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CWU Affirms that Black Lives Matter

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Church Women United Affirms that Black Lives Matter

As we commemorate Black History Month, we are mindful that church women have not always lived up to the call of recognizing and honoring black history. We are mindful that church women have dismissed the struggle of black people, calling it “history” only, when this struggle is still relevant in our diverse communities today. The events of 2014 in Ferguson, MO, Staten Island, NY, and countless other casualties indicate the devaluation of black lives and compel us to speak out.

As Church Women United, we affirm that black lives matter.

All lives matter. This message was the core of Jesus’ ministry from Zacchaeus to the Samaritan woman. But in our American context, we also recognize that the particular history of the United States requires us to lift up black lives especially.

We oppose and call out systemic racism, which we find knit into the fabric of American society despite our best intentions.

We pledge to be mindful of the intricacies in our individual identities. We are proud of our differences, but not of the disparities in our privilege.

Remembering Paul’s words, “let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action” (1 John 3:18), we commit to living out the truth that black lives matter. We commit to resisting racism as it is manifest in our communities, our institutions, and our attitudes. We are Church Women United—a racially, culturally, and theologically diverse group UNITED against racism.

Church Women United


Marilyn Lariviere
Djamillah Samad
Executive Director

CWU Unit
Margit Hauge Board Member Lutheran – ELCA Minnesota
Mary Ann Glover Board Member Disciples of Christ New York
Celeste Bateman Board Member Baptist Virginia
Aline Davis Board Member Baptist Ohio
Carolyn Good Board Member United Methodist New Mexico
Robin Woodberry Board Member Baptist Ohio
Louise Ballard Board Member Christian Methodist Episcopal New Jersey
Patricia Kenning Board Member Lutheran – ELCA Colorado
Althea Simpson Board Member Baptist Michigan
Nicole Walker Board Member United Methodist Georgia
Gwendolyn Davis Board Member United Methodist Arkansas
Roselyn Collins Board Member United Methodist Oregon
Stephanie Olson Board Member
Anna DeWeese Board Member unaffiliated New York
Nancy Neal Board Member Bread for the World Washington, DC
Sandra Gadson Board Member Women’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society AMEZ Church
Heidi Thorsen National Office Episcopalian New York
Joan Berry Presbyterian Maryland
Thenisha Smith Fort Worth AME Texas
Cherraye Oats Mississippi
Elaine B. Johnson Greater Chicago AME Illinois
Phyllis Hockley Church Women United of Lane County Oregon
Katherine Floyd Burlington/Alamance Co. NC Elon Community United Church of Christ North Carolina
Katherine Mittelsteadt North West Unit Arizona
Shirley Maurice Mt. Vernon New York Baptist New York
Jennie Sue Murdock Roanoke Valley Disciples of Christ Virginia
Barbara Shuck Presbyterian New York
Mary Jane Schutzius St. Louis, MO Christian Missouri
Antonia Daniels CWU Brooklyn Unit non-denominational New York
Brenda Thompson AME New York
Mary Farrish Staunton Augusta County Virginia United Methodist Virginia
Vera Boyd Broome County Baptist New York
Ismay Ashford Illinois
