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M. GARLINDA BURTON, a deaconess in the Tennessee Conference, is the Interim CEO. A fifth-generation United Methodist Christian, she has worked in denominational and justice ministries for 40 years. She started her career as a journalist and editor, working for United Methodist Communications for 21 years. There she served as editor of INTERPRETER, a national affinity magazine for laypeople, director of United Methodist News Service, and as editorial director for the denomination's Korean magazine, Spanish-language magazine and official churchwide calendar. From 2003 to 2012, she was CEO of the Chicago-based General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, working with lay and clergywomen to foster leadership and advocacy skills and confront and dismantle institutional sexism in the church. In this role, she traveled, taught and worked with women church leaders in Africa, Latin America, Europe and the Philippines.


After she retired from the women’s commission, she became founding Executive Director for the Nashville Freedom School Partnership©, a literacy/enrichment program for under-served children of color, created by the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. She is also launched her own consultancy, MotherWit, to help organizations achieve cultural/global justice and inclusion. She joined the Religion and Race team in 2013, first as a consultant and, later as a staff member, to create educational and experiential resources to support anti-racism and intercultural competency.      


Ms. Burton is a specialist in racial, gender, and class issues in the media, academia, church and civic life, and she frequently conducts training for media professionals, educators, businesses and church leaders on combating sexism, classism, racism and heterosexism/homophobia. Her first book, Never Say N*gger Again, an anti-racism study guide, was published in 1995. She contributed a chapter to the book, Holy Contradictions: What’s Next for The People Called United Methodists, about the struggle for LGBTQ rights. 


Garlinda, who loves Mickey Mouse and anything Christmas-related, has degrees from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and Northwestern University, Evanston, Il, and has done addition course work through the Wichita (Kan.) State University, and New York Theological Seminary. She is both a member of the Board of Visitors and a field-education supervisor at Vanderbilt Divinity School and board secretary for the Wesley Foundation at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tenn. 

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REV. DR. JANET FORBES is a United Methodist clergywoman. She consults with churches in transition and coaches clergy who serve in conflicted settings. She retired in 2016 after twelve years as the senior minister of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. She has served congregations in Cheyenne and Casper, Wyoming; Grand Junction and Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as serving as a judicatory executive in the Rocky Mountain region.       


Her education for ministry includes a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Scarritt Graduate School, a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University, and a Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership in the 21st Century from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.


She is married to Bob Davis, a structural engineer. She enjoys hiking, snow-shoeing, gardening, and fishing. Janet and Bob enjoy pulling their trailer through state and national parks and planning pilgrimage journeys world-wide.

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REV. KEN BROWN is recognized as a visionary pastor in large church settings for nearly three decades. Rev. Brown is the Senior Pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Denver and previously served Broomfield UMC for 15 years. 


Rev. Brown is a second career pastor, previously serving as a Marketing Director for a real estate development company. He earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Earning his Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School at Duke University, Rev. Brown is ordained for ministry in the United Methodist Church. He is highly respected for his effectiveness to establish networks and successful pastorates in North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. 


Rev. Brown has been an executive advisor to Hope House of Colorado, A Precious Child, and CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Take Note Colorado and Iliff School of Theology. 


Nationally regarded as a small group ministry expert, Rev. Brown’s innovations with discipleship have been published in Net Results, Circuit Rider, Leader in Christian Education and Developing an Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations. 


He resides in the Denver metro area. He has four phenomenal adult daughters and two glorious grandsons. Rev. Brown and his wife Kelly now actively parent their two cats.



JORDAN LEE is a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder studying Linguistics and Geography. Aside from being a student, Jordan helps run a social media campaign called Unmask the Racism, which is working to raise awareness about anti-Asian American racism and she is working in an environmental studies lab centered around justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the environmental sciences. In her free time, you can find her trying a new recipe, tending to her bonsai tree, or hanging out with her roommates.

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