Calenthia S. Dowdy, PhD is a proud Philadelphian through and through. She is busy in her city serving a diverse array of justice initiatives, but her primary work is in public health as the director of faith initiatives at Phila. FIGHT community health centers, specializing in HIV/AIDS, and as a professor of urban youth ministry and cultural anthropology at Eastern University. Dowdy’s research is in urban studies, race, racism, and the African diaspora with a focus on Afro Brazilian youth and activism. She joined the Roots of Justice anti-oppression analysis team in 2003, and continues to serve on many boards and committees around the city and country. Dowdy was a recipient of the 2016 Women’s Way Powerful Voice Award in Philadelphia.
Brenda Zook Friesen was introduced to antiracism organizing through her Mennonite Central Committee service term in New Orleans, LA, where she worked at The People's Institute for Survival & Beyond. She has served as a trainer with Damascus Road/Roots of Justice since 1999, and as the director of the MCC US Anti-Racism Program from 2001-2003. She currently works as the business manager for Tara Mohr, LLC, and volunteers with her local Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) chapter. Brenda lives in Forest Grove, Oregon, where she enjoys lots of outdoor adventures with her partner, Phil, and their two sons.
Felipe Hinojosa, born and raised in the borderlands town of Brownsville, Texas, is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University. Professor Hinojosa’s teaching and research interests include Latina/o and Mexican American Studies, American Religion, Social Movements, Gender, and Comparative Race and Ethnicity. He serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department and is the co-founder and co-coordinator for the Latina/o Studies Working Group.
Professor Hinojosa’s first book, Latino Mennonites: Civil Rights, Faith, and Evangelical Culture, was published in 2014 by Johns Hopkins University Press. The book was awarded the 2015 Américo Paredes Book Award for the best book in Mexican American and Latina/o Studies given every year by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College. During academic year 2017-2018, Professor Hinojosa will be a Research Fellow at the James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference at Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Phil Morice Brubaker has been active in antiracism for 20 years, as staff (1996-2015) and trainer (since 1999) with Roots of Justice and Damascus Road. Additionally, he has consulted with the Tulsa Health Department (through the YWCA), Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and MCC Central States. His antiracism experience includes developing and facilitating multiracial workshops, organizing and facilitating white caucus/affinity groups, policy assessment and development, communications auditing, speaking engagements on white privilege, and logistics and technological support.
Phil holds degrees from Messiah College (BA 1994) and Duke University Divinity School (MTS 2002), and is comfortable communicating with secular audiences as well as the range of Christian audiences from Evangelical to liberal Mainline. Phil lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with his spouse and their two children. He enjoys gardening, home food preservation, hiking, and visiting wild places.
Regina Shands Stoltzfus currently teaches at Goshen College in the Peace, Justice Conflict Studies (PJCS) and Bible, Religion and Philosophy (BRP) departments. Her courses include Race, Class and Ethnic Relations, Personal Violence and Healing, Spiritual Path of the Peacemaker, and Transforming Conflict and Violence.
Regina is co-founder of the Roots of Justice Anti-Oppression program (formerly Damascus Road) and continues as a core trainer with Roots of Justice. From 1993-1996, she served as Staff Associate for Urban Peacemaking with Mennonite Central Committee. She has also served as an associate pastor at Lee Heights Community Church in Cleveland (1995-2002), and as a campus pastor at Goshen College (2002-2005). Regina is currently a doctoral candidate in the Theology, Ethics and Human Sciences program at Chicago Theological Seminary. Regina is the recipient of the state of Indiana’s 2016 Spirit of Justice Award, the highest award conferred by Indiana’s Civil Rights Commission.
Yvonne Platts calls herself an Urban Peace Warrior. She likes to laugh and joke but has no time to play when it comes to addressing injustice. A Restorative Practice Facilitator by trade and Peace Warrior by calling Yvonne is on a mission to live out her purpose and life pursuits by addressing systemic institutional racism along with promoting peace building and healing from race trauma.
