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Peace and Justice Committee of Eastern District Conference and Franconia Mennonite Conference


Undoing Racism Leadership Training

With growing ethnic diversity in the communities served by Eastern District Conference (EDC) churches, the Conference Administrative Board (CAB) has made it a priority to arrange for leadership anti-racism training. CAB members participated in training sessions in 2008; now we encourage all pastors and church leaders to sign up for basic anti-racism training.

Undoing racism training is also a national priority for Mennonite Church USA.

Scholarship assistance is available for Mennonites who are members of MCUSA congregations. See details about the scholarship program below, or contact
Warren Tyson [warrent@easterndistrict.org, 267-932-6050].

If no forthcoming training events are listed for any of the programs below, please contact us for assistance.

Schedule of training sessions

Introduction to Systemic Racism

See Introduction to Systemic Racism for program details and registration information. Registration cost: sliding scale, $50 and up. (Registration discount ends Oct. 18th).

  • Novmeber 12, 2016 (Saturday, 9am-5pm) at Germantown Mennonite Church, 21 W. Washington St., Philadelphia, PA.
    Hosted by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training. Conducted in an atmosphere of mutual respect and courageous space, this workshop is designed to explore racism as a systemic, institutional problem of power that goes beyond personal prejudice. Participants will experience first-hand Crossroads effective methodology for facilitating productive conversations about race. They will also be introduced to a strategic methodology that can assist people in effectively organizing to dismantle racism in their institutions.

Schedule of training sessions

See with New Eyes

See See with New Eyes for program details and registration information. Registration cost is $215 (plus some meals and housing expenses).

  • February 22-24, 2013 at Philadelphia Mennonite High School
    (Friday evening through Sunday afternoon)

Join us in Philadelphia for an in-depth study of systemic racism and a dismantling process that is slowly transforming the Mennonite Church. Program details and registration information are available at franconiaconference.org. For further information contact Sharon Williams, 610-277-1729, sharonw@cavtel.net.

Schedule of training sessions

Damascus Road

The name “Damascus Road” refers to the biblical story of Saul, who experienced a process of transformation on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-31). While Damascus Road (DR) provides space for individual transformation, the entire program is designed to work toward long-term transformation of institutions through the work of teams.

See Damascus Road for program details and registration information. Registration cost for the 2 1/2 day program is typically $225 to $300 (plus some meals and housing expenses).

In September 2012, the Damascus Road anti-racism analysis training was spun off from Mennonite Central Committee to become an independent program under a new non-profit corporation, Roots of Justice Inc. Roots of Justice offers several training programs which are described here.
Currently there are no training sessions scheduled for Pennsylvania (but see the links above for the national training schedule).

Schedule of training sessions

Changing Racism

This basic anti-racism workshop session runs for 2 1/2 consecutive days (e.g. Friday evening through Sunday afternoon). Registration deadline for the session is two weeks before the session begins:

  • Oct. 28-30, 2016 (Fri.-Sun.)
    Changing Racism: A Personal Approach to Multiculturalism, Inclusion, and Equity

    Location: The Conference Center at Valley Forge
    1485 Valley Forge Road
    Phoenixville, PA 19481

    Cost: $300.00 – including single room and meals!
    Each training begins with Friday dinner at 6:30 p.m. and ends by 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
    See EPA announcement for details and registration.

Schedule of training sessions

Healing the Wounds of Racism

No training events have been scheduled since 2011.

See HWOR for program details and registration forms. Registration cost is $200, including housing and meals.

Racial Healing Task Group (RHTG)

Tools for Racial Healing

The “Racial Healing Task Group” (RHTG) of MCUSA has made available some new tools for dominant/white church groups and congregations to continue racial healing. One tool, “the Four I’s of Oppression” provides a simple framework for conversation about how racist or other oppressive behavior is perpetuated, and how to break the cycle.
Another tool is a sample collection of role plays that help groups identify unintentional racist behavior. The RHTG has also compiled an extensive list of other resources, many of them web-based. The RHTG does not yet have a web page, but these tools are available from RHGT member Joanna Shenk, JoannaS@MennoniteUSA.org. You may also contact the Peace & Justice Committee for help getting started with these tools or connecting with antiracism training programs.

Training Scholarships

Eastern District Scholarship Program for Leadership Development

EDC (and MCUSA) pastors and other church leaders may apply for scholarship assistance for anti-racism training. In general, the leadership development fund of EDC provides matching funds with congregations and conference-related ministries subsidizing educational opportunities for pastors in active assignment, persons aspiring to pastoral ministry seeking additional training for their service, and staff of conference-related ministries aiming to improve their skills and leadership abilities in order to more effectively carry out their ministries.

Contact Scott Roth [info@easterndistrict.org; 267-932-6050 or 877-932-6050] with questions about eligibility or the application process.


Last updated August 21st, 2013.