiritual Practice

Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div., is the executive for Spiritual Growth at United Methodist Women. Her work is deeply rooted in the spiritual development of the organization’s members. She marries social justice work and spiritual growth to the prophetic call of the church to help women see their full potential as mothers, daughters, sisters and members in an ever-changing social and political landscape. Alisha attended Spelman College, where she earned a Bachelor of English and Candler School of Theology at Emory University, where she earned her Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Religious Education. As a writer she has contributed to the development of the UMC’s youth-confirmation curriculum Confirm, small-group curriculum for Impact UMC (Atlanta, Ga.), and co-editor and contributor... (full bio available in registration process)

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Anita Green

  • Harnessing the Power of Money: Personal Finance and Social Justice

Anita Green is the manager of Sustainable Investment Strategies for Wespath Investment Management. She is responsible for strategic development and implementation of Wespath’s corporate engagement program. In this role she regularly communicates with corporate management about policies and practices related to environmental, social, and governance issues. Anita also serves on the board of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.

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Kathy Griffith

  • The Role of Women in Global Health

Kathy Griffith is the program manager for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in the General Board of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit. She is working on The United Methodist Church’s newly launched Abundant Health Initiative. Born in Zimbabwe, she entered her nursing training there with a profound sense of calling, and became a registered nurse, midwife and community health nurse. She has practiced in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Central Asia. She now lives in Atlanta, Ga., still working toward the vision of a world with access to affordable, quality care for marginalized women of childbearing age and children under 5 years of age.

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Richard Grounds

  • Taking Care of the Creator's Gift of Indigenous Languages

Dr. Richard A. Grounds is a Yuchi/Seminole leader and scholar who received his PhD in History of Religions from Princeton Theological Seminary.

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Megan Hale

  • Love, Justice & Service: Deaconess / Home Missioner

Megan Hale currently serves as a public school teacher in Texas and organizes a social advocacy group through her church. She is also serving as a Program Advisory Group member for the Central Texas Conference. Megan was consecrated as a United Methodist Deaconess at the United Methodist Women Assembly in 2014.

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Katelin Hansen

  • Asset Based Community Development in a Divine Economy of Abundance

Dr. Katelin Hansen serves as the director of Experiential Learning for the faith-based nonprofit Community Development for All People, and as the minister of Music for the United Methodist Church for All People, a multirace and multiclass church in Columbus, Ohio. Katelin is also the editor of “By Their Strange Fruit” (@BTSFblog), an online ministry facilitating justice and reconciliation across racial divides for the sake of the Gospel.

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Hannah Hanson

  • Young Adults in Mission: Generation Transformation

Hannah Hanson serves as the program director of the Global Mission Fellows program at the General Board of Global Ministries. She is passionate about journeying with young adults as they stand in solidarity with local communities and discern how participate in God’s mission in the world. Hannah is humbled to serve in this role as an alumna of the program. She began her service with Global Ministries in the former mission intern program working with migrant communities, community-based development and HIV awareness in South Africa and Florida. Previously Hannah served as church relations coordinator for the United Methodist Committee on Relief and is originally from the Virginia and Baltimore-Washington annual conferences.

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Donita Harris

  • Asset Based Community Development in a Divine Economy of Abundance

Donita Harris is the lay pastor of the United Methodist Church for All People and director of Operations for Community Development for All People (CD4AP). She has been a primary leader in these sister organizations since their formation in 2003. As lay pastor, Donita coordinates the spiritual formation of this diverse urban congregation that engages in dynamic ministries with the poor. At CD4AP, she oversees the administration and financial systems of this multifaceted community-development organization.

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Kathie Harris

  • Creating Bold Partnerships with Missionaries in Our Midst: United Methodist Missionary Conferences

Ms. Harris works with infants, providing early intervention evaluations for developmental delays, and has a passion for conflict resolution and the mental health care of children and teens. “The motto of UMW—putting our faith, hope, and love into action—has always resonated with me,” Ms. Harris says. She has served as the secretary of the Red Bird Missionary Annual Conference and has been a part of the Mission u planning team. At Mary Helen UMC in Coalgood, Kentucky, Ms. Harris has taught Sunday school and chaired the nurture committee.

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Amanda Heeren

  • A Call to Mission: The Personality of Your Spiritual Gifts

Amanda is from Iowa but taking classes at Illif School of Theology in Denver at the moment. She studied Human Development at Iowa State University. She likes to notice how people relate to each other. She also very much likes the ISU Cyclones!

