Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy

Save the Date: July 18-22 for the 2016 Proctor Institute. Registration and other imformation coming soon.

Join clergy, seminarians, Christian educators, young adult leaders and other faith-based advocates for children for spiritual renewal, networking, movement-building workshops, and continuing education about the urgent needs of children at the intersection of race and poverty. Gain new inspiration, information, and ideas from preachers and noted plenary speakers who are making a difference to end child poverty and dismantle the Cradle to Prison PipelineTM. Come for an experience of Beloved Community and join in the intergenerational, interracial and multi-ethnic conversation with people who share your passion for justice for our nation’s children.

Come for fresh inspiration and new ideas!

Register today

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For early risers, there’s Meditations for the Journey before breakfast, then witness powerful preaching by the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. and the Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III at Morning Devotions accompanied by the joyous, rousing music of the Resurrection Choir. The morning ends with a thought-provoking Bible Study led by Dr. Eileen Lindner and Dr. Gregory Ellison, and Children's Concerns plenaries. Choose from 18 interactive afternoon workshops to get equipped with new skills and strategies to build the movement for children. Each evening concludes with the Great Preacher Series. You won’t want to miss CDF president Marian Wright Edelman or Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative whom Archbishop Desmond Tutu called, “America’s Nelson Mandela.” Hear from young people in plenary session led by Damien Durr.
The week ends with a sermon by Civil Rights Leader, Rev. James Lawson, Jr. during a service of communion and commitment. 

About the 2015 Proctor Institute

More than 500 participants attended the 2015 Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry, and discovered new insights, perspectives and crucial information that helped to equip them in their faithful work to end child poverty, dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ and improve the lives of children.

Come for New Strategies, Skills, and Effective Models
Those who attended where able to increase their advocacy and organizing skills, discover effective model programs that meet the needs of children, and deepen their understanding of how congregations may transform our communities to better nurture and protect all children in dynamic, interactive workshops. Participants were able to select three workshops (from 18 choices) to attend each day from 2-4 p.m. and then choose from a variety of late afternoon options. Participants also took action to advocate for children each day in the Action Center with computers and staff there to help make an immediate difference on pending legislation and other urgent matters.

Come with Your Family!
A special Proctor CDF Freedom Schools® Program for children ages five to 15 met each full day of Proctor to engage children in activities, reading enrichment, and fun while parents and other caregivers are in plenary sessions and workshops.

Come for Seminary Credit
A Monday pre-session (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and special sessions during the week are offered for seminarians of all ages, guided by the Proctor faculty in residence. Seminarian students who are interested in registering for the credit-bearing graduate course should sign up through their seminaries and register at the discounted price of $200. There is an opportunity for scholarships on a first come first serve basis. For more information on scholarships and course credit please contact Janet Wolf at

Come for an Experience of Beloved Community
More than 500 participants joined in an intergenerational, interracial and multi-ethnic ecumenical community of people who share a passion in working for justice for our nation’s children. Together we sang and talked and shared meals and exchanged ideas and strengthened ourselves and each other to carry on in our work. Our hearts and minds, bodies and souls were renewed and recharged for action, all in the serene setting of CDF Haley Farm in Clinton, Tennessee, once home to Roots author Alex Haley and now the spiritual home of the children’s movement. You might be able to get a little of this at a typical conference, a little of that at church, a bit of this at a revival, and bit of that at a training. But the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry is the one place that has it all, a unique experience that will leave you informed, inspired, equipped, connected, and ready to put your faith even more effectively into action to seek justice for our nation’s children and to build the next generation of leaders for the children’s movement. We hope you join us in 2016.

2015 Great Preachers and Plenary Speakers

Rev. Lewis Anthony
Great Preacher
  Dr. William Barber, II
Great Preacher
   Marian Wright Edelman
CDF President
 Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II
Bible Study Speaker
   Dr. Anna Carter Florence
Great Preacher
   Dr. Eileen Lindner
Bible Study Speaker
Dr. Otis Moss, III
Morning Devotions Preacher
  Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
Morning Devotions Preacher
  Bryan Stevenson
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
The Rev. Dr. Marvin A. McMickle
Great Preacher
  Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman
Great Preacher
  Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Special Video Keynote
Alex Johnson
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
  The Rev. Itang Hope Young
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
  Randolph Burleson
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
Danny Tejada
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
  Damien Durr
Children's Concerns
Plenary Speaker
Leadership: Proctor Institute

Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris

Proctor Institute Director


Rev. Janet Wolf

Director of CDF Haley Farm and
Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing


Dr. Eli Wilson

Proctor Institute Director of Music


Mr. Don Lewis

Proctor Institute Organist

Rev. Will Gipson

Proctor Co-Chaplain-in-Residence


Dr. Frederick J. Streets

Proctor Co-Chaplain-in-Residence


Dr. Victor Anderson

2015 Proctor Professor-in-Residence


Eric Brown

“CDF Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Team"


Damien Durr

“CDF Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Team” 


Ndume Olatushani

“CDF Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Team” 

