Rev. Eddie Knox, Jr. and Delia Ramirez join Leadership Team


February 3, 2016

For more information, contact:
Kristine Scott, or 312-673-3829


Community Renewal Society (CRS), among Chicago’s oldest faith-based social justice organizations, announces that Rev. Eddie Knox, Jr. has been elected President of the Board and Delia Ramirez has joined the organization as its Deputy Director. 

Knox, a CRS Board member and longtime face of its organizing arm, and Ramirez, the former Executive Director of the Center for Changing Lives in the Humboldt Park neighborhood, join Executive Director Rev. Curtiss DeYoung in leading the organization as it increases its impact in the struggle for racial and economic justice in Chicago.

“We are fortunate that Pastor Knox and Delia have committed to roles of leadership at CRS during this season of great struggle in our city and state,” said Rev. DeYoung. “In addition to deep roots within the communities we serve, they each bring gifts of practicality, optimism and profound faith that help us all to envision the path from where we are to where we need to go.”

Knox, Pastor of Pullman Presbyterian Church on Chicago’s South Side, has long been on the front lines of faith-based racial justice work locally and nationally. In addition to founding and convening local groups to address specific challenges faced by African-Americans and their faith communities, he has served as moderator of the Racial Ethnic New Immigrant Church Growth Task Force for the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA); the group’s recommendations for outreach, development and congregational growth in communities of color were adopted by the denomination’s 2012 General Assembly. 

“It is essential in this day that our minds and hearts are gathered to address systems of racial inequality to bring about transformation in all communities,” Knox said.

Ramirez, a Humboldt Park native, brings a fresh, young vision to the organization, along with management skills honed in leadership of social service and faith-based organizations since the age of 21. She will assist Executive Director DeYoung in managing the organization’s Development, Communications, Organizing and Policy units. 

“I am incredibly fortunate and thankful for the opportunity to serve through Community Renewal Society. I look forward to being in partnership with congregations, community leaders and our dedicated staff as we stand boldly and courageously for the work of peace with justice," Ramirez said.

Rev. Robert E. Biekman, Senior Pastor of Maple Park United Methodist Church (UMC) and Urban Ministry Coordinator for the Northern Illinois Conference of the UMC, said the new leadership team is poised to elevate the impact of CRS.

"The team of Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, Rev. Eddie Knox, Jr. and Delia Ramirez is the perfect confluence of courage, conscience and compassion,” said Rev. Biekman. “This uniquely gifted leadership team embodies the strength to withstand the mandates of today and bright hope to take on the unforeseen challenges to justice of tomorrow."

Community Renewal Society is a progressive, faith-based organization that works to eliminate race and class barriers. Founded in 1882, Community Renewal worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the Chicago fair housing campaign in 1966 and was instrumental in developing the West Side Organization and Casa Central. Today, CRS informs, organizes and trains communities and individuals to advocate for social and economic justice.

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