Rev. Dr. Jorge L. Morales is the Conference Minister of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ. His ministry has included church planting and renewal, stewardship and the wider mission of the church. Dr. Morales has contributed to the establishment of a number of community organizations, programs and helping strengthen local community infra-structure.
Board of Directors
Alton Miller is Associate Professor of Public Relations Studies at Columbia College Chicago, where he has served as Principal Investigator for a $1.5 million "Crisis Communications Research Project," studying the potential for social media in crisis prevention and response. He was press secretary and speechwriter to Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, and his memoir of Council Wars was a Chicago bestseller.
Rev. Jesse Knox, III has served as Senior Minister of Church of The Good Shepherd UCC since 2011, although his service with the Church extends to 1992. Previous professional experience includes serving as the Acting Director of Ministry Studies for the University of Chicago Divinity School, Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, Director of the Minority Outreach Project of Thresholds National Research and Training Center, and service as a chaplain at Unity Funeral Parlors.
Minister Ronald W. Howell serves as Youth Minister at Metropolitan Community Church, where he is responsible for all youth events and programming. Min. Howell who has worked in Youth Ministry for over 12 years, believes that teaching young people the word of God at an early age builds a foundation for a strong relationship with God through Christ that will last forever. Over the last 35 months Min. Howell has had 54 young people commit their lives to The Body of Christ, as he continues to grow the Youth Ministry at Metropolitan Community Church.
Rev. CJ Hawking is a United Methodist pastor with an extensive history in faith-labor organizing and has served as the Executive Director of the faith-based workers' rights group Arise Chicago since 2007. Rev. Hawking is a visiting lecturer in labor and social movements at University of Illinois and Indiana University. Rev. Hawking co-authored the book, Staley: The Fight for A New American Labor Movement (University of Illinois Press, 2009), which won three "Book of the Year" awards. Rev. Hawking is the Harry F.
Rev. Walstone E. Francis has been pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Waukegan since 1992, and has overseen the creation and flourishing of its Faith in Action Team. Pastor Francis previously served churches in Tennessee and Kentucky. In addition to serving on Community Renewal Society’s Policy and Organizing Committee, he also serves on the Faith Counsel at Waukegan High School, works with the Shiloh Soup Kitchen, and is the doctrinal teacher for the North Shore Baptist Ministers Alliance.
Pastor Cy Fields is the senior pastor of New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in the East Garfield Park community, having served in that role since 2001. Previous to his pastorate at New Landmark, he served as Scholarship Coordinator/Program Manager for Education for the Chicago Urban League and as the Program Manager of Services to People of Color at Prevention First. Current Board service includes the Leaders Network (Co-Convener and President), the Interfaith Organizing Project of Greater Chicago (Vice President), and the Westside Federation.
Sammie Dortch, Ed.D, is a licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is the former chair of the Applied Science Department at Harold Washington College, where she also taught gerontology. During her tenure, she received three awards recognizing her as an outstanding educator. Dortch has provided leadership for several nonprofit boards, including: President, South Side Community Art Center, the longest continuously surviving black art center (1939) in the country. She is currently an emeritus member of the Center and an advisory committee member of Vivian G.
Rev. George W. Daniels is Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Congregational Church of Chicago. Rev. Daniels, a native of Donaldsonville, Georgia, graduated from Alabama State University and later earned his Master of Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary. He served the First Baptist Congregational Church of Chicago as Assistant Pastor for thirty years under the tutelage of Dr. Arthur D. Griffin, a profound leader and teacher. On March 23, 2003 Rev. Daniels was elected by the church body to succeed retiring Pastor Griffin.
Rev. Jason Coulter is Pastor of Ravenswood United Church of Christ, a vital and progressive community of faith whose mission statement is “We Make God’s Love Visible!” Before entering the ministry, Rev. Coulter worked for thirteen years as a union organizer with the Steelworkers Union and the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE!).