2015 Schedule at a Glance

Please note the below schedule is subject to change

Make sure to reserve your seat in our 2:00pm-4:00pm Workshop/Organizing Training Sessions

Monday July, 20th

Seminarian Pre-Session

Guided CDF Haley Farm Tour for Early Arrivers

Lunch for early arrivers

Orientation for First Time Participants (includes guided tour of CDF Haley Farm)


Welcome: Marian Wright Edelman 
Great Preachers: Rev. William J. Barber, II

Tuesday, July 21st

Meditations for the Journey (Optional) - Dr. Frederick J. Streets, Proctor Co-Chaplain in Residence


Devotions: The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III

Bible/Theological Study: Dr. Eileen Lindner — Proctor Theologian-in-Residence

Reflect & Respond

Children’s Concerns: Ending Child Poverty Now: Strategies and Stories

Alex Johnson, Executive Director of CDF-California
Randolph Burleson, 2009 CDF-CA Beat the Odds® winner
Daniel Tejada, 2004 CDF-NY Beat the Odds® winner
The Rev. Itang Young, 2002 CDF-TX Beat the Odds® winner

Advocacy in Action


Workshops/Organizing Training (Reserve your seat for one of the below sessions)

  • Becoming Beloved Community: Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Part 1 (description)

  • Fearless Dialogues, Part 1 (description)

  • Moral Mondays, Part 1: A theological Imperative for Social Change (description)

  • Participatory Bible Study (description)

  • Poverty Harms Children and the Nation; We Can End It Now! (description)

  • Ambassadors of Reconciliation Part 1: Restorative Justice and Historical Violations (description)

Late Afternoon Options

  • Choir Rehearsal (description)

  • Echos of Incarceration: Ministry with Children of Incarcerated Parents (description)

  • Seminarian Session (description)

  • An Introduction to the CDF Freedom Schools® Program — A Summer Reading Enrichment, Mentoring, Parent and Community Engagement Model (description)


Great Preachers: Dr. Anna Carter Florence

Wednesday, July 22nd

Meditations for the Journey  (Optional) - Dr. Frederick J. Streets, Proctor Co-Chaplain in Residence


Devotions: The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. and The Rev. Otis Moss, III

Bible/Theological Study: Dr. Eileen Lindner — Proctor Theologian-in-Residence

Reflect & Respond

Children’s Concerns: Damien Durr in Conversation with Young Adults

Advocacy in Action


Workshops/Organizing Training (Reserve your seat for one of the below sessions)

  • Becoming Beloved Community: Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Part 2 (description)

  • Fearless Dialogues Part 2 (description)

  • Moral Mondays, Part 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Organizing for Social Change (description)

  • Violence: A Christian Response "Supporting Our Children in a Violent World" (description)

  • Listening with the Community (description)

  • Ambassadors of Reconciliation Part 2: Facing Personal and Political Trauma (description)

Late Afternoon Options


Great Preachers: Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman

Thursday, July 23rd

Meditations for the Journey  (Optional) - Dr. Frederick J. Streets, Proctor Co-Chaplain in Residence


Devotions: The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, III

Bible/Theological Study: Dr. Greg Ellison – Cut Dead But Still Alive

Reflect & Respond

Children’s Concerns: Bryan Stevenson – Restorative Justice

Freedom Schools Scholars


Workshops/Organizing Training (Reserve your seat for one of the below sessions)

Late Afternoon Options


Great Preachers: Rev. Lewis Anthony

Friday, July 24th

Meditations for the Journey (Optional)


Charge Marian Wright Edelman

Communion: Rev. James A. Lawson, Jr. — Preaching

2015 Workshops Descriptions

Workshop Descriptions

 Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing Track

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: Becoming Beloved Community: Nonviolent Direct Action Organizing, Part 1 & 2

This two-part workshop will focus on nonviolent direct action organizing, including the importance of relationship and community building as central to movement building. We are faced with extreme abuse of police power, growing income inequality, declining quality of public education of wealth and political power. These workshops will explore nonviolent direct action organizing work that affirms the dignity, worth and enormous unrealized potential of all, with an emphasis on those who are impoverished and most marginalized. These interactive sessions will draw on the experience of 50 years of movement building that involves neighborhoods, organized labor, churches and other faith-based institutions, truth and reconciliation initiatives and work with gang members.

The Rev. Nelson N. Johnson, Executive Director of the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, has been active in the movement for social and economic justice since high school. He served as president of the National Student Organization for Black Unity in the 70’s. As a student leader, he worked closely with the NAACP on voter registration, redevelopment, housing, education, open public accommodations and worker justice. He served as Chairperson of the Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice and Chairperson of the Gulf Coast Commission on Reconstruction Equity, established in response to the devastation from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He continues to work for social and economic justice in Greensboro as Pastor of Faith Community Church and Co-Director of the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro. The Rev. Johnson was among the first 17 people arrested in the NC Moral Monday Movement in 2013. Guided by his multiple emphases of faith, diversity, justice and democracy, he is actively providing leadership among faith groups, organized labor, and community organizations in Greensboro and the south.