Marilyn Russell Toms River, NJ UCC New Jersey
Marjorie Simpson WOW Michigan Michigan
Marilyn Ramos Holley Brooklyn Unit Baptist New York
Ann Sowaske Madison, Wisconsin United Methodist Wisconsin
Gloria Smith Toms River Unit United Methodist New Jersey
Myrtis Parker Fort Worth UMW Texas
Josephine B. Hall Asheville, NC Baptist North Carolina
Earleen Burch Chapel Hill-Carrboro NC United Methodist North Carolina
Lesley Barker UCC North Carolina
Marie Durflinger Southeast Unit Disciples of Christ California
Pauline Miles Baptist Virginia
Mary Ellen Biller Buckhannon, WV United Methodist West Virginia
Cedric Bailey Sr.
Barb Olson CWU in Northwest Cook County ELCA Illinois
Vinod Gupta
Joellen W. Grady Cincinnati, OH Presbyterian Ohio
Gladys Gill Chicago Baptist Illinois
Aurelia C. Scott Greater Athens Unit AME Georgia
Gloria Vonentzminger Wayne Oakland Women United Methodist Michigan
Mary H. Collins Greater New Orleans CWU State President Louisiana
Darlene Jackson CWU in CT UCC Connecticut
Shirley Joan Mace Pueblo #27 Colorado
Linda Hutchings CWU of Fort Worth, TX United Methodist Women Texas
Sherrie L. Wilson Atlanta United Methodist Georgia
Arlene Maxwell Savannah, GA Unit Georgia
Monica S. Reed President – Knoxville, Knox County Unit AME Zion Tennessee
Amanda Doescher South County Lutheran Rhode Island
Marie Perelman Knoxville, TN United Methodist Tennessee
Wilhelmina Greater Athens Unit AME Georgia
Linda Caprariello Madison, WI United Methodist Wisconsin
Thelma Isaksen St Lucie Co. Florida Florida
Aline Taylor United Methodist Women Indiana
Tracy Williams Northwest Cook County, Illinois Lutheran Illinois
Terry Browne Presbyterian Tennessee
Loreta Jordan Prince George’s Unit Catholic Maryland
Regina Newson St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (USA) Tennessee
Olgha Sandman LaGrange/Western Springs UCC Illinois
Pat Paul Licking County CWU Neal Ave UMC Ohio
Lois Ann Griffiths Harrisburg, PA Pennsylvania
Carol E. Wilson Forsyth Unit – Women United Grace Presbyterian Church North Carolina
Mattie Beckham Baptist North Carolina
Margaret Baber Williamsburg, VA Virginia
Carolyn Keah Salisbury Rowan AME Zion North Carolina
Therese Weakland Delaware County, IN Ecumenical Development Chair Indiana
Patricia Green Fort Wayne, IN Indiana
Carol Madere Disciples of Christ Louisiana
Gay Marie Logsdon Oak Ridge Episcopal Tennessee
Barbara Coates CWU in the Foothills UCC California
Rev. Virginia R. Greeley Past President, Southern California/Southern Nevada State Unit Disciples of Christ California
Carolyn Kingshill Southern CA/Hawaii PCUSA California
Barbara Coates CWU in the Foothills UCC California
Barbara Greene Fort Worth, TX Methodist Texas
Sheila Davis Brooklyn, NY Friendship Baptist Church New York
Elsie Johnson Bella Vista Disciples of Christ Arkansas
Carol Grant Gibson Fort Worth, TX St. Andrews United Methodist Church Texas
Patricia Bradley DC Unit African Methodist Episcopal Church Women’s Missionary Society Maryland
Lynda Lewis Spurgeon Chapel AME Zion Church Tennessee
Janice T. Watson President CME New Jersey
Jean Smith Champaign County CWU Presbyterian, USA Illinois
Mabel Cavanagh Houston UMC Texas
Sharon Williams 15th Street Presbyterian Church Texas
Sheran Long CWU of Independence, MO Community of Christ Missouri
Sarah Wittstruck CWU of Greater St. Petersburg, FL Methodist Florida
Joan Brown Greater Dayton, Ohio National Baptist Ohio
