Charter for Racial Justice



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Newsletter from the Committee on the Charter for Racial Justice Policies


2020 Recipient of the Charter for Racial Justice Award


Each year the Oregon-Idaho Conference United Methodist Women accepts nominees for the Charter for Racial Justice Award.

Joanne Stewart, member of Gresham United Methodist Church, Gresham, Oregon, is the Recipient of the 2020 Charter for Racial Justice Award. She created an educational program titled “A History of the African American Experience in Oregon” and has presented it in the Gresham community.

Inspired to provide historical information about the discrimination African Americans experienced in the past — and continue to experience today, Joanne became a Board Member of the Oregon Black Pioneers serving on two committees that converted the Oregon Historical Society’s exhibit “Racing to Change” into a traveling exhibit and that presently works to support students through high school to create projects about African Americans in Oregon history.

Joanne’s research starts with the first known African American pioneers in 1788. She consulted the Oregon Historical Society, newspaper articles, and internet searches and developed slides to accompany her educational script. In Gresham Unit’s nomination prepared by Carol Potter wrote: “Her program also includes some of the contributions African Americans have made to Oregon history through their discoveries and inventions, their talents in the arts, and their services as public servants. Joanne also tells some of her own personal stories of discrimination which she hopes put a ‘face’ on discrimination and encourages other women of color to tell their stories!”

Joanne’s presentation educates others about “racist attitudes” and challenges all “to deepen our Christian commitment to BE the church where all racial groups and economic classes come together” (Statement # 2. in the actions advocated in The Charter for Racial Justice). Her presentations also spotlight Statement #4 of actions in The Charter: “Establish workshops and seminars in local churches to study, understand and appreciate the historical and cultural contributions of each race to the church and community.

The Committee on the Charter for Racial Justice Policies heartily applauds Joanne’s contribution to Racial Justice. She is a inspiring example of one who is “Living the Charter.”



2019 Recipients of the Charter for Racial Justice Award

The two recipients in 2019 were Cynthia McCleod (Portland, Oregon) for her advocacy for racial equity for 30 years and Mary Lynne Ball (Eagle, Idaho) for her work with Congolese refugees.


Cynthia McCleod, a member of Fremont United Methodist Church, Portland, Oregon, is a semi-retired educator who worked in the Portland Public Schools as a teacher, principal, and administrator until “retiring” in 2011. During her retirement she started classes on Courageous Conversations to help white people have conversations about race, and to awaken people to the issues of institutional racism and white privilege. 

Mary Lynne Ball, a member of Meridian United Methodist Church, Meridian, Idaho, has introduced Congolese refugees into the church and the children into Sunday School. She created opportunities for Congolese women to tell their stories to United Methodist Women and Church Women United. Mary Lynne is known by the children as their American Grandmother. She helps these families secure food and clothing, and she has convinced churches to establish refugee funds for emergencies.

Both Cynthia and Mary Lynne live the Charter by their recognition that racial justice is a biblical, leadership, community, and public policy issue.


The Charter for Racial Justice was created and adopted by Women's Division (now United Methodist Women) in 1952.  In 1980 women successfully petitioned adoption of a revised and expanded charter by the whole denomination. The General Conference of the United Methodist Church has revised and readopted it every eight years since, most recently in 2016.  It is an urgent call for study and action.  (The complete Charter for Racial Justice can be read at

To raise awareness of the Charter for Racial Justice, Oregon-Idaho United Methodist Women give a Charter for Racial Justice award each year to honor a person, congregation, or group that exhibits the principles of the Charter.


Read more about the Charter for Racial Justice here


Our Oregon-Idaho Charter for Racial Justice Award Recipients:

Charter Award 2018 Recipients:

  1. Rev. Linda Tucker,  Medford UMC, Medford, OR for confronting inappropriate and unjust racist behavior
  2. Rev. Adam Briddell, Eugene UMC, Eugene, OR for working tirelessly with community leaders to eradicate the root causes of racism
  3. Trish Jordan of Wilshire UMC Native American Fellowship for her advocacy for Native American women and development of Red Lodge Transition Services

Charter Award 2017 Recipients:          


  1. Katie Kissinger, Gresham UMC, Gresham, OR, for her work developing "Freedom Camp" for children (Read Katie's story here)
  2. Yuni Rueda, Wilder United Methodist, and a student at Western Oregon State University for her ongoing advocacy for Hispanic immigrants. (Read Yuni's story here

Charter Award 2015 Recipient:

  1. Pathways Ministries, Director of Spiritual Formation, Linda Dove, from Tigard United Methodist Church.

Charter Award 2014 Recipients:

  1. Church members and tutor of Jason Lee Memorial UMC, Blackfoot, ID for their work with Lillian Vallely Indian School.
  2. Bonnie Becker, Westside UMC, Beaverton, OR for her work with Hispanic Ministries

Charter Award 2012 Recipients: (click here for photos)

  1. Rockwood United Methodist Church--work with Centro De Milagros Congregation

  2. Rev. June Fothergill--work with Wilder Hispanic Ministry

  3. Rev. Al Trachsel--work with Lower Snake River Hispanic Ministries

Charter Award 2011 Recipients:  (click here for photos)
  1. Eva Johnson and Gloria Marple

  2. Community Dinner Table, Lee Hammett, Jason Lee UMC, Blackfoot, Idaho

  3. Peg Lofsvold and Montavilla UMC 

Charter Award 2010 Recipient:

  1. Mira and Eric Conklin, Cornellius UMC

Charter Award 2009 Recipients:

  1. Sandra and Quenton Kimbrow, Pendleton UMC and Milton Freewater Wesley UMC
  2. Carol L. Potter, Gresham UMC
  3. Ruth Chamberlin and the Afterschool Mentoring Program, Klamath Falls, UMC
  4. Alan and Karen Morris, Christ UMC, Portland
  5. Lorrie Baer, Whitney UMC


United Methodist Women Mission Resources Page with downloadable resources for the Charter for Racial Justice

For an explanation of the Charter for Racial Justice Banner, what it means, what the fabric represents, and where it came from, click here.


Racial Injustices - Compiled at and after the 2008 Conference Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho

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