Joyce Hobson Johnson, Director of the Jubilee Institute of the Beloved Community Center of Greensboro, has been an activist since high school in Richmond, VA during the 1960s struggle for civil rights and open accommodations. She deepened her involvement in college while supporting campus non-academic employees and the movement for relevant education. A former university business professor and transportation research director, Johnson and others established the pace-setting Greensboro Truth and Community Reconciliation Project in 2001. This initiative was designed to encourage truth, understanding, and healing related to the tragic murder of five labor and racial justice organizers by Ku Klux Klan and American Nazi Party members on November 3, 1979. In addition, Johnson is a member of the Executive Committee of the NC NAACP, the lead entity of the Moral Monday Movement and a co-chair of the National Council of Elders.

THURSDAY: The Nonviolent Movement of America: Informing Today’s Struggle

We will explore the nonviolent direct action organizing movements of 1953-1973 and how those movements have informed the work of Cleveland’s New Abolitionist Association, especially NAA’s work for systemic change after the police killings of Tanisha Anderson and Tamir Rice.

Joe Worthy is the National Coordinator of Youth Leadership Development and Organizing with CDF-Ohio. Prior to his work with CDF he was with The Education Resources Institute and organized Boston’s Cradle to Prison Summit for 150 City Year Corps members. Worthy is a graduate of Heidelberg University and studied at Harvard Kennedy School as a Community Fellow.

Maudisa Meroe provides leadership for the National Abolitionist Association team of elders and serves as a mentor for National Abolitionist Association’s young women.

Whitney Tyree is a recent graduate from Shaker High School and will soon be a student at Ursuline College. She is the editor of National Abolitionist Association’s newsletter, “The Liberator.”

 Speaking Truth in Love Track

TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY: Fearless Dialogues, Part 1 & 2

Fearless Dialogues is a grassroots initiative committed to creating spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard, heartfelt conversations that see gifts in others, hear value in stories, and work for change and positive transformation in self and other. The Fearless Dialogues team creates spaces for transformation like none other in which radical hospitality lessens anxiety, reduces power differences, and levels the playing field for hard conversations to occur. Artistic mediums, like visual art, spoken word poetry, and live music, reframe sterile and hostile environments into spaces for lively and engaging interaction with exercises that heighten sensitivity to stereotypes and power differentials, facilitate authentic and vulnerable truth-sharing, and foster connections that inspire prophetic service.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II, is the Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Dr. Ellison has written several articles and speaks extensively on issues related to adolescence, hope, marginalization, and muteness and invisibility in African American young men. Ellison is the author of Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men and the co-founder of Fearless Dialogues, a grassroots community empowerment initiative to improve the lives of African American young men. He is an ordained Baptist minister who has served in Methodist and Presbyterian churches.

THURSDAY: Listening into Life: Engaging Young People through Storytelling and Art

We will explore powerful stories from young people who have used their hands and hearts to tell and create a pathway towards a brighter tomorrow.

Damien Durr, Children’s Defense Fund Nashville Organizing Team

Aijalon Morris is a rising senior at Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School. He is a thinker, dreamer and music artist. AJ wants to use music as a vehicle to share knowledge and insight in an effort to change his circumstances and his community.

Michael Mucker is a Tennessee based multimedia artist. His artistic style was heavily influenced by his experiences during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, when graffiti became his creative outlet. He currently teaches at Plaza Artist Materials, and is a tattoo artist at One Drop Ink Tattoo Studio and Gallery. Mucker has participated in several projects with local talent all over the Nashville area since 1995. He has exhibited his work in galleries, museums and cultural centers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana. Self-taught, Mr. Mucker has always created artwork that emphasizes creative freedom.

Ndume Olatushani is an artist, organizer, and passionate advocate for justice. He is a consultant with the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville Team, working to help challenge the mass incarceration of people of color and zero tolerance school discipline policies that criminalize children. Olatushani was wrongly convicted of murder and served almost 28 years in prison, 20 on death row. He was released on June 1, 2012.

Jermaine Simmons is a rising junior at Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School. He is an athlete, wide receiver, scholar and avid chess player. He shares his power and promise through his story of tragedy and triumph.

E’Darrius Smith is a rising senior at Pearl-Cohn Magnet High School. He is an artist and philosopher who seeks to use art as a way to explore and express his imagination and the complexities of life from inside the veil.

 Movement Building Track

TUESDAY: Moral Mondays, Part 1: A Theological Imperative for Social Change

Moral Mondays have taken the nation by storm and have spread from North Carolina to states across America. The methodology of this movement is being touted as the most promising means of redress to the regressive ideology of the Tea Party and ALEC. In this session we will explore the origins of the Moral Monday Movement in North Carolina examining the issues behind it, the theological basis for it, and the way that this movement came to be. In this session we will also consider developing a theological hermeneutic that will sustain efforts bring together local clergy and religious leaders to transform the public square.

The Rev. Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, Jr., is Associate Professor of Bible at Union Presbyterian Seminary. He is the Religious Affairs Chair of the Charlotte NAACP and a Board Member for the Progressive Democrats of America. Dr. Sadler is the developer of religious resources for the Moral Monday Movement.