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Betty Helms

  • The Joy of Leadership in United Methodist Women

Betty Helms is a longstanding member of United Methodist Women. She is currently the Southeastern Jurisdiction president. She has also served as a Jurisdiction treasurer, Conference president, treasurer, and secretary. Betty has led Mission u’s and Regional Schools as the Dean and numerous committees within her United Methodist Conference. Betty’s greatest joy is her family and working with women, children and youth through United Methodist Women.

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Neelley Hicks

  • A Greater Good for Women: Partnerships That Sustain Lives

Neelley Hicks is the Founder and Executive Director of Harper Hill Global, an international communications organization dedicated to improving living conditions for people around the world. Previously, she was the Director of ICT4D Church Initiatives for United Methodist Communications, Minister of Discipleship at Hillcrest United Methodist Church, and Vice President/Director of Interactive Media at Godwin Advertising Agency. She is a deacon in the Tennessee Annual Conference, with a secondary appointment at 61st Avenue United Methodist Church - a church of the poor committed to mutuality among all members and partners. Projects include: Congo Women Arise, a program in East Congo that brings physical, psychological and spiritual support for survivors of sexual violence She is a dynamic, e... (full bio available in registration process)

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Michelle Huck

  • Welcome: Radical Hospitality Takes Planning

Michelle Huck is president of the Utah/Western Colorado United Methodist Women’s leadership team, which also puts her on the Rocky Mountain Conference leadership team. She was previously the coordinator of Membership Nurture and Outreach there. She became involved with United Methodist Women’s Breakfast Club, a start-up group for working women, and helped design the welcome event for the pilot program for non-traditional approaches to traditional “circles.” Michelle has shared the programs with local, district, regional, and national audiences. As office manager of Community UMC, she is in frequent contact with families needing help from the church, making social and economic justice part of her passion in mission and ministry.

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Audra Hudson

  • Welcoming the Stranger: Receiving Immigrants and Refugees with Radical Hospitality

Audra Hudson is a Global Mission Fellow US-2 of the General Board of Global Ministries, serving for two years as a community organizer with Tacoma Community House in Washington state. Audra is from Michigan and studied political science at Kalamazoo College. There, she worked in interfaith relations and conducted research concerning racial disparities in infant mortality and U.S./Thai transportation policy. In Washington, Audra serves as the lay member to annual conference for Tacoma First UMC and is a member of the City of Tacoma Hilltop Engagement Committee.

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Jeanette Huezo

  • Overworked and Undervalued: Women, Race and the Economy

Jeannette Huezo is executive director of United for a Fair Economy and is an internationally known educator and facilitator. Originally from El Salvador, Jeannette came to the U.S. in 1989 and has spent her life working for justice and social change. In developing confidence and leadership skills in others, Jeannette has increased the number of activists in the struggle for social change, and has empowered women, immigrants and others facing injustice to participate in the decision-making process around issues that affect their lives.

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Scott Hughes

  • Courageous Conversation for Local Church Learning

Scott is the Director of Adult Discipleship at Discipleship Ministries. Scott is also an elder in the North Georgia Conference. He has served as the pastor of a three-point circuit and for nine years as an Associate Pastor at a suburban United Methodist Church west of Atlanta. Scott is a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary (M. Div. 2002) and Southern Methodist University (D. Min. 2014).

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Olusimbo Ige

  • The Role of Women in Global Health

Dr. Olusimbo Ige is the executive director of Global Health with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. She is a public health physician with many years of experience working in developing countries. She provides leadership for health projects in 32 countries.

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Cindy Johnson

  • Love, Justice & Service: Deaconess / Home Missioner

Cindy Johnson is currently serving as a Deaconess in Brownsville, Texas, where she works with immigrants and their families. She also serves as a consultant for the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner and is the Program Advisory Group member for the Deaconess/Home Missioner order. Cindy was commissioned as a Deaconess in The United Methodist Church in 2009.

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Alison Judd

  • The World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women
  • Approaching Bible study in a group setting

Alison Judd is the current world president of the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women. She is a trained counselor and lay preacher, was previously Women’s Network president in the British Methodist Church, a member and executive of Methodist Women in Britain and has several years experience leading women’s retreats, conferences and Bible studies. Alison earned a B.A. in General Arts (English and Psychology), a certificate of Education and an M.A. in Christian Spirituality.

