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The DisGrace Conference at Montreat Conference Center

Crossroads Antiracism Training

August 17 - August 19, 2018

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In January of 2017, Montreat Conference Center staff engaged in a day-long training session with a team from Crossroads, and found it to be useful for inspiring long-term and site-specific conversations about the journey to overcome the dehumanizing effects of racism. We want to make a similar, more in depth opportunity available to congregations, pastors, Christian educators, session leaders, church staff, and volunteers.

Space is limited, and scholarship funds are available.

This introductory training by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training Event will provide participants with a shared analysis of systemic racism in the United States. Using an action-reflection model, the training will seek to answer three questions: What is the current reality of racism in the US? Why is this still our current reality? How can we intervene strategically to disrupt and dismantle racism?

Montreat Conference CenterThe training will include definitions of key concepts such as racism, prejudice, power, and dominant culture. Participants will receive capacity-building tools and resources to work for antiracist transformation in their churches and institutions.

This weekend training event is intended for individuals or groups from congregations who want to learn more about how their work can be transformed, with workshop time devoted to:

  • Preaching
  • Leading institutional change
  • Children and families
  • Youth and young adults
  • Public witness

Please click on the WORKSHOPS tab above for complete workshop descriptions.

Registration Information

This conference is limited, so register early! To register and/or reserve accommodations for this conference online, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

Sponsored by Montreat Conference Center in partnership with Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training.

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Comprehensive Rates

Register online for conference, room, and meals

Comprehensive rates below include conference fee, room in Assembly Inn, meals in the Galax Dining Room (Friday supper through Sunday breakfast), plus a $2 community services fee.* Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

  • One Bedroom, Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $290.00
  • One Bedroom, Single Occupancy, Connecting Bath: $260.00
  • One Bedroom, Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $420.00 ($210.00 pp)
  • One Bedroom, Double Occupancy, Connecting Bath: $390.00 ($195.00 pp)
  • Two Bedroom Suite with One Bath, Double Occupancy: $520.00 ($260.00 pp)
  • Two Bedroom Suite with Two Baths, Double Occupancy: $580.00 ($290.00 pp)

Commuter Rate

Register online for conference only

  • $77 per person (includes $2 community services fee*)

Optional meal packages for the Galax Dining Room may be requested when you register online. (These additional charges will be added separately by the registrar.)

  • $53.00 per person for Friday supper thru Sunday breakfast
  • $10.00 per person for Saturday lunch only

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by July 6, 2018 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after July 6, 2018 but on or before August 10, 2018 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after August 10, 2018. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

*Community services fee of $1 per night per adult is charged for public services provided by the Town and the fire district.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterChristine Hong
In the Pulpit: Strategies for Preaching

Christine Hong will begin as assistant professor of educational ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary in the fall of 2017. As a practical theologian, her interests include interreligious learning, Asian American spiritualities, and the spiritual and theological formation of children and adolescents among communities of color. Her broad interests help her to emphasize an intersectional approach to the classroom. Hong is a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has spent time as both a religious educator and young adult minister in New York and Southern California. Her first book, Identity, Youth, and Gender in the Korean American Church (Palgrave Pivot, 2015) was released in July of 2015.

Montreat Conference CenterMichelle Hwang
At Home and Church School: Anti-bias education for children and families

Michelle Hwang, originally from Carrollton, TX, joined the pastoral staff of Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta in 2014. She has a masters in Christian education from Union Presbyterian Seminary (Union-PSCE) in Richmond, VA, and a MDiv from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. While attending Union, Michelle received the Wade and Lou Boggs Scholarship for excellence in Theology. She is also the recipient of the Chalice Press “Outstanding Seminarian” Award.

Montreat Conference CenterAlonzo Johnson
In the Public Square: What Does it Look Like to Show up in Town?

Alonzo Johnson is coordinator for the Self-Development of People Program (SDOP) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He is also the convener of the Educate A Child, Transform the World initiative in the same denomination. Rev. Johnson has 25 years of experience in urban, youth, education, creative arts, and social justice ministries. Rev. Johnson served an urban congregation in Philadelphia, PA and has worked as a volunteer chaplain for nine years at Luther Luckett Correctional Facility in LaGrange, KY. He has an MDiv from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is currently a DMin student at the same institution.