Margaret Shelton Northside Christian Church Mississippi
Mary Ellen Wiley Shepherd of the Sea Lutheran Church South Carolina
Vivian Howard Local CWU Board Member Congregational UCC Watertown Wisconsin
Connie Williams CWU in the Foothills United Methodist California
Dolly Patterson Pittsburgh Unit Presbyterian Pennsylvania
Molly Dean Presbyterian (USA) Connecticut
Maxine Bakeman AME Zion Church North Carolina
M Quinlan United Methodist Church Texas
Mildred Langston Albuquerque/Rio Rancho Methodist New Mexico
Janet Matthews UCC New York
Marilyn Shreffler Columbus, Ohio Presbyterian Ohio
Pat Barnard
Christine Boyenga CWU in the Merced Area Lutheran, ELCA California
Venoris Jones Fuller North Carolina
Debbie Richmond Presbyterian Maryland
Gerre Walker Rivervally Church Women United Disciples of Christ Arkansas
Nila Matzat Stillwater CWU Oklahoma
Dixie Downes ELCA – Metro Chicago Illinois
Katherine L. Carpenter PCUSA Virginia
Shirley A. James-Hanshaw Mississippi
Marily Garner Colorado
Marianne Stowers Springfield, IL and Illinois State Board Disciples of Christ Illinois
Martha Key CWU South Bay AME California
Jacquelyn Strong
Sandra Bowe Unit 6 Missouri
Mary L. Pickering Jonesboro, AR Arkansas
Pamela Bracey Madison, WI Wisconsin
Ellie Young United Methodist Women Colorado
Jeeanette Tisdale American Baptist Iowa
Janis B. Hill CWU Dover, Delaware Methodist Delaware
Shirley Bryan CWU Dover, Delaware AME Delaware
Diane Gioe ELCA Lutheran Illinois
Carolyn G. Hill-Jones AME New Jersey
Susan Daron Eastmont CWU, Gresham OR UCC Oregon
Charles Alger UCC Oregon
Lois Parker Dover, DE, President Delaware
Phyllis Permar Peters Township Lutheran (ELCA) Pennsylvania
Phyllis Hockley CWU of Lane County Episcopal Oregon
Olivier Adji Ivory Coast
Mary Kissinger Eastmont
Carol Chism AME Oregon
Dolly Marshall Quaker Oregon
Jane Smith Lane County, OR Episcopal Oregon
Susan Andersen Eastmont United Methodist Oregon
Edna Morgan Pine Bluff Methodist Arkansas
Classie Jones Green Pine Bluff AME Zion Arkansas
Susan Lundquist Independence, MO Disciples of Christ Missouri
The Reverend Linda McWhorter Disciples of Christ Texas
Marrion Tryon Antelope Valley AME California
Rev. Lillie Holman Ogden Unit Baptist Utah
April Avery Eastmont (Multnomah County, OR) Multi-denominational Oregon
Anna McClenney Richmond, VA Baptist Virginia
Judith Springer ELCA North Carolina
Thenisha Smith Fort Worth AME Texas
Dana Thompson Catholic Maryland
Diane Lovell Board Member Baptist Utah
Gloria Carter Board Member CWU Madison, WI Wisconsin
Alice Brown Tucson United Methodist Arizona
Brenda Wills President, CWU in NC United Methodist North Carolina
Myrtle Garlington CWU High Point, NC Presbyterian North Carolina
Edith Woodard Lima Ohio
Kim Simpkins Ecumenical Development Director, Area 1, Northwest District, Tallahassee chapter United Methodist Florida
May Simieu Pueblo, CO AME Colorado
Marcia Faust Pueblo, CO Colorado
Kim Mark Pueblo, CO Colorado
Edith Edson Pueblo, CO Presbyterian Colorado
Connie Wilson Pueblo, CO Presbyterian Colorado
Lucille Hinman Pueblo, CO Presbyterian Colorado
Jody Stevens United Methodist Ohio
Patricia S. Reineking Board Member, Tallahassee, FL Episcopal Florida
Ann Beran Jones LaGrange, IL Presbyterian Illinois
Evangelist Dr. Geraldine Dudley-Harris Denominational Michigan
Doris Brown Salisbury/Rowan Unit Baptist North Carolina
Lynette M. Lewis Springfield United Methodist Women Missouri
