Black or African American

MCC Hosts Conference For People Of African Descent, Friends, & Allies

by Rev . Candy Holmes

The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) will convene the Conference for People of African Descent, Our Friends, and Allies (PAD) in Atlanta, GA, from May 15-17, 2014. The PAD Conference will be located at the First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, 1379 Tullie Road, Atlanta, Georgia USA.

Since 1998, from across the US and beyond—faith leaders from MCC and various denominations, seminaries, social justice organizations, and affirming businesses have attended the PAD Conference.

The PAD Conference theme is “Be the Change.”

Sacred and contemporary texts appeal to us that “everything must change” and “to not linger on the past for God is doing a new thing.” In that spirit, conference plenary programming, worship, and networking will highlight why transforming ourselves is important and how our transformation can empower us to be avenues of change in the world.

We are excited to present inspiring and powerful programming. Plenary speakers on Friday (May 16) will shine a light on personal change, letting go and moving forward. On Saturday (May 17) we will turn our attention to “being” vehicles of change and inspiring hope in the world around us. Conference plenary speakers are:

  • Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas (Professor of Religion, Goucher College) is renowned for her work on sexuality and the Black Church. Plenary. During her plenary session, “We’ve Come a Long Way AND We’re Not Done Yet!”, Dr. Douglas will lead the charge with a historical perspective on how the LGBTQIA civil rights movement has shifted and changed over the years, the impact on that movement of the internal work of people of African Descent who are LGBTQIA people of faith and how we can help guide that movement forward.
  • Rev. Dr. Ronald Hopson (Associate Professor of Psychology & Divinity, Howard University), a scholar in psychology and religion/theology, will help us reimagine what healing and transformation can look like in our lives in light of and moving from victimhood. In this plenary session, “Shame, Blame, and Guilt: We Ain’t Got Time for That!”, we will pull back the curtains for honest dialogue about shame, blame and guilt and the ways they can shape who we are as servant leaders.  We will examine what we have to gain from our resilience as individuals and communities with unique and empowering stories.
  • Rev. Dr. Cari Jackson (Founder and Director of the Center of Spiritual Light),  widely known for her community-building efforts across cultures and faith traditions, will talk about Jesus and social justice, focusing us on the outward manifestation of inward spiritual health and wellness. In this plenary session, “Jesus, Justice and Taking It to the Streets,” we will take a closer look at how our own ability to love and care for ourselves is intricately tied to our social justice efforts in our communities and in the world.
  • Rev. MacArthur Flournoy (Director for Faith Partnerships and Mobilization, Human Rights Campaign) along with an esteemed panel of local and national leaders, will help us understand intersectionality and why all our many identities are critical to movement- and relationship-building. This plenary session, “Why Should I Care? – The Necessity of Intersectional Justice,” will highlight the value of intersectional justice and building a faith movement that makes room at the table for all that we are, as people of many faiths, abilities, sexualities, genders, ethnicities, incomes and locations.  During this session, Rev. Flournoy will offer an opening talk and then moderate a discussion with a panel of change-makers who represent a wide spectrum of spiritual and social justice leadership.

Complementing this amazing programming will be inspiring worship with powerful preachers. The PAD Conference is a life-changing experience and one you don’t want to miss! All are welcome—whether a person of African descent, a friend or an ally.

It is our hope that you will meet us in Atlanta as we Transform Ourselves As We Transform the World! 

For information on registration, sponsorship, and exhibit opportunities, visit our website, or contact me via email.

Photo via Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC)