I am the coordinator of the African-American Studies Program and an Assistant Professor of History.
I am interested in studying the history of race and religion in the United States. To that end I have studied how interactions between white and African-American Mennonites in homes and sanctuaries brought about changes as significant as those initiated in the streets by the formal civil rights movement. My current research focuses on Fresh Air rural hosting programs in which white rural families hosted African-American and Latino children from urban environments and on the role of prayer during the civil rights movement. In the first project, I trace how the host families' perceptions of the children changed during the course of the twentieth century as a means to explore shifts in the religious articulation of racial attitues, conceptions of innocence, and strategies for bringing about racial justice. In the second, I examine prayer as a potent resource activists used to initiate crisis. I have also written extensively on issues of white privilege, religious identity, and nonviolence.
Fall Semester 2012
Wednesdays, 2-4 pm
African-American History; 20th Century America; Religious History
I am concluding a research project on Fresh Air exchange programs in which white rural families hosted African-American children from the inner city. I trace how the host families' perceptions of the children changed during the course of the twentieth century as a means to explore shifts in the religious articulation of racial attitues, conceptions of innocence, and strategies for bringing about racial justice. My new work explores the role of prayer and crisis during the civil rights movement. For an article describing the initial stages of this project, point your browser to: http://www.umt.edu/urelations/pubs/Research%20View/Winter%202012/Prayer%20Power.php
AAS/HSTA 141 Introduction to African-American Studies
AAS/HSTA 343 African-American History Since 1865
AAS/HSTA 345 The Black Radical Tradition
AAS/HSTA 374 Voodoo, Muslim, Church: Black Religion
AAS/HSTA 417 Prayer and Civil Rights
AAS/HSTA 562 Problems in African-American History
I enjoy running, hiking, and reading science fiction.
I also make a mean peanut butter pie.
2006, Instructor, Northwestern University, “Racing Through the Movies: Race in Twentieth-Century Film.” Freshman writing seminar.
2005, Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Introduction to the New Testament.
2005, Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Introduction to Christianity.
2004, Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Religion in the Human Experience.
2004, Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Religion in the Human Experience.
2004, Teaching Assistant, Northwestern University, Introduction to the New Testament.
1993-2001, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Racism Awareness Program Director, Akron, Pa. Co-founded and led Damascus Road, a national anti-racism training program active among forty-five colleges, mission agencies, congregations, and church-wide conference bodies. Led more than 400 presentations in twenty-five states including sixty-three workshops of a day or more in length and hundreds of lectures, half-day workshops and classroom presentations.
Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite Homes and Sanctuaries. (Johns Hopkins Press, 2010).
Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity Against Racism. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2001 (co-authored with Iris de León-Hartshorn and Regina Shands Stoltzfus).
Enter the River: Healing Steps from White Privilege to Racial Reconciliation. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1994.
“A Pleasing Observation,” Chronicle of Higher Education (March 6, 2012), http://chronicle.com/article/A-Pleasing-Observation/131074/.
“More Than Fresh Air: African-American Children’s Influence on Mennonite Religious Practice, 1950-1979,” The Journal of Race, Ethnicity and Religion 2, no. 7 (May 2011): http://www.raceandreligion.com/JRER/Volume_2_%282011%29.html.
“Daily Demonstrators: The Civil Rights Movement in Mennonite Homes and Sanctuaries,” Mennonite Life 65 (Summer 2011): http://www.bethelks.edu/mennonitelife/2011/daily_demonstrators.php.
“‘Chickens, crops, and tractors’: The Use of Machines as Sacred Resource in Mennonite Fresh Air Hosting Programs,” The Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature & Culture 4, no. 3 (Fall 2010): 153-181.
“Moving Beyond Charisma in Civil Rights Scholarship: Vincent Harding’s Sojourn With the Mennonites, 1958-1966,” Mennonite Quarterly Review April 2008.
“Laws of Attraction Vs. Sentiments of Separation,” Mennonite Historical Bulletin 68, no. 4 (2007): 2-9, 15.
“How I Became a Worse Teacher Who Was Also a Good Bit Better,” Searle Center for Teaching Excellence Newsletter, Spring 2006.
“‘Buttcheek to Buttcheek in the Pew’: Interracial Relationalism at a Mennonite Congregation,1957-2010,” in Contesting the Color Line: Race and Religion after Divided by Faith, edited by Rusty Hawkins and Phillip Luke Sinitiere (forthcoming).