Claire Robinson CWU High Point, NC Baptist North Carolina
Marie Perelman Knoxville, TN United Methodist Tennessee
Jane MacAfee Cape Cod, MA Roman Catholic Massachusetts
Ina Green Greater Dayton Disciples of Christ Ohio
Rev. Joyce L. Randall President Southern CA/Southern NV AME California / Nevada
Anna McClenney Richmond, VA Baptist Virginia
Barbara Williams Schenectady & Vicinity New York
Linda J. Smith Los Angeles United Methodist California
Michelle Armstrong Elim International Fellowship New York
Linda Twining Presbyterian Missouri
Joan Berry Presbyterian Maryland
Dr. Ann L. Jones United Methodist Southern United Methodist Illinois
Vernita Kennen ELCA Minnesota
Rev. Irene Radcliff Columbus & Franklin Co. Episcopal Ohio
Ellie Young Board Member United Methodist Colorado
Eloise M. Cranke Des Moines, Iowa Unit United Methodist Iowa
Loma State of Oklahoma Disciples of Christ Oklahoma
Joe Ann Hoffman Fort Worth African Methodist Episcopal Church Texas
Susannah Lustica CWU Lane County Catholic Oregon
Dawn Harmon PA State Board Non-denominational Pennsylvania
Delena Stephens-Bowen Greater Jacksonville Unit Catholic Florida
Ginger Haselden Asheville, NC United Methodist Women North Carolina
Martha Oldland Forsyth County Local Unit Lutheran North Carolina
Sheran Long CWU of Independence, MO Community of Christ Missouri
Linda Brebner PCUSA New York
Margaret Harrell So. Bay/Palos Verdes Pn. Episcopal California
Bettie Durrah CWU in Atlanta PCUSA Georgia
Ilse Peetz CWU of Southern California and Southern Nevada United Methodist California
Lovetta Holmes Chicago, IL AMEZ Church Illinois
Elizabeth Meyers Brooklyn Tabernacle Deliverance Center New York
Elizabeth Harmon Indianapolis United Methodist Indiana
Dolly Patterson Pittsburgh Unit Hebron Church Pennsylvania
Zetta Rice AME Texas
Renee Deggs Dellrose United Methodist Women Kansas
Myrtle Garlington CWU NC Board & High Point, NC Unit PCUSA North Carolina
Leona Whichard Chapel Hill/Carborro Baptist North Carolina
Sharon Ritter Church of the Resurrection United Methodist Kansas
Nancy Brown United Methodist Kansas
Gail Mengel Community of Christ Missouri
Dee Fehlberg Greater Lee County, FL ELCA Florida
Nancy Royer Kansas
Barbara Mosley Milwaukee Unit Wisconsin
Earleen Burch Chapel Hill – Carrboro CWU Methodist North Carolina
Sandra Hasenauer American Baptist New York
Virginia Holmstrom American Baptist Women’s Ministries
Karil Drake Glendale, CA ELCA California
Pamela Granberry CWU Detroit Baptist Michigan
The Right Reverend Dr. A. Louise Bonaparte M.D. NonDenominational – 2nd Presiding Prelate – Temple of The Good Shepherd Ministries World Wide New York
Rita Ogburn-McCall Roman Catholic Church New York
Jennifer Larson Disciple of Christ Virginia
Bea McAdoo Shaw Greensboro, NC United Methodist North Carolina
Martha Bray Greenville/Washington County Unit, President Baptist Mississippi
Christine A. Brown San Francisco Unit First A.M.E. Zion Church California
Patricia S. Brown CWU in Michigan (State President, 1979-82) United Methodist Michigan
Jeanette Tullis Geater Miami North Catholic Florida
Nancy J. Wagner President, Church Women United in York County Lutheran Virginia
Brenda M. Tillman Atlanta Georgia
Teena Cross President – Tucson Presbyterian Arizona
Frances Ellis United Methodist Virginia
Lillie Hercules CWU in Atlanta Methodist Georgia
Doris Smith Elmira AME Zion New York