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Daryl Junes Joe

  • Doctrine of Discovery, the Acts of Repentance Working Group (AORWG) and the Four Priority Issues of the United Methodist Women

Daryl Junes Joe is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation from Shiprock, N.M., known as the Four Corners. She is a retired Navajo Nation tribal prosecutor. Daryl also worked as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, which she continues in retirement. She currently volunteers with the local tribal court as a hearing commissioner for domestic abuse protection petitions; serves as on-call victim advocate for sexually abused survivors with the local SANE office; and is a board member on the Shiprock Four Corners Native American Ministry and Shiprock Planning Commission. Daryl is a current United Methodist Women National Board director representing the South Central Jurisdiction. She serves as the vice chair on the Governance Committee, as United Methodist Women repre... (full bio available in registration process)

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Betty Kazadi Musau

  • A Greater Good for Women: Partnerships That Sustain Lives

Rev. Dr. Betty Kazadi Musau is secretary of Congo Central Conference for UMW, Women Empowerment Initiatives Coordinator for North Katanga, Health Board Chair of the North Katanga Annual Conference. From 2006 – 2008, Betty supervised the microfinance program in Kamina which focused on capacity building for women. She is a professor at Teachers’ College in Lubumbashi. She also serves as the Conference Communicator for North Katanga Episcopal Area.Kazadi Musau has a bachelor in theology at Africa University, a master in gender and development from University Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, and a doctor of ministry from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas.

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Sarah Kellogg

  • Teen Track: Climate Justice Simulation
  • Understanding Climate Justice Through Theater
  • Climate Justice Simulation

Sarah Kellogg is currently enrolled at Western Washington University as a candidate in the M.Ed. Environmental Education program. As a former Alaskan fish processor, her main areas of interest are climate and environmental justice, particularly in relation to the extractive industries and the communities affected. She has been influenced by both her father, a retired UMC pastor with a background in wildlife biology and a love of nature, and the Wesleyan tenets of social justice.

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Christina Krost

  • Be Just Be Green

Christina Krost is a United Methodist pastor’s wife, mother, educator, and earth care advocate working for Faith in Place, the Illinois Affiliate of Interfaith Power & Light. She lives with her husband and three daughters in rural Illinois and blogs at 5Matches.com. She is also a United Methodist Women’s Be Just Be Green Jurisdiction Guide for North Central Jurisdiction. She loves teaching about the intersections of race, economics, gender, and environmental justice and deeply values the work of United Methodist Women in these areas.

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Georgette Ledgister

  • Who's on Whose Margins? A Fearless Dialogue

Georgette Ledgister is a PhD Candidate in religion, and social and theological ethics at Emory University. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, her research interests focus on the intersection of religion, violence and peacebuilding, and locating agency in conflict and post- conflict contexts amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized of populations. Her dissertation research explores marriage as agency in practice amongst young women in the Mai-Mai resistance movement of the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, to interrogate the traditionally passive roles attributed to young African women in contexts of conflict. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology in 2010, and is a candidate for ordination as an elder in the Methodist Church o... (full bio available in registration process)

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Sung-ok Lee

  • UMW Leadership in the Church: Making Our Presence Known

Sung-ok Lee is assistant general secretary, Christian Social Action, of United Methodist Women, National Office, in New York.  She oversees the work of national and international advocacy in the priority issue areas of climate justice; maternal and child health; economic inequality; and criminalization of communities of color. She relates to United Methodist Church agencies and partners in coordinating legislation work of General Conference and facilitates the legislative and policy work for United Methodist Women. She represents UMW in relating to various denominational and ecumenical partners and mobilizes and engages United Methodist Women members to participate in service and advocacy to bring about a just global society. She is a deaconess with the New York Annual Conference and a... (full bio available in registration process)

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Elizabeth Lee

  • Achieving Climate Justice: Taking a Pass on Gas

Elizabeth Chun Hye LEE serves as United Methodist Women’s Executive for Economic and Environmental Justice. Her primary area of work is around advancing climate justice and resourcing UMW’s Act of Repentance Working Group. She has been active in UMW’s strategic planning process, interested especially in how UMW can boldly continue its prophetic task in today’s world. Prior to UMW, Liz served as the Director for Young Adult Mission Service at Global Ministries, and spearheading the redesign of the historic US-2 and Mission Intern programs into the Global Mission Fellows program developing global and national partnership and quadrupling the number of participants served. Liz also worked with the World Council of Churches United Nations Liaison Office, focused on gender justice, m... (full bio available in registration process)

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Ellen Lipsey

  • Be Just Be Green

Ellen Lipsey is a retired public schoolteacher from Van Horn, Texas. After teaching elementary grades for 31 years she transitioned from the classroom to advocate for children and their families through the many opportunities provided by United Methodist Women. She has served in various United Methodist Women positions on the local, district and conference levels. On the national level, she served on the board of directors of Women’s Division and as the New Mexico Conference Program Advisory Group representative. She is currently proud to be part of the team of Jurisdiction Guides for United Methodist Women’s Be Just. Be Green. program promoting wholeness and justice in planning meetings and events.

