Trustee Jim Winkler to Deliver Inaugural Address at 2014 Christian Unity Gathering
On January 2, 2014, CST Trustee began his tenure as President and General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC), an organization that promotes theological dialogue, interreligious relations, ecumenical faith formation, and issues of peace and justice. In doing so, he assumed leadership of an institution with a long history of social advocacy on behalf of partner churches and denominations. At the NCC’s 2014 Christian Unity Gathering, to take place May 18-20 at the Hilton Dulles Hotel in Herndon, VA, Winkler will present his vision for the organization amidst a powerful program on the issue of mass incarceration.
For Winkler, the attention to be paid to mass incarceration has been too long coming. “Mass incarceration has finally arrived on the agenda of major national faith and civil rights organizations due, in significant measure, to the groundbreaking work of Michelle Alexander,” he says, referring to the Ohio State University Law School professor and author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindedness. “Mandatory minimum sentences, the so-called War on Drugs, the prison-industrial complex, and racism have combined to imprison millions of Americans to long years behind bars for nonviolent offenses. The faith community is standing up and insisting these failed strategies come to an end.”
CST President Jeffrey Kuan appreciates the direction Winkler has taken during his first few months as President of the NCC. “I am delighted that Jim Winkler is now leading this important ecumenical organization,” remarks Kuan. “His long tenure as the top executive of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, an agency dedicated to addressing issues of justice, will serve the National Council of Churches well in addressing such issues as mass incarceration and our failed prison system.”
The Christian Unity Gathering will feature leading faith-based and civil rights advocates for bringing about change in public policy with regard to mass incarceration. Speakers committed to participating include Jim Wallis, President and Editor-in-Chief of Sojourners Magazine; Dr. Marian Wright Edelman, Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund; Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference; and Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, Associate Professor at Howard University Divinity School.
Registration for the 2014 Christian Unity Gathering is still open. Registration information and further conference details can be found here.
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