WEDNESDAY: Moral Mondays, Part 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Organizing for Social Change

Moral Mondays are the result of the effective use of big tent political and religious organizing across issues uniting what many will imagine to be “strange bedfellows.” In this session we will consider how to go about strategizing for movement building. We will discuss tactics for organizing religious and community leaders and forging coalitions of organizations of diverse issues. We will also discuss discerning which issues in your community can serve as the basis for your organizing and how to get traditional pastoral leaders to recognize their transformative potential as community leaders.

The Rev. Dr. Rodney S. Sadler, Jr.

THURSDAY: Singing a New Song: Building Hope Through Chords of Resistance

Members of Allentown’s grassroots movement “Campaign For Change” (C4C) will facilitate a robust discussion and Courageous Conversation with participants about the journey and experience interrupting a city’s School to Prison Pipeline.

Participants attending this interactive session will:

•  Gain understanding of the language and nomenclature related to Critical Race Theory;

•  Increase awareness of the will, skill and courage required to interrupt educational oppression;

•  Discuss the process and protocols for engaging in Courageous Conversations;

•  Learn non-violent tactics which facilitate interruption, foster dialogue and manifest change.

Phyllis Alexander believes change is possible and embodies a powerful combination of hope, creativity, experience, and wisdom. Phyllis is the Board President of the National Coalition Building Institute, an organization that for over 30 years has been dedicated to the elimination of all forms of oppression including racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. She is a founding member and Vice President of the Resurrected Community Development Corporation. A graduate of Southern New Hampshire University, her Masters in Community and Economic Development informs her community engagement and leadership work. As a mother of two young women, a sister, a daughter (mom is 90!) and loyal friend, Phyllis knows it is all about relationship and stays connected and centered while working on behalf of the marginalized and dehumanized.

Jude-Laure Denis is the Executive Director of POWER Northeast (Pennsylvanians Organized to Witness, Empower & Rebuild), an interfaith, interdenominational movement grounded in the prophetic act of reclamation, and intentionally organized to interrupt oppressive and inequitable systems that have historically negatively impacted black and brown communities in the Lehigh Valley. The bold, courageous, prophetic clergy, congregations and communities bear witness to, and actively participate in, the reclamation of marginalized and disenfranchised people through grassroots organizing that accesses their own inherent power and delivers opportunities to become agents of their own liberation.

The Reverend Gregory J. Edwards, M.Div., is Founder and Senior Pastor of the Resurrected Life Community Church and CEO of the Resurrected Community Development Corporation in Allentown, Penn. He established the Resurrected Life Children’s Academy, a licensed pre-school and full day kindergarten program, The James Lawson Freedom School, and the Urban Angel Awards that annually highlight individuals and organizations addressing systemic injustices. Reverend Edwards created Allentown’s Campaign for Change (C4C), a grassroots student led non-violent movement — college and high school students committed to systematically dismantling the city’s cradle to prison pipeline by addressing the racial disparities with in its educational and economic systems. The Rev. Edwards’ work in the fields of fatherhood, male involvement and relationship education was highlighted in TIME Magazine and recognized by the Allentown Human Relations Commission Award, the Rep. William Gray III Excellence in Ministry Award, and the Steele Award for Multiculturalism in Ministry. He is a graduate of Geneva College, the University of Delaware Graduate School in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, and Drew University.

Camilla Greene was a teacher of English in urban and suburban high schools in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut for over twenty-five years. As Senior Associate with the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, she co-founded the Center for Urban Excellence. Currently she is the consultant with the San Francisco Center for Effective Small Schools and a Senior Associate with the Oregon Equity Center. She is the recipient of two awards: the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ (BAEO) Most Valuable Person Award and The Coalition of Essential Schools Transformational Leadership Award. Currently, in addition to serving on the Resurrected Community Development Board of Directors, she is an active member of POWER (Pennsylvanians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild) Northeast.

 Ending Child Poverty Now Track

The Ending Child Poverty Now track aims to share information, strategies, tools and motivation to help participants end child poverty in their own communities, their states and nationally. Together participants will explore how to: engage in raising awareness of the need to address child poverty and what child poverty looks and feels like in their communities; listen to community needs and help community members actualize the power they have to change what they want to change; build public will to secure changes in local, state and national policies to end child poverty and provide economic justice to all; and understand the unique and crucial role faith communities can play in building a movement to end child poverty in our rich nation.

TUESDAY: Poverty Harms Children and the Nation; We Can End It Now!

Drawing on CDF’s recent Ending Child Poverty Now report, this first session will offer a discussion of how poverty hurts children, sometimes with lifelong consequences, and our nation’s economic stability; specific policy and program investments that could be made right now to cut child poverty by 60 percent; and how to build the public will to ensure the American Dream exists for all children.

MaryLee Allen is the CDF Policy Director and Director of Child Welfare and Mental Health for the Children’s Defense Fund and was a collaborator on CDF’s Ending Child Poverty Now report.

Ashley Moore is a CDF Policy Associate and Staff Attorney at the Children’s Defense Fund, who works to help dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline® crisis, which is at the intersection of race and poverty.

