Mennonite Church USA to host first leadership development event for youth of color

Culture Shock logo-01(Mennonite Church USA) — Culture Shock, Mennonite Church USA’s first leadership conference for youth of color, will be held Aug. 26–28 at Calvary Community Church, Hampton, Virginia.

“We want to make sure we find ways to prepare our young people for leadership with key skills that will strengthen them and ultimately, the church,” said Glen Alexander Guyton, chief operating officer for Mennonite Church USA and an organizer of the event.

According to Guyton, leadership needs across Mennonite Church USA are changing.

“Our goal is the make sure there is a significant pool of skilled leaders of color to meet the growing needs within Mennonite Church USA,” he said.

Goals for the weekend include helping participants strengthen their leadership skills and creating a database of potential leaders of color for the future of the church. Youth will also connect with elders and mentors who can provide ongoing guidance, teaching and support in their journeys as leaders.

For five years, Mennonite Church USA agencies, organizations and educational institutions have collaborated to host Hope for the Future, a gathering of leaders of color from across the denomination. In the same way, Culture Shock will provide youth of color with an opportunity to connect with one another as well as participate in a variety of engaging activities.

Workshops include:

  • Discovering calling: Identity and purpose
  • Dealing with law enforcement
  • Inner branding
  • Everence Financial: Planning for the future
  • College skills (Hesston College)
  • Personal appearance/dress

The event is geared toward high school youth, college students and young adults. The registration cost is $10/person. A travel stipend of $600/group is also available to youth groups. Information will be added to the conference webpage as it is available.

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—Mennonite Church USA staff

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