St. Paul, Minn.—Luther Seminary is pleased to announce that Rev. Iris de León-Hartshorn, director of transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA, has been named the recipient of the seminary’s “Race, Church and Change Award” for 2015.
The award will be presented to de León-Hartshorn at 11 a.m. on April 8 during services in the Chapel of the Cross at the seminary in St. Paul, Minn. De León-Hartshorn will also preach at the service on “Hymns of Dangerous Praise” (Revelation 7:9-11). The presentation event is free and open to the public.
The Race, Church and Change award recognizes individuals who have significantly impacted society through ministries of racial justice and reconciliation. Luther Seminary presents this award on a regular basis to individuals who have heroically served in their community.
De León-Hartshorn has worked within the Mennonite Church in various roles since 1996, serving as a leader in racial and gender justice in the church. She is currently director of transformative peacemaking in Portland, Ore., for Mennonite Church USA. In this role, she coordinates initiatives and programs related to the churchwide priority of “undoing racism and advancing intercultural transformation.”
De León-Hartshorn works within the denomination on core issues such as immigration, anti-racism efforts and intercultural competency to build bridges among cultures and move toward a transformed intercultural church. She is also involved in discussions the denomination is having on LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) inclusion within the church.
She is the co-author of Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity Against Racism (Herald Press, 2001). She is also a featured writer in the anthology Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry–Conversations on Creation, Land Justice and Life Together, edited by Steve Heinrichs. She received her M.A. in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., in 2005.
About Luther Seminary
Luther Seminary educates leaders for Christian communities across the country and around the world. It is one of eight seminaries in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Established in 1869, Luther Seminary is the result of six separate institutions consolidating through a series of mergers, the first in 1917, into a single seminary. Luther Seminary has educated more than one-third of ELCA pastors, in addition to an increasing number of lay professionals and leaders of many global Lutheran and ecumenical churches.
About Mennonite Church USA
Mennonite Church USA is an Anabaptist Christian denomination with roots in the Radical Reformation of 16th-century Europe. Formed in 2002 by the merger of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church, it has more than 95,000 adult members in about 875 congregations and 21 area conferences. Our vision for work and worship states, “God calls us to be followers of Jesus Christ and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to grow as communities of grace, joy and peace, so that’s God’s healing and hope flow through us to the world.”
—Luther Seminary staff
Iris de León-Hartshorn, director of transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA, has been named the recipient of Luther Seminary’s “Race, Church and Change Award” for 2015. (Photo provided)