WEDNESDAY: Listening with the Community

Too often we force others to “inhabit our version of their reality.” This participatory workshop will explore the Children’s Defense Fund’s Nashville team’s work with listening circles and Family Suppers as a way of listening to and partnering with those who are impoverished.

Eric Brown joined the Children’s Defense Fund Nashville Organizing Team in January 2013. He is also the Youth Advisor of Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church’s Youth Department and Director of Young Ministers for Action in the Nashville City District Association. Brown is a member of A. Philip Randolph Institute, Urban League’s Young Professionals, and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.  He graduated from American Baptist College in Nashville, and earned master degrees in Theological Studies and Ethics from Vanderbilt University. Brown was raised in Nashville.

Brigit Hurley is a Policy Analyst at the Children’s Agenda in Rochester, NY, the only city of comparable size in the nation where more than half the children live in poverty. The Children’s Agenda’s Interfaith Collaborative, which she staffs, includes 33 leading area denominations and more than 93 congregations that participate in Monroe County’s annual Children’s Interfaith Weekend each fall where faith congregations come together to celebrate children by recognizing the crises they face locally and joining together to support changes children need.

Dr. Janet Walsh, Librarian at American Baptist College in Nashville, Tennessee, an educator and professor has been engaged in multiple ways in highlighting the value of the spoken word and a shared understanding of others through communal meals, culinary rituals and cultural communication. Books, travel and tea opened her interest in societal activities. She believes wellness, harmony, and community lie within the simple art of tea and has traveled to almost every state and several continents exploring tea culture and its benefits.

THURSDAY: Building Action Plans to End Child Poverty

Building new or revised action plans to end child poverty in your own congregations and communities will put you a step ahead in using the Children’s Sabbath celebration in the fall to keep the momentum building as you seek real change for children. Learn about additional strategies congregations are using to end child poverty and share more about your own experiences with effective outreach strategies and your own lessons learned to help each other develop action plans to build public will to end child poverty now.

MaryLee Allen, CDF Policy Director and Director of Child Welfare and Mental Health

Brigit Hurley, Policy Analyst at the Children’s Agenda in Rochester, NY

Ashley Moore, CDF Policy Associate and Staff Attorney

 Transformative Christian Education Track

TUESDAY: Participatory Bible Study

Preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words. Imagine when all are included in the gospel story despite social location. This workshop is about working together to hear a radical understanding of the scriptures.

Eric Brown, CDF Nashville Organizing Team

Damien Durr, CDF Nashville Organizing Team

Ndume Olatushani, Consultant with the CDF Nashville Organizing Team

The Rev. Dr. Janet Wolf, Director of CDF Haley Farm and Nonviolent Organizing

WEDNESDAY: Violence: A Christian Response “Supporting Our Children in a Violent World”

We live in an unsettled world, and the media continues to be filled with stories of children caught in the crossfire of violence. Violence against anyone, especially those most vulnerable, goes against the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Golden Rule that is recognized in religions the world over. This presentation will explore the culture of violence, and offer approaches that we can use to encourage and support healthy environments and relationships for children in the church and community.

Melanie C. Gordon serves as Director of Ministry with Children with Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church. She is responsible to The United Methodist Church for providing nationwide training and resourcing, and does research and networking for leaders engaged in ministry for children, including faith formation, weekday ministries, worship, Safe Sanctuaries®, and advocacy. Melanie wrote, What Every Child Should Experience: A Guide for Teachers and Leaders in United Methodist Congregations, 2013-16 UM Children’s Ministry Guidelines, and co-authored Guidelines for Weekday Preschool Ministry Programs in the UMC.

THURSDAY: From Sabbath Schools to Freedom Schools: Christian Education and the Power of Voice

This workshop will demonstrate that “The purpose of Christian Education  is to set people free: free to be children of God and free to be co-creators with God.” We will unpack this statement by first exploring the theological anthropology that undergirds it and demonstrate how it’s been engaged historically and presently through the Sabbath schools of the Reconstruction Era, the Freedom Schools conducted during the Summer of 1964, and the Freedom Schools as they are run today through the work of the Children’s Defense Fund, and finally explore why this approach to Christian Education is important.

Dr. Reggie Blount serves on the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth and Culture. He teaches in the area of Youth Ministry, Christian Education and Congregational Development. He is also Pastor of Arnett Chapel A.M.E. Church in Chicago, IL. He’s spoken nationally and internationally at numerous conferences and workshops helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with and on behalf of young people. He is a contributor in “Making God Real for a Next Generation: Ministry with Millennials Born from 1982 to 1999” (Discipleship Resources, 2003).

 Trauma, Healing, and Reconciliation Track

TUESDAY: Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Part 1: Restorative Justice and Historical Violations

This workshop will introduce the core biblical call to reconciliation, and then tackle the difficult question of how individuals and groups heal from violations and injustices that occurred in the past, including the deep past. We will explore the recent experiment in “Truth and Reconciliation” work in Canada addressing genocidal Indian Residential Schools. Then we will investigate how restorative justice principles can help guide individuals and communities in the process of moving from victim to survivor to healer.