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Jorge Lockward

  • Bold Worship: Tested Principles and Practical Ideas for Transforming Worship

Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Jorge Lockward currently lives in New York City where he works as minister of Worship Arts at The Church of the Village, a progressive United Methodist Community (www.churchofthevillage.org). Jorge is passionate about worship that builds community across the divides of ethnicity, social class, age, gender identity and more.

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Jeanne Long

  • Climate Justice Simulation Experience

Jeanne Long is the North Central jurisdictional guide for the Be Just. Be Green. Initiative. In this capacity, she supports the conferences of East and West Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana, with resources and training. Jeanne taught the Climate Justice Study for West Ohio and Kentucky/Red Bird in 2016, and taught for Indiana Mission u in 2017. As a retired educator and lifelong United Methodist Woman, she is committed to reaching and teaching for environmental justice. Jeanne has been nominated for a conference office (West Ohio) beginning in 2018.

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Karen Manczko

  • Harnessing the Power of Money: Personal Finance and Social Justice

Karen Manczko joined Wespath in April 2013. She is primarily responsible for developing and managing relationships with institutional clients, guiding them with asset-allocation analysis, investment policy statement development and incorporating sustainable investing guidelines into an overall investment program. She most recently served as associate investment program manager for Northern Trust. Karen earned a B.S. degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Jennifer McCallum

  • HerStory: Owning Your Story to Transform the World

Jennifer McCallum is the executive for Leadership Development for United Methodist Women. She coordinates the planning and implementation of Leadership Development Days events and the broader leadership development efforts of the organization. Previously, Jennifer worked in the Seminar Program as a seminar designer. She custom designed and facilitated educational seminars on social justice issues from a perspective of faith. Jennifer has also served as a US-2 missionary through the General Board of Global Ministries at Frankford Group Ministries in Philadelphia, Pa. She worked in the Emergency Assistance Program providing food, clothing and utility assistance to community members. Jennifer holds a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in policy and community organizing specializing i... (full bio available in registration process)

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Sharon McCart

  • Advocacy for People with Disabilities: Economic Justice

Sharon McCart is the chair of the DisAbility Ministries Committee of The United Methodist Church. She became a member of the committee in 2012, the same year she served as the accessibility coordinator for the United Methodist Western Jurisdictional Conference. Previously, Sharon was a church pastor for three years and spent 10 years teaching young children with moderate, severe and profound disabilities. Sharon earned her M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology. She lives in Irvine, Calif. with her husband Dale.

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Rev. Lisa McKee

  • Advocacy for People with Disabilities: Economic Justice

Rev. Lisa Lavelle McKee is an elder serving in the West Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. She has served as a pastor, community educator, job coach for people with disabilities, hospital chaplain and more. Lisa holds an M.Div. from Wesley Theology Seminary in Washington, DC, and M.A. degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling and Parks and Recreation Administration. She believes that including all persons with disabilities in the life of the church is crucial.

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Claire McKeever-Burgett

  • Dancing with the Holy: Spiritual Renewal Through Breath, Movement, and Prayer

Claire McKeever-Burgett is a birth and postpartum doula and teaches several prenatal yoga, dance and barre classes each week. She also engages spiritual formation work at The Upper Room. Claire is ordained clergy with an M.Div. degree from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in English and Writing from Baylor University. Passionate about the ways we increase love and light in the world, she helps her clients, friends and community start by igniting the light in themselves.

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Chantilly Mers

  • Social Holiness: "Seek First God's Kingdom and God's Righteousness…"

Rev. Chantilly Mers-Pickett is a minister, educator, musician and activist. For the last three years, she has served as a Faith and Justice Educator where she designs and facilitates faith and justice seminars at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. An M.Div. graduate of Union Theological Seminary and ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), she hopes that her work of facilitation, arts and education empowers people of faith to be agents of spiritual-social transformation.

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Anesu Mhlanga

  • Strengthening the World Through Women Entrepreneurs

Anesu Mhlanga is the founder and executive chairman of the private equity and advisory firm Elah Capital, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. She sat on an advisory board for Microsoft and is an Empower Women Global Champion For Change 2016-2017 for UN Women Empower Women, focusing on Women’s Economic Empowerment in South Africa and Africa. At CSW60 (the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women), Anesu delivered a speech at a workshop for ecumenical women. Anesu read law at the University of South Africa and the University of Cape Town.

