Race, Church and Change Award

The 2014 - 2015 Race, Church and Change Award

The recipient of this year's Race, Church and Change Award is the Rev. Iris de León-Hartshorn, director of transformative peacemaking for Mennonite Church USA.

De León-Hartshorn has worked within the Mennonite Church in various roles since 1996, serving as a leader in racial and gender justice in the church. She is currently director of transformative peacemaking in Portland, Ore., for Mennonite Church USA. In this role, she coordinates initiatives and programs related to the church-wide priority of undoing racism and advancing intercultural transformation.

De León-Hartshorn works within the denomination on core issues such as immigration, anti-racism efforts and intercultural competency to build bridges among cultures and move toward a transformed intercultural church. She is also involved in discussions the denomination is having on LGBT inclusion within the church.

She is the co-author of “Set Free: A Journey Toward Solidarity Against Racism.” She is also a featured writer in the anthology, “Buffalo Shout, Salmon Cry—Conversations on Creation, Land Justice and Life Together,” edited by Steve Heinrichs. She received her M.A. in conflict transformation and peacebuilding from Eastern Mennonite University in 2005.

The award will be presented to Iris de León-Hartshorn on April 8.

Wednesday, April 8

11 a.m.:
Presentation of the 2015 Race, Church and Change Award to Iris de León-Hartshorn, who will also preach Recorded and available for viewing at www.luthersem.edu/rcc

Community meal; free and open to the public

1-2 p.m.:
Panel discussion with previous Race, Church and Change Award recipients and invited guests
Topic: “Racism and Difference in Faith Communities”


The Race, Church and Change Award

The Race, Church and Change Award recognizes leaders and communities who have significantly impacted society through ministries of racial justice and reconciliation. Luther Seminary annually presents the award to individuals who have heroically served in their community with the hope that such recognition will inspire others to similar ministry to improve the world around them.

Criteria for Nomination

Who should be nominated for the Race, Church & Change Award? What are the criteria for selecting the honoree?

  • Someone who has carried out significant service of reconciliation among diverse people.

  • Someone who has demonstrated commitment to constructive change that heals the community in which they live and work.

  • Someone who is committed to ministry within the context of a congregation.

  • Someone who would be a good role model for seminary students.

  • Someone who has been "unsung" in their faithfulness to a ministry of reconciliation.

Would you like to submit a nomination?

To nominate an individual or ministry, please visit our Nominations page.

Submit a nomination

Previous Recipients of the Race, Church and Change Award

2012 Carolyn Jewett and Steve Jerbi
All Peoples Gathering Lutheran Church, Milwaukee, Wisc.
2011 Jane Buckley-Farlee
Trinity Lutheran Congregation, Minneapolis
2010 Carol Stumme
Luther Memorial Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
2009 Victoria Hamilton
African American Lutheran Association
2006 Kelly Chatman
Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
2003 Roland E. Miller
Luther Seminary Professor Emeritus
2002 Nadine and James Addington
Minnesota Churches Anti-Racism Initiative
2001 Joris A. Watland
Executive Director, Kokua Kalihi Valley Comprehensive Family Services
2000 Vivian Jenkins Nelsen
InterRace, Minneapolis
1999 Larry Peterson
South Dakota Synod, ELCA
1998 Elayne Lipp
Messiah Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
1997 J. Antonio Machado
Todos Los Santos Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
1996 James W. Battle, Sr.
Mount Olivet Baptist Church, St. Paul
1995 Roland K. Johnson
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
1994 Mary Henry
Avalon-Carver Community Center, Los Angeles
1993 Cherian Puthiyottil
Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis
1992 Ralph A. Baumgartner
San Martin Lutheran Church, St. Paul
1990 Linda Ojeda
Division for Congregational Life, ELCA Minneapolis Synod
1989 Stan McKay
United Church of Canada
  Dorothy Ricks
  Carlos Mariani
Minnesota Council of Churches
  Buchyen Nguyen
Archdiocese of St. Paul
  William Beyer