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MCC U.S. forms reference council for anti-racism coordinator

Ed Nyce
September 29, 2010

AKRON, Pa. – Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) U.S. fulfilled a long-term goal in May when it established an advisory council for its anti-racism coordinator.
The Community Reference Council (CRC) will advise the coordinator in the development and implementation of an anti-racist vision and plan for MCC U.S. and its regional offices. Members also will encourage and empower the coordinator, while holding that person accountable to ensure that people of color are heard in organizational decisions.
Currently Rick Derksen of Lancaster, Pa., and member of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, is the anti-racism coordinator for MCC U.S. and for the binational MCC.
“CRC can provide important perspectives on MCC’s internal decision-making,” said Wanda González-Coleman of New Holland, Pa., the chair of CRC, which is composed primarily of people of color. The council can also influence MCC U.S. supporters in their thinking about racism, said González-Coleman, a member of Iglesia Menonita Jesucristo es el Señor, New Holland.
In addition to González-Coleman, members of the council include:
  • Michelle Armster, vice chair, co-director of conflict transformation for MCC U.S.
  • Keshia Littlebear, recording secretary, MCC Central States anti-racism team member
  • J. Ron Byler, MCC U.S. executive director
  • Ricardo Esquivia, Mennonite Church, Colombia
  • Valentina Satvedi, director of MCC U.S. anti-racism program
  • John Stoesz, MCC Central States executive director.
Three positions remain open.
As part of staff, the anti-racism coordinator works with MCC U.S. to become a more fully anti-racist and multicultural organization. The coordinator’s role is distinguished from the MCC U.S. anti-racism program, which provides anti-racism education and resources from an Anabaptist perspective. More information about the MCC U.S. anti-racism program can be found at