Conference: Minority Ministries Council Conference: “Black, Brown, and Mennonite: Lessons from the Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Black Freedom Movements for the Mennonite Church”
Date & Time: March 30 – April 1, 2017
Location: Greencroft Goshen Community Center, Goshen, Indiana (Open in Google Maps)
Cost: $50 before March 1, $70 after March 1. Registration fees include three meals, plus snacks and refreshments. Register online.
Mennonite leaders will pick up the work of the Minority Ministries Council from the 1960s and 1970s during a conference titled “Black, Brown, and Mennonite: Lessons from the Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Black Freedom Movements for the Mennonite Church,” organized by Goshen College and College Mennonite Church. The conference will be held March 30 through April 1, 2017 at Greencroft Goshen Community Center in Goshen, Indiana.
In April 1973, La Luz magazine published an article titled “The Minority Ministries Council: Mexicanos, Puerto Ricans, Blacks, and American Indians Working Together.” The article focused on the interethnic anti-racist activism of Mennonites of color through their work in the Minority Ministries Council (MMC) in the 1960s and 1970s.
The MMC was an important civil rights organization in the Mennonite Church. They worked to create pathways for academic success of Black and Latino youth at Mennonite schools, they provided grants for community development programs in places like St. Louis and South Texas, and they organized a number of theological consultations and church leadership conferences that focused on race and culture in Anabaptist and Mennonite communities.
The work of the Minority Ministries Council (MMC) in the 1960s and 1970s was cutting edge and in many ways ahead of the rest of the Mennonite Church during the civil rights era. But since the group disbanded in 1973, the denomination and its primary storytellers, historians and church leaders have for the most part ignored this important story.
The cost for the three-day conference is $50 before March 1, $70 after March 1. Registration fees include three meals, plus snacks and refreshments. Register online.
Conference speakers include:
- Dr. Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and co-director of the Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame (Keynote address: “Religion and the Chicano Movement,” Thursday, March 30 at 7 p.m.)
- Dr. David Evans, assistant professor of history and mission, Eastern Mennonite Seminary (Keynote address: Friday, March 31, 3:15 p.m.)
- Regina Shands Stoltzfus, assistant professor of peace, justice, and conflict studies, Goshen College
- Tobin Miller Shearer, associate professor of history/African-American studies director, University of Montana