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Bee Moorhead

  • Faith in Democracy: Advocacy Basics

Bee Moorhead is the executive director of both Texas Impact and the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Texas Impact’s sister organization that she helped establish to improve and expand interfaith public policy education and dialogue. She serves on several advisory committees to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at both St. Edward’s University in the Political Science department, where she teaches Legislative Process and Lobbying, and Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, where she lectures on faith and public policy. Bee previously served as a senior fiscal policy analyst for the Texas comptroller of Public Accounts. She was the architect of “Family Pathfinders,” a unique initiative linking families on public a... (full bio available in registration process)

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Charlotte Morrow

  • The Joy of Leadership in United Methodist Women

At the age of six weeks, Chatlotte was given a lifetime membership to WSCS by her two grandmothers. Her early years in WSCS revolved around helping her grandmothers, aunts and mother with their mission outreach work. She became an adult active member in 1968 .United Methodist Women is a vital part of her faith journey. She has served as a local, district and conference leader in four different conferences since 1968. ( MS, VA, KSE, GP) She was the final conference president for the Kansas East conference and as such worked to help make a smooth transition into the Great Plains conference. She is now SCJUMW President and a National PAG member.She is married to husband, John since 1968. In two weeks on May 31, they will celebrate their 50th anniversary. They are parents to four g... (full bio available in registration process)

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Pauline Muchina

  • Advocacy: Faith and Facts

Pauline Muchina is the director of Healthy Families, Healthy Planet at the General Board of Church and Society of the UMC. Previously, she served as the Senior Partnership Advisor for UNAIDS. Pauline founded African Women & Youth Initiative, a creative design company that crafts authentic handmade African products for the global market. She is also the manager of Future African Leaders Project, designed to support promising African youth who face serious challenges in getting an education and maintaining their health. Pauline serves on several boards and advisory groups, including the Center for Health and Hope and the Global Room for Women. She is originally from Kenya and is also a member of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians.

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Catherine Mudime Akale

  • Income Inequalities, Social Injustice and Violence in Africa

Dr. Catherine Mudime Akale, a native of Cameroon, is an experienced professional teacher, with decades of invaluable service in the field. She is a United Methodist Women Regional Missionary, serving within select countries in Africa. She is a trainer of trainers in leadership development, with experience serving with various ecumenical organizations since 1990. Dr. Akale holds a doctorate in Political Sociology from a Gender Perspective.

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Judi Nibbelink

  • The Joy of Leadership in United Methodist Women

Judi is currently the Western Jurisdiction UMW President. She has served at all levels of leadership for UMW, including Director of the Women's Division and Regional School Dean for the Western Jurisdiction. She has lived in Los Angeles and NYC, learning and growing from her relationships with UMW in action. Meeting new people, traveling, experiencing new cultures and traditions, and visiting natural and man-made sights have helped her to understand what an "awesome" God we worship.

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Louise Niemann

  • Are You Thirsty For Justice? - The Politics of Water

Louise Niemann, United Methodist Women member and previous member of the United Methodist Women Program Advisory Group, is a human rights activist for women and children. In 2016, she traveled to Standing Rock, N.D. to “Stand In Solidarity” with the Dakota Sioux natives opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) crossing Lake Oahe and the Missouri River. In 2013, Louise met with the “Cowboy and Indian Alliance” for a listening session in Nebraska to discuss the proposed crossing of the Keystone XL pipeline through the Ogallala Aquifer.

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Riahl O'Malley

  • Overworked and Undervalued: Women, Race and the Economy

As education director for United for a Fair Economy (UFE), Riahl O’Malley helps design and develop UFE’s Popular Economics Education materials and facilitates workshops and trainings across the country. He has worked as an organizer and facilitator in the United States, Canada, Nicaragua and Honduras using popular education to raise consciousness and build power to confront oppression.

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L. Dale Patterson

  • Hearing Our Words Defines Our Vision

Archivist for the United Methodist Church. Previously co-director of the Oral History Center at the University of Louisville

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Jacqueline Patterson

  • What Do Race and Class Have to Do With Climate Change?

Jacqueline Patterson is the director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice and has worked on women's rights, HIV and AIDS, violence against women, racial justice, economic justice and environmental and climate justice domestically and internationally with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, IMA World Health, ActionAid, etc. She holds master's degrees in social work and public health and serves on the U.S. Climate Action Network Board of Directors and Interfaith Moral Action on Climate Change Steering Committee.

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Finda Quiwa

  • The Impact of Mining in Sierra Leone: A Witness to Environmental Injustice

Name Finda Quiwa born on the 7th March 1975. United Methodist Women Regional Missionary commissioned in March 2008 based in Freetown, Sierra Leone working with Youth, Young Adult and Young Women in Sub-Sahara Africa. I am a native of Sierra Leone from the Eastern Region, Kono District.I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science Accounting Option at the Fourah Bay College, university of Sierra Leone, Certificate in Management and Administration. Married to Aiah Quiwa with 4 Children

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Mike Ratliff

  • Panel Presentation: Connecting with the Next Generation of Young Women

Rev. Dr. Michael Ratliff is the associate general secretary for Young People’s Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. He has years of experience in ministry with young people at both the local and general levels of the church. Mike will moderate this panel discussion that brings leaders from around the country.

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Billie L Ray

  • Advocacy: Faith and Facts

Billie L. Ray is retired and enjoys volunteering for her local church, Grace UMC Arlington, Texas, and for the Central Texas Conference of United Methodist Women. She is a lay speaker, lay servant and served her local church as lay leader for the last 10 years, preaching and addressing church congregations. As a state of Texas employee, she worked in various programs conducting certification workshops and representing the company on the local, state and national level.

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Sue Raymond

  • Storytelling: Using the Midrash Format to Tell Biblical Women's Stories
  • Crocheting with Plastic Bags: Keeping Them Out of the Landfills & Creating Something Useful!

Sue Raymond currently serves as a national director and was the immediate past president of the North Georgia Conference. She has been teaching the children’s study at Mission u/Cooperative Christian Mission Education Event/School of Mission since 1991. For the last six years Sue has trained other leaders of the children’s study at Regional School. She has been an active United Methodist Woman for the last 35 years.

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Kirsten Rumsey

  • Teen Track: Climate Justice Simulation
  • Understanding Climate Justice Through Theater
  • Climate Justice Simulation

Kirsten Rumsey currently works in Washington DC at GRID Alternatives, a solar power nonprofit organization. She was previously a fellow for Clean Air-Cool Planet, created the Climate Justice Simulation for the United Methodist Women and was a museum educator at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton. Kirsten received a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Thought and Practice from the University of Virginia. She continues to pursue her passion for working in environmental justice.

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Andris Salter

  • UMW Leadership in the Church: Making Our Presence Known
  • What Makes a Healthy UMW Partner?

Andris Salter has worked for the UMC and United Methodist Women in a variety of capacities. She currently holds the position of associate general secretary for Administration. Her responsibilities have included leading workshops on racism, financial promotion, goal setting, leadership development, membership development and working with the Committee on Nominations; local, district, conference, and jurisdictional committees; and the national office. She has also worked with conference presidents, jurisdiction teams and the chairs of the Committee on Nominations. Andris taught in numerous regional, conference and district Mission u’s (formerly SOCM); led retreats; and spoke at annual meetings and other events.

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Serna Samuel

  • UMW Leadership for the Next 150 Years

The Rev. Serna E. Samuel is a UMW Regional Missionary, working with Women and Youth in English- and French-speaking areas of the Caribbean. Commissioned in October 2009, she is working to upgrade organizational development and the infrastructure of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas (MCCA), relating to ministries with women and youth. The work deals with areas such as HIV/AIDS, violence against women, and youth opportunities. As a regional missionary, she supports the development of a coalition of churches and faith-based organizations.

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Denise Sawyer

  • Wellness Strategies for Sowers of Justice

Denise has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Hearing Impaired from Flagler College. In 1999, Denise earned a Master’s of Divinity from the Perkins School of Theology. Denise was ordained in Nassau Bahamas and is a Certified Chaplain.

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Rita L. Smith

  • The Joy of Leadership in United Methodist Women

A graduate of Tuskegee University and the University of Illinois at Champaign, Rita L. Smith has served as: Chicago Black Methodist for Church Renewal Chairman; a member of Chicago Women United; World Federation of Methodist and United Church Women State Chairman; Chaplain to the Chicago Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.; delegate to General/Jurisdiction Conferences; a member of the UMW Human Trafficking Task Force; Northern Illinois Conference President; and the current North Central Jurisdiction President.

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Denise Snyder

  • Connecting the Dots
  • The Joy of Leadership in United Methodist Women

Denise has been a professional educator for 37 years, having led numerous workshops for adults through the public school system, the United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women Denise holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She has participated in numerous workshops and training events designed to enable those attending to learn what is important for adult learners.