To stay grounded and for all over health benefits she walks daily with GirlTrek. Yvonne holds a Masters in Restorative Practices and Youth & Family Counseling ad is a certified Victim Offender Dialogue Facilitator, Professional Trauma Specialist, and a Train the Trainer Circle and Community Conference Facilitator.
Michelle E. Armster is the Executive Director for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Central States. Previously, Michelle worked for MCC for 12 years. During her employment, she was the director of Mennonite Conciliation Service (MCS) and co- director for the Office on Justice and Peacebuilding (OJP). In her positions, she provided resourcing, consulting, and training for churches, agencies, and communities on conflict transformation and restorative justice.
Michelle has many years of extensive training and experience in meditation, facilitation, conciliation, restorative justice, arbitration, victim/offender mediation, anti-racism, and alternatives to violence. She has served on various community boards, such as the YWCA, The SpiritHouse Project, Inc., Lancaster Mediation Center, and NAACP. She graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary's Masters of Divinity program in 2007. For 4 1/2 years, she served as a co-pastor of St. Andrew United Church of Christ in Lancaster, PA. For 2 years, she served as the associate pastor for community outreach at Blossom Hill Mennonite Church in Lancaster, PA. Michelle, presently, resides in Wichita, KS and is active with Wichita Griots, an African American Storytellers organization, and a member of NABS (National Association of Black Storytellers).
Nick Miron has spent over 10 years working and training for transforming communities and our society to one based on justice, affirmation, and value for all the beautiful kinds of diversity found in the human existence. His work has ranged from small group facilitation to keynote speaking engagements for several hundred people, focusing on systemic and structural oppression such as racism and white supremacy, sexism and sexual violence prevention, and ableism.
He has done this work with a variety of community groups and non-profit organizations, churches and faith-based congregations, numerous schools and universities, and businesses in the central and south-eastern Pennsylvania region.
Nick is currently enrolled at Chicago Theological Seminary pursuing an MA in religious studies and identity. He lives with Allison, the woman who married him, Sierra and Christian, his children, and Percy, his best feline friend.
Conrad Moore has been involved with Roots of Justice since he joined the Franconia Mennonite Conference team in 1997. For several years he served as co-coordinator for the MCC US Anti-Racism Program/Damascus Road and has also worked in peace education focusing on crime and justice issues. Currently, he is focusing on family life, building his small business venture, volunteering at Water Street Ministries, and continuing to give leadership to the urban peace-builders movement. He is actively involved in local urban peace-building movements where he lives in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Pam Nath has lived in New Orleans since August 2007. She is a member of European Dissent, a group of white people affiliated with People's Institute for Survival and Beyond, who organize for racial justice, motivated by the belief that although racism offers economic, political, and social advantages to white people, ultimately it hurts us all. Pam has a PhD in Counseling & Developmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame. She has worked as a licensed clinical psychologist, a tenured college professor, a community organizer, a spiritual director and a retreat organizer. Pam is passionate about helping people and organizations who are working for social change to root their efforts in their deepest values.
Pam enjoys living surrounded by water, by massive oak trees, pelicans, and egrets, and by people who work passionately for a better world and who strive to live in Beloved Community with one another. You can read more about Pam and her work at her website: https://nathpam.wixsite.com/broodingwaters
Rick Derksen lived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where he worked in theological education, pastoral ministry, and church administration with the Mennonite Church from 1977 to 1998. During that time he was ordained as a minister by the Mennonite Church in the Congo. Rick moved to Lancaster, PA in 1998 with his wife, Marilyn Carter Derksen, and three children, Karina, Jeremiah, and Erica. It was through his involvement in his congregation, East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, that he became involved in Damascus Road. He joined the trainer team in 2001, and in 2006 became Antiracism Coordinator for Mennonite Central Committee. In addition to his passion for antiracism work and his family, Rick is crazy about birds.