Don’t Forget to Represent!

CCDA 2011 Indianapolis was off the chain!

I’ve only been to three of these national conferences, but this one was the most enjoyable by far. Richard Twiss and Arthur Brooks were a couple of my favorite plenary speakers (you should definitely check them out!). Both of them literally had the entire audience of 3,000 breathless at some points in their talks. The focus of the conference was education, but because all the various aspects of society – family, economics, politics, church, and law – all play into the success of education, it didn’t feel myopic at all. What impressed me most however was the strong showing of women in CCD ministries. In comparison with other evangelical conferences that seek to build the body, CCDA is leagues ahead in attendance of women and minorities. It was absolutely refreshing to see that mix.

I was in particular awe of Arloa Sutter, whom I finally had the chance to meet and have lunch with; Jenny Yang, advocate at World Relief; and Dave Buehring, as my personal time with them was both refreshing and inspiring.

Also, I enjoyed a lunch with some fellow Asian Americans who were attending the CCDA conference, and though I love all my Asian brothers and sisters, I have to say I observed something unusual about the Asian Americans there. That is Latinos tended to represent Latino communities and African Americans generally represent African American needs; White folks tended to serve as bridge builders from White communities; but Asians…Asians tended to work in non-Asian environments. I thought it was a fascinating anecdote that many of us simply couldn’t connect Christian Community Development work with our own ethnic communities. What does that say about us? What does that say about our communities?

Just a question. But just wanted to ask what it means to represent ourselves.

I supposed I asked the question last year at CCDA, but I guess it struck me afresh this year.

Take a listen if you like and let me know what you think. Peace.

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About David Park

Christian 2nd-generation Korean American; Atlanta Georgia; more details to come. View all posts by David Park

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