National Committee

Task Forces and Standing Committees

Committee Structure

National Committee members

The mission of Self-Development of People is carried out by the National and certified Presbytery and Synod Self-Development of People Committees. The composition of these committees follow the guidelines set by the 182nd (1970) and 199th (1987) General Assemblies. The National Committee is composed of 21 members, elected by the General Assembly. Presbytery and Synod Self-Development committees are composed of at least five members, authorized or elected by their governing bodies. The majority of the members of Self-Development Committees must represent racial/ethnic minority groups, and the majority of the members must be from the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.).

Consider being nominated to volunteer as a SDOP National Committee member. The 21-person national committee helps to tell the SDOP “story” regularly. For more information contact Cynthia White or download a brochure.

 


Selma Jackson, National Committee Chairperson
Rebecca Reyes, National Committee Vice Chairperson

Community Relations

John Etheredge, Chairperson
Jonas Georges
Sharon Louise Ware
Shavon Starling-Louis
Wesley Woo

Churchwide Relations

Sarah Jane Moore, Chairperson
Laura Krauss
Lawrence Low
Johnnie Monroe
Joe Nelson
Mark Downs
John Osoinach

Steering Committee

Selma Jackson, Chairperson
John Etheredge
Oscar Heyward
Joseph L. Johnson
Lisa Leverette
Johnnie Monroe
Sarah Jane Moore
Carline Seide Murphy
Joe Love Nelson
Sharon Louise Ware

Finance Committee

Oscar Heyward, Chairperson
John Etheredge
Joseph L. Johnson

 

 

 

Midwest

Sharon Louise Ware, Chairperson
Bernadette Hightower-Hughes
Jimeka Holloway
Lisa Leverette
Sarah Jane Moore


Northeast

Johnnie Monroe , Chairperson
Oscar Heyward
Selma Jackson
Carline Seide Murphy
Shavon Starling-Louis
Cathryn Surgenor

South

John Etheredge, Chairperson
Joseph L. Johnson
Jonas Georges
Cynthia Hayes
Rebecca Reyes

West

Joe Love Nelson, Chairperson
Mark Downs
Laura Krauss
Lawrence Low
John Osoinach
Wesley Woo

International

Lisa Leverette, Chairperson
Rebecca Reyes
Cathryn Surgenor
Jimeka Holloway

Carolyn Ashe
Selma Jackson
Lisa Leverette
Carolyn AsheSelma JacksoLisa Leverette

Committee Relations Committee

Rebecca Reyes, Chairperson
Bernadette Hightower-Hughes
Cynthia Hayes

 


 

Nashville, Tennessee

“Each day we support each other to speak for ourselves and transform homelessness in our community, we are thankful that Self Development of People has demonstrated a commitment to our work.”

– John Zirker, Nashville Homeless Power Project president, formerly homeless man

The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People’s involvement in homeless issues runs the gamut of the United States, from the south, to the northeast, to the Midwest and to the western part of the country. These groups are playing a leadership role in bringing to the forefront issues that impact on persons that are homeless.

In 2007 Self-Development of People partnered with the Nashville Homeless Power Project (NHPP) by awarding the group a $20,000 grant to assist it with leadership development, staffing and infrastructure costs. NHPP initially started in the basement of the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2002 as an extension of the Church’s Homeless ministry. In a city of 6000 homeless people, Nashville Homeless Power Project today has several hundred members with a 15 person leadership team comprised of homeless and formerly homeless people. According to NHPP one of the group’s objectives is to increase the amount of funding for low-income housing in Nashville. In 2007 Nashville Homeless Power Project played a leading role in the city deciding to increase its housing budget to over $800, 000 to build low-income housing. That same year because of Nashville Homeless Power Project efforts, four candidates for Mayor agreed to spend an entire night on the streets. The group hopes this can serve as a model for the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Immokalee, Florida

During the funding period, we investigated and helped to prosecute two more farmworker slavery cases:  Evans vs. United States (2007) and Navarrete vs. United States (2008).  The vital role played by the radio (Conciencia ) in our anti-slavery work is mentioned in The Slave Next Door, a book released in June by Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Kevin Bales and Ron Soodalter. In 2007, we were selected for the London-based Anti Slavery International Award; Radio Conciencia was rightly highlighted in their description of why our antislavery campaign has been so effective.

– Coalition of Immokalee Workers member

In mid-2007 SDOP partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers by awarding the organization a grant for $21, 200 to enable group members to engage in a new community center project. As part of this project, the group has been able to use the SDOP grant to continue to run a radio station called “Consciousness Radio” or “Radio Conciencia” on 107.9FM. There is a constant stream of new people moving into Immokalee, a farm workers community in Southwest Florida. Most of these people are recent immigrants for whom English is a second language so they speak little or no English. According to Coalition of Immokalee Workers, commercial radio does not provide a voice in the indigenous languages spoken by the farm worker community or address issues that impact on this community such as human rights abuses. Radio Conciencia addresses these issues. According to the group, when Hurricane Wilma hit, Radio Consciousness was able to alert everyone in their indigenous languages (Zapoteco and Mixteco spoken in Mexico, Mam and Kanjobal spoken in Guatamala, Haitian Creole and Spanish) of the impending danger and coalition members went to transport people from their homes to shelters since most people do not have cars. After the hurricane Radio Conciencia also broadcast where to obtain clean water, ice and other supplies for the farm worker community. It also suggested a plan to county commissioners and disaster relief agencies on how to distribute food and supplies and created maps for the agencies that enabled them to reorganize their distribution plans for more effective distribution of the food and supplies. Because the coalition is comprised of farm workers, it has a better sense of where these people live.

SDOP’s initial partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers dates back to 1997 when the group was awarded a $25,000 grant to assist with CIW’s community enhancement/education program.

In 2003 the Coalition of Immokalee Workers was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award for its work against modern day slavery. CIW has also been involved in the Campaign for Fair Food that has included efforts led by people of faith, farm workers, students, unions and other grassroots organizations across the country to eliminate labor abuses and sweatshop conditions in Florida and other states.

Washington, D.C.

“ONE DC members were able to organize and create popular education workshops around D.C. resident’s Right to Wellness because SDOP believes in a healthy and just society.  SDOP’s support created an opportunity for resident-led wellness organizing in the Nation’s Capitol.”

– Dominic Moulden, ONE D.C.

The One DC group has launched its One DC Right to Wellness program to promote Holistic health and create a healthy environment in the low income communities of Washington DC. The District has the second highest poverty rate in the country. The average income of the residents in the low-income communities of Washington is approximately one third that of non minorities. This project addresses these problems in a manner that seeks to lift the low-income citizens to a higher standard of living. SDOP partnered with this group of low-income residents who formed the organization to improve the living conditions in the Shaw area of Washington, DC.

Visible Community

Lewiston, Maine

“The funds that SDOP granted the Visible Community have positively affected over one hundred people, and are about to positively impact thousands of people who will benefit from the new Housing Code Officer. We, the residents of downtown Lewiston, the members of the Neighborhood Housing League, cannot fully share the impact that your funding has had, and will continue to have. The financial supports, as well as the guiding goals have truly empowered people …”

– Shanna Rogers, Visible Community group

The Visible Community is a grassroots group representing some of Lewiston’s poorest neighborhoods. The group is comprised of tenants that have organized to develop their knowledge of tenant’s rights and responsibilities in the various buildings in which they reside. They do this by training their fellow tenants on their rights and responsibilities and communicate with landlords and officials on problems surrounding the maintenance of their homes now and in the future. The group has also organized training on various topics such as Lead and Pest training.

Watch a short video of the Visible Community.