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Jessica Stonecypher

  • Exploring Our Ecological Stories

Rev. Jessica Stonecypher is a United Methodist deacon passionate about environmental ministry in Appalachia. She serves as the Urban Agriculture specialist at Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District and as a farm manager on her family farm. Rev. Stonecypher holds a B.S. in Education and Human Ecology and an M.A. in Practical Theology with a specialization in Ecology and Justice. She returned to her hometown to pursue her passion for the rich history, culture, and ecology of rural Appalachia.

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Lynn Swedberg

  • Disability and the Church: Next Steps

Lynn Swedberg is an occupational therapist working with adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also serves as disability consultant for the DisAbility Ministries Committee of the United Methodist Church. She wrote the Leader’s Guide for the Mission u study, Disability and the Church, and edits the committee newsletter. Lynn is a Deaconess candidate and is on the Pacific Northwest Conference Committee on Disability Concerns, the Spokane County Accessible Communities Advisory Board and her local church Inclusivity Committee.

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Julie Taylor

  • The Spiritual Discipline of Standing WITH Farm Workers Who Feed Us

Julie Taylor is a facilitator with 25 years of experience leading workshops, retreats and planning events utilizing popular education techniques and interactive training. In her current position she has led workshops to connect farm worker issues to economic concerns, recognizing the impact of the agribusiness system on the local economy. She brings 15 years of work with United Methodist Women as a staff person and 30 years of connections to local United Methodist Churches and United Methodist Women.

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Phyllis Terwilliger

  • Climate Justice Simulation Experience

Phyllis Terwilliger is a Northeastern jurisdictional guide for Be Just. Be Green. Initiative. In this capacity, she is available to resource the Eastern Pa., Susquehanna, Western Pa., West Virginia and New England conferences. She also teaches a weekly adult Sunday school class. Phyllis received degrees in Education and Theology.

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Mollie Vickery

  • Breaking Cycles of Poverty: Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management

Mollie is a United Methodist Deaconess serving as the executive for Children, Youth and Family Advocacy for the national office of United Methodist Women. She has previously served as outreach director at CUMAC (Center for United Methodist Aid to the Community) in Paterson, N.J. and as executive director of Edwards Street Fellowship Center, a United Methodist Community Center and Food Pantry in South Mississippi. Mollie holds a B.A. in History from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Special Education from William Carey University. She has also completed post-graduate course work at New York Theological Seminary. She was previously a teacher specializing in students with disabilities. Mollie’s longstanding passion for advocacy serves her well in her current position as... (full bio available in registration process)

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Marissa Villarreal

  • Draw the Circle Wide(r)

Resident of New York originally from the former Rio Grande Conference has served in leadership at different levels of the organization and since joining the staff at the National Office has worked in different program areas, presently leading the work with members whose preferred or primary language is other than English.

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Sally Vonner

  • Welcome: Radical Hospitality Takes Planning

Sally Vonner is a superb leader for sections of UMW including Membership and Leadership Development. From 2012-2014, Sally led a membership initiative resulting in development of the Welcome Event Toolkit. This involved research, design, testing and production; a huge success for the organization.

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Alana Walls

  • Creating New Spaces

Alana Walls serves as the distance learning coordinator for United Methodist Women. She brings her knowledge of blended learning technology, best practices for teaching learners of all ages and data-driven instruction and programming to United Methodist Women, working closely with staff to develop effective and engaging training. Alana has previously served as a principal, curriculum director, instructional coach and teacher for several schools and nonprofits incorporating a blended learning model. She has also trained novice teachers working on certification via the alternate-route program in New Jersey. Alana has a B.S. in Elementary Education and Middle School Math from the University of Delaware and an M.S. in Educational Administration from Johns Hopkins University. As a native of New... (full bio available in registration process)

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Erin West

  • Bridges Out of Poverty-Knowledge Into Action (Next Steps)
  • First Birthdays: Every Baby Deserves One!

Erin West, L.S.W., currently works at Community Development for All People and is responsible for parent and community engagement. She is a dynamic nonprofit leader with more than 20 years of experience. Erin has worked at Community Properties of Ohio providing supportive services to a portfolio of 5,000 Section 8 units, at Ohio Benefit Bank as a mobile unit counselor and at Godman Guild Association as the youth services director.

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Sandy Wilder

  • Leaving Our Legacy by Planning Our Giving
  • Where the Money Goes - Mission Giving

Sandy Wilder is currently a consultant to the United Methodist Women National Office. She is also a local and conference United Methodist Women officer. As a member of United Methodist Women for more than 30 years, Sandy has been active at all levels, including six years on the staff of the National Office doing financial interpretation and four years on the board of directors.