“Feathering Forman: Reframing the Black Manifesto, 1965-1971,” in Faith and Race in American Political Life, edited by Robin Jacobson and Nancy Wadsworth (University of Virginia Press, 2011), 207-230.
“Whitening Conflicts: White Racial Identity Formation within Mennonite Central Committee, 1960-1985,” in A Table of Sharing (Scottdale, PA: Cascadia Press, 2011), 215-238.
“Race and Power,” chapter in Making Peace with Conflict: Practical Skills for Conflict Transformation. Herald Press, 1999 (co-authored with Angel Ocasio).
The Myth of Race, Mennonite Central Committee, 2000 (with Regina Shands Stoltzfus).
Free Indeed: Of White Privileges and How We Play the Game. Screenplay co-author. Akron, PA: MCC, 1995. (Finalist in New York International Film Festival.)
Leap, Twist, Spy, Listen: Doing Nonviolence. Elkhart, IN: Mennonite Church USA, 2001.
Racism and Wisdom Literature, Link High School Bible Study. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1998.
Living Without Violence. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1994.
Challenging Racism. Newton, KS: Faith and Life, 1993.
“Trentin’s Gift,” Together, Fall 2002
“God is Faithful,” Evangel, November 3, 2002
“Bag the Baggage,” With, July/August 2002
“When Doing Good Does Bad,” With, July/August 2002
"White Spaces," The Other Side, March & April 2002.
"Angels and a Dork," With, March/April 2002
"Racism Kicks Back, God Heals The Wounds," Purpose, November 4, 2001.
"An Open Letter to Alex Chadwick of National Public Radio," The Mennonite, September 25, 2001."
"Spitwads: A Re-Telling of Mark 8:22-26," With, November/December 2001.
"Quieted by the Land," The Mennonite, June 19, 2001.
"Following Fake Latinos," The Mennonite, May 1, 2001.
"Fake Latinos," The Mennonite, January 9, 2001.
“Pearls, Swine and Beloved,” The Mennonite, December 29, 1998.
"Wall of History as Ritual and Remembering," Conciliation Quarterly, Summer 1998.
"Where on the Damascus Road? Reflections for Urban Peacemaking," Urban Connections, Fall 1997.
"Public Schools: Learning with the Neighbors," Christian Living, September 1997.
"Mennonites and Racism: Much Work to Do," The Mennonite, January 14, 1997.
"Has Change Come?" a Common Place, May 1996.
"Categorical Denial: Racism, Identity and the Possibility of Change," Christian Leader, January 1996.
"A Quiz on Racism," The Mennonite, January 9, 1996.
"Everyday Peacemaking," With, December 1995.
"Butter sandwiches, train rides, and affirmative action," Gospel Herald, October 31, 1995.
"Beyond Easy: Building Racial Reconciliation," The Christian Ministry, May-June, 1995.
"Why is it so hard to talk about racism?" Gospel Herald, November 22, 1994.
"Stopping the Hate," With, July-August 1994.
"Waiting for a dream," Christian Living, April-May 1994.
"Racism and a Running White Boy," Builder, January 1993.
"A Gift of Grace in Red, White and Blue," Urban Connections, Fall 1992.
"Nobody Should Die: Children's Wishes in the City," Christian Living, September 1992.
"A Clumsy Juggler Finds Grace," Christian Living, July 1992.
"Race Relations: Three Paradigms," Conciliation Quarterly, Spring 1992.
"Christians Must Work Against Subtle Racism," Mennonite Weekly Review, September 5, 1991.
"Ripped Off," Intercom, January 1991.
"A Psalm for the People of New Orleans," Contact, November 1990.
"Avoiding Burnout: Keeping a Vision while Volunteering," Southern Perspectives, Spring 1990.
"Behind the Bars of Racism," Gospel Herald, April 25, 1989.
"In the Presence of My Enemies," Gospel Herald, August 23, 1988.
"Promises Not Fulfilled," Blueprint for Social Justice, September 1987 (with A. J. Gallese).
"There's a Warm Wind Blowing in Chinandega," Christian Living, August 1986.
"Anger and Joy," Gospel Herald, July 8, 1986.
I hold membership with the American Academy of Religion.
I hold membership with the American Historical Association.
I have twenty years experience as an anti-racism consultant and workshop facilitator.
I am the co-founder and former core trainer of the Damascus Road anti-racism process, a constultation and training program that trains faith-based colleges, universities, mission agencies, and denominational offices for anti-racist action.
I also served as program coordinator of Mennonite Central Committee's service program in New Orleans, Louisiana, for six years.