Montreat Conference CenterJessica Vazquez Torres
As Church Leaders: How do we Move the Church beyond Clubs and Symbolism toward Becoming Antiracist Anti-Oppressive Institutions?

Jessica Vazquez Torres is a proven leader with 15 years experience in anti-racism, anti-oppression, and cultural competency workshop development and facilitation. She is active in peace and justice concerns, including worker justice, immigration reform and anti-racism. Jessica is deeply committed to addressing social structures and cultural dynamics that marginalize and minoritize communities and limit their access to resources. Jessica, a 1.5-Generation ESL Queer Latina of Puerto Rican descent, holds a Bachelors degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. 

Montreat Conference CenterJoy Bailey
With Youth and Young Adults: Engaging in the work of Eradicating Racism

Joy Bailey is a national organizer for Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training as well as the co-program coordinator for Chicago ROAR, a regional program of Crossroads. She has been a Core/Organizer Trainer since 2008. Joy has her Bachelor’s degree in spanish education and her Master’s in socio-cultural studies in education, both from Western Michigan University (WMU). Formerly, Joy taught high school spanish for six years in Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) and also taught courses on race and racism in education at WMU. Although originally from North Dakota, Joy currently lives with her partner in Chicago, IL.

Montreat Conference CenterDavid LaMotte
In the Public Square: What Does it Look Like to Show up in Town?

David LaMotte is an award-winning songwriter, speaker and writer. He suspended his eighteen-year music career at its peak in 2008 to pursue his other passion by accepting a Rotary World Peace Fellowship to study International Relations, Peace and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. As part of that study, he also spent time in rural Andhra Pradesh, India working with a Gandhian development organization. He is also a consultant on Peace and Justice for the North Carolina Council of Churches, and recently completed his sixth and final year on the AFSC Nobel Peace Prize Nominating Task Group. His books include Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness and White Flour, which tells the true story of a creative and whimsical response to a Ku Klux Klan rally in Tennessee by a group called the Coup Clutz Clowns.

Montreat Conference CenterAbbi Heimach-Snipes
With Youth and Young Adults: Engaging in the work of Eradicating Racism

Rev. Abbi Heimach-Snipes is a Pastoral Resident at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago, IL and has been organizing with Crossroads and Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism since 2013. She holds a Masters of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary and a BA in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and Religious Studies from the College of Wooster. Some of her past work experience includes teaching elementary special education in Nashville, TN and working in the offices of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, Peacemaking Program, and Young Adult Ministry at the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, KY. When not working, Abbi loves to dance, bake, exercise and spend hours having deep conversations in coffee shops.

Workshop Descriptions

At Home and Church School: Anti-bias education for children and families
Led by Rev. Michelle Hwang and Rev. Mamie Broadhurst
Research shows that children as young as 3 develop biases based on race. How can our Christian education efforts incorporate methods for acknowledging and addressing unconscious bias? This workshop is for parents, educators of young children, Sunday school teachers, and church pre-school personnel.

With Youth and Young Adults: Engaging in the work of Eradicating Racism
Led by Rev. Abbi Heimach-Snipes and Joy Bailey
What do youth and young adults have to teach us about the ways they understand and experience systemic racism in their school and on campus? How do church leaders engage these age groups in critical conversations about their landscapes that will help them act faithfully on behalf of themselves and others?

As Church Leaders: How do we Move the Church beyond Clubs and Symbolism toward Becoming Antiracist Anti-Oppressive Institutions?
Led by Rev. Jessica Vazquez Torres
What is the church holding onto that might be preventing it from prophetically decrying racism? What might congregations have to let go off in order to fully embrace the work of dismantling racism? What adaptive changes might the church have to make to ensure that it can withstand the pressure to be silent?

In the Pulpit: Strategies for Preaching
Led by Rev. Dr. Christine Hong
How does one most effectively and faithfully use the authority of scripture and preaching to awaken God’s people to the human, theological, and ecclesial issues that are at stake when we address racism? (Or, perhaps equally important, what are the ways we can really mess this up?)

In the Public Square: What Does it Look Like to Show up in Town?
Led by Rev. Alonzo Johnson and David LaMotte
There’s plenty of work to do in our congregations, but showing up externally is also God’s work. How does a congregation survey its local landscape for need, injustice, and enmity, and how does it show up in racially equitable ways in those places where hope is in short supply?

More Information