Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
Diana Anderson is a member of the Salem Baptist Church of Chicago since 1990, under the leadership of Senior Pastor James T. Meeks. She currently serves as the Choir Director of the Bells of Glory Handbell Choir. Diana is an alumni of The Justice Journey Experience™ as a member of the 2007 and 2009 journeys. Diana is a retired high school teacher, whose teaching emphasis was in the area of Social Studies, where she taught Problems of Democracy, and US History for many years. Diana is a definite advocate for the Civil Rights Movement, having lived during that period of time, it has been her passion most of her life. Diana values the time she has spent on prior Justice Journey Experiences, and looks forward to participating in future journeys.
Gwendolyn M. Benton
Gwendolyn M. Benton is one the 12 founders of Victory Apostolic Church in 1996, and serves as the Chief Financial Officer. In addition, she is also the CEO for A Taste of Victory, LLC, the church affiliate that sponsors the annual community outreach that brings together over 3,000 attendees, 60 vendors, healthcare providers, fun and games for the southwest suburbs of Chicago. She is also the director for the Cultural Arts Ministry that produces an annual theatrical production each year in celebration of Black History Month. Gwen participated on her first Justice Journey in 2009. The experience has been life changing and she has been dedicated ever since to sharing and bringing The Justice Journey Experience™ to as many people as possible to further understanding of racial justice and reconciliation in the church today.
Renetta Butler has worked with organizations, non-profits, community groups, and colleges to create environments that allow all people to feel valued, to experience relevancy no matter their color, creed or, fair treatment, and to prompt each person to want to work together productively. With over 16 years as a facilitator, trainer, speaker, writer and author. Her passion for inclusiveness coupled with her varied background enables her to bring a range of skills and perspectives to join the effort in expediting the Justice Journey Experience. Renetta has authored a weekly blog surrounding inclusiveness; she has co-written, Becoming Multi-Racial Churches, a project she shared with five other people, as well, she submitted a chapter to Christian author, Karen O’Connor’s published book, In the Nick of Time. Renetta has been featured in works by authors, Clarence Shuler and Senior Pastor Bill Hybels. and an article by Time, Life Magazine’s author David Van Biema, Can Megachurches Bridge the Racial Divide? She has been interviewed by Moody Bible and has been a speaker and presenter promoting Diversity and Social Justice in various venues. Renetta earned a B.S. and a Masters of Leadership Studies from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Currently, she is employed within the telecommunications industry.
Rev. Dearal L. Jordan
Rev. Dearal L. Jordan is the Senior Pastor of Christ Centered Church of Chicago, with over twenty-five years of pastoral experience. Dearal is a graduate of Loyola University of Chicago, and currently is pursuing his Master of Science Degree in Holistic Nutrition. Dearal is the founder of Kingdom Health Concepts and author of the book called WAITING. Dearal is married to Denise and he has two sons.
Cynthia Lipsey is an alumni of The Justice Journey Experience™ 2008 and 2010, and is honored to be a part of the The Justice Journey Experience™ 2017. She’s a member of Christ Centered Church of Chicago (C4), under the leadership of Pastor Dearal Jordan, where she serves in multiple ministries. Cynthia has great admiration for the individuals involved and the history of the Civil Rights Movement, and has a desire for reconciliation across racial, ethnic, and social economic lines. Cynthia believes in the charge given by the late Pastor Rudy Howard, during The Justice Journey Experience™ 2010, which states “I am, the best, God has, to do, what needs to be done, for the kingdom, at this time.”
Sara Pearsaul Vice
Sara Pearsaul Vice is a freelance writer and communications consultant to businesses, educational institutions, and not-for-profit organizations, with experience in corporate and marketing communications, public relations, and journalism. She has volunteered on behalf of social justice ministries for decades, beginning with LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, where she served on the Deacon Board and the boards of the Cabrini Green Legal Aid Clinic and Cornerstone Academy. While attending Willow Creek Community Church, she was involved in International Ministries and later participated in the original Justice Journey in 2004, as well as the 2006 Journey, assisting with writing and media relations. She is currently a member of First (American) Baptist Church in Dayton, Ohio, where she sings in the choir and serves on the Worship, Music and Arts board.
Rachael Proulx is a freelance creative in the non-profit and for profit sectors. She’s a member of Willow Creek Community Church and a former staff member where her roles included: graphic designer, webmaster and essence creator for weekend services and special events. As a writer, singer, actor, project manager, director, coach and guest speaker she has served a number of Christian organizations including Alpha USA, Awana, local churches and independent projects. With 20+ years in communications, 16+ years in ministry and a lifetime in prayer, social justice and the arts, she is honored to be a part of this team.
Tracye Eileen Smith
Tracye Eileen Smith, a Chicago native with Gospel roots, delivers a rich melodic sound with a broad vocal range from Soprano to Contralto. Entertaining audiences since the age of 8, Tracye has continued to sing and perform in both gospel and jazz venues around the country and abroad. From a ten-city Gospel concert tour in Switzerland to a Jazz performance in Italy, Tracye has enthralled audiences with her innate ability to personalize each song so the listener feels she is singing just for them. She was a soloist on the inaugural CD “Good News” of the world renown Women’s Chorus of Trinity United Church of Christ, of which she has been a member for over 30 years, and released her own Jazz CD “Love’s Journey” in 2012 under her own label, Honey Crystal Records. Tracye is backed by her own 5-piece band, made up of top Chicago-based musicians and performs monthly at Buddy Guy’s Legends and other music venues and festivals.