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David Wildman

  • Nonviolent Action for Justice, Freedom & Equality in Palestine/Israel

David Wildman is executive secretary for Human Rights & Racial Justice with Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church and is its main representative to the United Nations in New York. He also serves as regional secretary for the Middle East and Afghanistan on behalf of Global Ministries. He visits Afghanistan and the Middle East regularly. David co-authored, with Phyllis Bennis, “Ending the U.S. War in Afghanistan: A Primer.” He writes and speaks on Afghanistan, the Middle East and other human rights issues. He previously facilitated justice and peace seminars at the Church Center for the UN. David helped found the U.S. Campaign to End Israeli Occupation and also served on its Steering Committee. Additionally, he helped found United For Peace & Justice. He is active in an ecumen... (full bio available in registration process)

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Susan Williams

  • Creating Bold Partnerships with Missionaries in Our Midst: United Methodist Missionary Conferences

“I am a faithful, passionate woman who is striving to live God’s call to support others and the United Methodist Women ideals,” says Ms. Williams, who has worked with children, youth, and families. She has served in various leadership roles for UMW—as conference vice president, treasurer, Limitless mentor, regional school dean, and secretary. She manages Anchorage School District’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers, serving 1,400 students. She plans to work on UMW’s budget, endowment, and membership during her tenure on the board of directors.

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Deborah Williams

  • Doctrine of Discovery, the Acts of Repentance Working Group (AORWG) and the Four Priority Issues of the United Methodist Women

Deborah Williams is a member of the Program Advisory Group of United Methodist Women. She is a former director for United Methodist Women and is an inaugural member of the Act of Repentance Working Group and the Charter for Racial Justice Support Team. As a member of the Act of Repentance Working Group, Deborah has provided training to the governing board of United Methodist Women in Eliminating Institutional Racism. She is from Omaha and lives in Arizona.

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Faye Wilson

  • Singing for Justice
  • You TOO Can Teach Adults

Faye Wilson is the minister of Music & Arts at Mt. Zion UMC, Quantico, Md., and director of GeeFaye Associates, a consulting firm in music and education. She is president of Salisbury District, Peninsula-Delaware Conference United Methodist Women. Faye has been a music and worship leader in church settings for 40 years and was a General Board of Global Ministries staff member for 21 years. She has been providing leadership in Mission u’s since 1982 and has written study materials for 10 mission studies. Faye is committed to developing transformative education experiences.

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Janet Wolf

  • Freedom Schools: Fostering Justice for Children in Your Community

The Rev. Janet Wolf is director of Alex Haley Farm and Non-Violent Organizing for the Children’s Defense Fund, founded and led by Marian Wright Edelman, an attorney and activist who got her start in the 1960s U.S. Civil Rights Movement. In this capacity, Rev. Wolf leads work addressing children and poverty, and conducts community-organizing institutes framed by the prophetic Black Church traditions and the nonviolent struggle of the Civil Rights Movement. A United Methodist clergywoman, Rev. Wolf oversees education and intervention to challenge the cradle-to-prison pipeline that disproportionately impacts Black and Latin males.

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Sue Wolfe

  • First Birthdays: Every Baby Deserves One!

Sue Wolfe is a Deaconess commissioned in 1999. She works with the United Methodist Church for All People, where she helped start several health ministries including First Birthdays with the vision that every baby will reach her first birthday and thrive in the years beyond. Sue formerly served as the assistant chief of Family and Community Health for the Ohio Department of Health. She also worked for Columbus South District of the UMC. Sue holds an M.A. in Public Administration and a Master of Specialized Ministries.

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Katey Zeh

  • The Spiritual Grounding for Our Work in Maternal & Child Health

Katey Zeh, M.Div., is a strategist, educator and writer who engages faith communities in advocacy for gender justice. In 2010 she launched the Healthy Families, Healthy Planet initiative for the General Board of Church and Society. She has served as a guest lecturer for Drew University, Mississippi University for Women and Duke University. Katey’s book, Women Rise Up, explores biblical stories of women’s resistance, and will be published by the FAR Press in 2017.

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Marilyn Zehring

  • Are You Thirsty For Justice? - The Politics of Water

Marilyn Zehring, former Women’s Division director, is a member of the 2017 United Methodist Women Great Plains Conference Leadership Team. In 2013, she met with the “Cowboy and Indian Alliance” for a listening session in Nebraska to discuss the proposed crossing of the Canadian-owned Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline through the Ogallala Aquifer. Marilyn also visited the renewable energy-powered barn that was built directly in the path of the KXL, generating locally produced, clean energy.

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