Dr. Elaine Enns has been working in the field of restorative justice and conflict transformation since 1989 as victim-offender dialogue facilitator, consultant, educator and trainer.  A Canadian, she holds an M.A. in Theology and Peacemaking from the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Saskatoon Theological Union. She provides mediation and consultation services for individuals, churches, schools and community organizations throughout North America, and has taught at Fresno Pacific University, Canadian Mennonite University and Menno Simons College at the University of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Ched and Elaine Enns co-direct Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries in southern California, and are co-authors of Ambassadors of Reconciliation: A New Testament Theology and Diverse Christian  Practices of Restorative Justice and Peacemaking.

Ched Myers is an activist theologian who has worked in social change movements for 40 years. With a degree in New Testament Studies, he is a popular educator who animates scripture and issues of faith-based peace and justice, and has taught around the world. Author of over 100 articles and a half-dozen books, including Binding the Strong Man: A Political  Reading of Mark’s Story of Jesus (Orbis, 1988/2008) and most recently, Our God is Undocumented: Biblical Faith and Immigrant Justice (with Matthew Colwell, Orbis, 2012), his publications can be found at Ched has co-founded several collaborative projects: the Word and World School; the Sabbath Economics Collaborative; the Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice; and the Watershed Discipleship Alliance.

WEDNESDAY: Ambassadors of Reconciliation, Part 2: Facing Personal and Political Trauma

Oppressed people carry both individual and collective trauma. We will review some recent theory regarding intergenerational trauma and communal narratives, focusing on our autobiographical experiences and the challenge of “doing our own work” around painful legacies. Then we will look at various strategies of personal and political resilience, disciplines of embracing “historical response-ability,” and practices of “restorative solidarity.”

Dr. Elaine Enns and Ched Myers

THURSDAY: The Gift Besides the Wound

Street Poets Inc. creates circles. Poetry circles. Multi-cultural multi-generational circles. Creative healing circles within which at-risk youth and young adults can breathe, write, laugh, cry and rediscover their authentic voices in the midst of a world increasingly ruled by fear and permeated by violence. We do what we do with the larger goal of transforming our society into one that champions the creative process, multicultural community, peace-making, healing and personal growth. 

Chee Malabar is a recording artist/performer, writer, and educator. He has recorded and released eight albums under his own moniker along with his bands Himalayan Project and Oblique Brown. His latest release, Feral Child, is Chee Malabar’s immigrant story. He continues to perform his music and speak at Universities and Colleges around issues of American identity as it relates to Hip Hop culture. Along with being featured in a documentary, his lyrics and work are the subject of the book Hip Hop Desi’s and A Global Race Consciousness by Northwestern University Professor Dr. Nitasha Sharma. Chee’s writing has appeared in The New Enquiry, The Asian American Literary Review, Scroll, and he has a short story forthcoming in Wasafiri. Chee earned his MFA in Fiction from the Creative Writing Program at Brooklyn College where he studied with Michael Cunningham, Colum McCann, and Stacey D’Erasmo. He currently serves as the Program Director/Teaching Artist for Street Poets Inc. in Los Angeles.

Taylor Code Maxie Jr. currently serves as a Teaching Artist and Community Outreach Coordinator for Street Poets Inc., an LA-based non-profit organization that harnesses the power of poetry, music and rites of passage work to transform the lives of incarcerated and highly at-risk youth and young adults. In that capacity, Taylor has led hundreds of writing workshops, and has helped to facilitate numerous youth initiation retreats, serving the same organization and community that once inspired him to turn his own life around. As a hip-hop artist and poet, Taylor has created a powerful road map to redemption for others to follow. His first solo album Bone Deep as well as his creative contributions to Street Poets’ annual compilation CDs illuminate his journey from gang member to teacher, mentor and community builder. He is currently working on his second solo project while penning a novel based on his life, entitled Rationalized Dysfunction.

Late Afternoon Option

After the 2:00-4:00 p.m. workshop participants may choose from a variety of options:

 Continuing the Conversation (4:15-6:00 p.m.)

TUESDAY: Echoes of Incarceration: Ministry with Children of Incarcerated Parents

The United States currently houses 25 percent of the world’s prisoners; that makes the U.S. number one in prison population in the world. Nearly 52 percent of those prisoners are parents. One in 43 children in the U.S. has a parent in prison. Over half of parents in state prisons and nearly half in federal prisons never receive visits with their children. Participants will hear from children of incarcerated parents, consider how their ministries with children can help foster and maintain family ties, and learn about resources for help and suggestions to strengthen that ministry.

Kharon Benson resides in New York City where he is a producer, director, and actor. Kharon’s work with Echoes of Incarceration can be seen on YouTube.

Sarah McKay is a first year Master of Divinity student at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. and an intern with the Organizing Department of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society.

Doug Walker is the National Coordinator for Criminal Justice Reform for United Methodist Church, General Board of Church & Society, helping organize churches for local grassroots work to end mass incarceration. Doug is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC and American Baptist College, in Nashville, TN. He is currently a PhD candidate in Public Policy at the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, OH.

