Public Education, Leadership Curricula and Public Policy Are Among Focus Areas
Chicago, Illinois – Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. (SDPC) and McCormick Theological Seminary (McCormick) are pleased to announce the formation of the Center for Reparative Justice, Transformation, and Remediation (the Center). The Center will be located on McCormick’s campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. The Center’s mission focuses on the following three areas:
- Public education, academic courses, scholarship, and engagement on issues of reparative and restorative justice, racial remediation, and systemic transformation;
- Creation of leadership curricula related to the Center’s purpose for use in seminaries, churches, and other institutions; and
- Participation in the creation and implementation of public policy and public theology related to the mission of the Center.
Iva Carruthers, general secretary of SDPC, shares, “We are enthusiastic about partnering with McCormick to launch this historic Center. It will serve to situate theology and ministry in the public discourse on reparations, reparatory justice and models of remedy to address centuries of foundational and systemic racism in America.”
David Crawford, president of McCormick states, “In this moment, we must come to a reckoning with racism, a reckoning of our past with our promise.” President Crawford adds that “Over the last 18 months, McCormick has been engaging conversations around reparations with our faculty, our board, and with community, church, and thought leaders around the city and beyond. During that time, we have engaged directly in the work of transforming our justice and carceral systems, and developed curricula that educates and activates leaders to prophetically engage policy and systemic transformation. This moment calls us all to commit ourselves to go beyond statements and symbolic gestures, meaningful as they may be. Through the work of the Center and this historic partnership with the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, McCormick will engage the national and global conversations on reparations and justice and ensure a sustained and sustainable institutional commitment to addressing these issues.”
McCormick’s Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Steed V. Davidson agrees, adding, “This Center is not only timely but necessary. Seminaries need to be in the middle of the debate on reparative justice in order to remove the sanctification religious institutions have provided for too long to oppressive ideas and practices. The Center will allow us to learn from others and to share ways in which theology can play a more liberative role in the world.”
Dr. Carruthers will serve as the Center’s founding executive director while continuing in her role as general secretary of SDPC. Long engaged in the global reparations movement, she adds, “With a global vision for justice, grounded in the prophetic tradition, we come with hope and determination to engage the challenging work ahead. Our Center is poised to uniquely contribute to the human rights movement for people of African descent and other groups subject to related injustices.”
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.
and McCormick Theological Seminary
The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc. (SDPC) is a nonprofit organization and United Nations NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) sharply focused on advancing the mission to nurture, support and mobilize African American faith, civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders to address critical needs of human and social justice within local, national and global communities. Named to honor the late Rev. Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor – a global 20th century educator, theologian, and civic leader – the overarching organization’s goals are to strengthen the individual and collective capacity of thought leaders and activists in the academy, church and community through education, advocacy and activism. Founded in 2003, it is a respected network of ecumenical congregations, clergy and lay leaders that embodies the values of academic excellence, transgenerational engagement, and community outreach as evidence of faith and Christian witness.
McCormick Theological Seminary is a member of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools (ACTS) and an integral part of one of the world’s great centers of theological education and research. Accredited by both the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), McCormick seeks to embody and create a more just and compassionate world through rigorous academic study, practical experience, spiritual formation and an active, engaged learning community. Founded in 1829 and a leader in the Chicago faith community since 1860, it is a seminary with a long history of high academic standards and a commitment to social justice.
McCormick is one of twelve theological institutions associated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Part of the Reformed tradition is an ecumenical commitment and openness to dialogue with different perspectives within the larger church. McCormick’s student body represents a wide variety of Christian traditions including Baptist, UCC, AME, Pentecostal, non-denominational students, and more. Common to all our students is a desire to live in a racially, ethnically, linguistically, and theologically diverse community rooted in our faith and in a shared commitment to service for the common good.
For more information, contact:
Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, General Secretary
Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc.
4445 S. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60653
David Crawford, President
McCormick Theological Seminary
5460 S. University Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60615