WEDNESDAY: Preaching Social Justice

When Jesus told the disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, what did he really mean? This workshop will give you the courage to preach, teach and lead with a commitment to nonviolence and social transformation.

The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr., Proctor Co-Pastor-in-Residence

THURSDAY: Continuing the Conversation on Restorative Justice

This is a time to engage with others in further discussion of the vital concerns around restorative justice raised by Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, in the morning plenary.

Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, see page 15

 Children’s Defense Fund Information Sessions (4:15-6:00 p.m.)

TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY: An Introduction to the CDF Freedom Schools® Program — A Summer Reading Enrichment, Mentoring, Parent and Community Engagement Model

Come discover how you can host or involve your congregation or community in the CDF Freedom Schools movement. Participants will gain an overview of the concept and vision behind this successful summer and after-school enrichment program for children ages five to 18. The CDF Freedom Schools program integrates reading, conflict resolution and social action in an activity-based curriculum that promotes social, cultural and historical awareness.

Shaquite Pegues and Robin Sally, CDF Freedom Schools Program

THURSDAY: Planning a Children’s Sabbath as a Catalyst for Action to End Child Poverty

Learn how you can engage your congregation in the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® celebration, a national multifaith program of the Children’s Defense Fund, to renew and increase witness and work for justice for all children. This will be an interactive workshop generating practical planning strategies and creative ideas for worship, education,outreach and advocacy that you can take back to your congregation and community to engage them in the 2015 Children’s Sabbath.

The Rev. Shannon Daley-Harris, CDF Religious Affairs Advisor and Director of the Proctor Institute

 Resurrection Choir (5:15-6:00 p.m.)

All are welcome to participate in the Resurrection Choir under the direction of Dr. Eli Wilson, Proctor’s Minister of Music, with Don Lewis, Proctor’s organist. Rehearsals are held in the Lodge each evening. The choir sings at the evening Great Preacher Series worship and Morning Devotions. It is never too late to join in, so if you are inspired by the choir on the first night, join for the next!

 Rest and Relaxation

A shuttle bus will leave from the area in front of the Registration Tables for hotels at 4:15 p.m. for those who wish to rest in their hotels. Shuttles will depart hotels to return participants to CDF Haley Farm in time for dinner followed by worship. Please refer to the Shuttle Bus Schedule for specific pick-up times from the hotels.

 Creating Connections (4:15-5:15 p.m.)

Do you want to gather with others to talk about a particular topic or concern, or to network by denomination, or by region? There will be a “Meet Up” board by Registration where you may post your area of interest and, if others sign up, plan to join together for informal conversation at one of the tables in the dining area of the Main Tent.

 Seminarian Reflection Groups (4:15-6:00 p.m.)

Those who are attending Proctor for credit as part of the Proctor Seminary Course will attend the Seminarian Reflection session in the Library. (All seminarians are also welcome to participate.)

Dr. Reggie Blount, 2015 Proctor Professor-in-Residence, is the Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and pastor of Arnett Chapel A.M.E. Church in Chicago, IL.

Dr. Derek S. Hicks, 2015 Proctor Professor-in-Residence, and Assistant Professor of Religion and Culture, Divinity School at Wake Forest University, teaches and researches broadly in the areas of African American religion, religion in North America, race, the body, religion and foodways, theory and method in the study of religion, Black and Womanist theologies, and cultural studies.

Dr. Virginia Lee, 2015 Proctor Professor-in-Residence, is the Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of Deacon Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Ched Myers

The Rev. Dr. Rodney Sadler

The Rev. Dr. Janet Wolf

 CDF Beat the Odds® Alumni & Young Advocate Leadership Training (4:15-6:00 p.m.)

Beat the Odds alumni, current participants in CDF’s Young Advocate Leadership Training and other young leaders will gather daily for these sessions.

Erica Ayala, CDF-New York Youth Leadership Development Associate

Special Opportunities for Seminarian Students

The Proctor Institute has special opportunities for students at seminaries and divinity schools. A Seminarian Pre-Session will be held on Monday, July 20th from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and is open to all seminarians who attend the Proctor Institute in any capacity. The Seminarian track registration is $200.00 and students should register here. Seminarians who are interested in registering for the credit-bearing graduate course should sign up through their seminaries. 

Seminarian students who participate in the Proctor Institute for course credit will then meet with our faculty, Proctor 2015 Professors-in-Residence, each afternoon for two hours to discuss and reflect on the day’s sessions and for further engagement with some of the 2015 Proctor leaders. There is an opportunity for scholarships on a first come first serve basis. For more infomation on scholarships and course credit please contact Janet Wolf at

Sign up and register for the 21st Annual Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute and Child Advocacy Ministry.

Special Opportunities for Children

About the Proctor Institute CDF Freedom Schools Program

Children ages five through 15 who have pre-registered will participate in the abbreviated CDF Freedom Schools program during the three full days of the 21st Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry. In addition to the children getting the CDF Freedom Schools experience, adults attending the 21st Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry will also get a glimpse of the children’s experience during a presentation on Thursday morning in the Chapel. Register your child today.


Children must have pre-registered by July 1st to participate in the Proctor Institute CDF Freedom School. The is no on-site registration for children who participate in the Freedom Schools program, staff numbers are determined based on pre-registration and we will not have the capacity to serve additional children safely. If you need to register your child/children or additional children please do so today.

Days and Hours

The Proctor CDF Freedom School program is held on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and begins at 8:45am and concludes at 4:00pm (this schedule is designed to enable parents or other caregivers to participate fully in the morning plenaries and in the afternoon sessions). Children are invited and encouraged to accompany their parents or caregivers to evening worship and to the closing worship service Friday morning.

Pick-up and Drop-off

Parents or other caregivers should pick-up and drop-off their children at the small white tent behind the White House. Please use the sign-in and sing-out sheet each time to help leaders track arrivals and departures.

Staying Cool

Most of the activities will take place under the small white CDF Freedom Schools tent. As needed, the children and leaders may hold sessions in the common rooms of the White House to cool off in the air conditioning. Water will be available to the children throughout the day so they can stay hydrated. Please be sure your child has the proper sunscreen, hat and clothing for the weather. The children may have the opportunity to play in the sprinkler or enjoy other water fun, so please send them with a bathing suit and towel or an extra set of clothes each day.


The Proctor Institute CDF Freedom School site is led by Servant Leaders who are Ella Baker Trainers (EBTs). EBTs are an extension to the national staff and aid in the successful implementation of the CDF Freedom Schools program. EBTs help to facilitate training, especially on the Integrated Reading Curriculum, to Executive and Project Directors, Site Coordinators, and college-aged Servant Leader Interns. Your children will be in caring and capable hands for these rich and fun-filled days.

Logistics: Proctor Insititute for Child Advocacy


The Proctor Institute begins on Monday, July 20, with a pre-session for seminarians from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.  Registration opens at noon and lunch will be available for early arrivals. Orientation for first-time participants begins at 2 p.m., a guided walking tour of CDF Haley Farm is offered at 4 p.m., choir rehearsal for any interested singers begins at 5:15 p.m., and dinner is at 6 p.m.  The formal start of the Proctor Institute is at 7 p.m. with a welcoming address by CDF President Marian Wright Edelman followed by the opening of the Great Preachers Series.


The Proctor Institute will conclude on Friday, July 24, with an 8 a.m. breakfast followed by a 9 a.m. Charge and Call to Action and a Communion Service from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Allow at least two hours from your CDF Haley Farm departure until your flight’s departure time (this includes shuttle schedule and the recommended hour for check-in). We encourage you to schedule a flight that will allow you to remain for the closing communion service. You won’t want to miss this special culmination of the week. Please provide your travel information when your plans are finalized.


If you will be flying, you should book your flight to McGhee Tyson Airport in Knoxville, Tennessee. CDF provides round-trip airport shuttle service from McGhee Tyson Airport to CDF Haley Farm for a fee of $60, please reserve your seat now.  If you will be driving to the Proctor Institute, you can find driving directions at  There is ample free parking at CDF Haley Farm.


You will need to make your own arrangements for lodging during the week. 
The recommended hotels in Clinton, Tenn. are listed below.  Please call the hotel directly and indicate that you are a Proctor Institute participant. (Special rates are available for reservations confirmed by July 1, 2015.) A free CDF shuttle will transport participants between these hotels and CDF Haley Farm.  Some participants enjoy the short walk between these hotels and Haley Farm.

  • Country Inn & Suites (865) 457-4311
  • Comfort Inn (865) 457-2255
  • Hampton Inn (865) 691-8070
  • Holiday Inn Express (865) 691-8070
  • Super 8 (865) 457-2311

CDF Freedom Schools Pre-Registration

Children must have pre-registered by July 1st to participate in the Proctor Institute CDF Freedom School. There is no on-site registration for children who participate in the Freedom Schools program, staff numbers are determined based on pre-registration and we will not have the capacity to serve additional children safely. If you need to register your child or additional children please do so today.

2014 Participant Testimonials

“There is only one place to meet other child advocates, learn spiritual and advocacy skills to help child advocates stand firm and effective on hallowed ground—the Children’s Defense Fund’s Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry.” 

Christine Kloker Young, participant since 2002

“Proctor is a loud voice in the wilderness that reminds me that grace abounds.  It will inspire you and renew your hope and reassure your spirit of the fact that the world is in the capable hands of our young people.” 

First-time participant

“If you want the opportunity and the chance to meet, hear, and see history in the making, come to this Institute.  It opens your mind, heart, and soul to issues you didn’t think were important or relevant and drives you do to more and better.” 

Joi Adams, first-time participant

“If you care about the plight of children and the future of this country you must come and learn to be an advocate for the rights of all God’s children!”

The Rev. Dr. Robert E. Walker, Jr.

“Haley is a place to rest and renew your spirit, challenge your faith, establish friendships with kindred spirits, hear great preaching, and then be ready and willing to go home and speak out and stand up for children!” 

Steve Wiard, nine-year participant