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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

EDS (My Alma Mater) Announces Honorary Degree Recipients

99 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 617-868-3450 x502


Hellen Wangusa, Anglican Observer to the United Nations,
Commencement Speaker

March 27, 2008, CAMBRIDGE, MA – Episcopal Divinity School announces its 2008 Commencement Ceremony on May 15, 2008 at the First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, 11 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts, at 2:00 pm. EDS will present honorary doctor of divinity degrees to five individuals for their social justice work: The Rt. Rev. John Chane, Kevin Johnson, Cynthia Shattuck, Katie Sherrod, and Hellen Wangusa. The Commencement address will be delivered by Hellen Wangusa, Anglican Observer to the United Nations. (For more information on Wangusa, see her biographical information at the end of this release.)

“The honorary degrees committee spends a great deal of time crafting a ‘class’ of honorary degree recipients each year that reflect the values of the school: justice, compassion, and reconciliation,” said The Rev. Dr. Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook, Academic Dean. “We look not only to the church, and lay and ordained people who work for the church as candidates, but each year hope to also honor people who consistently ‘give back’ to their communities, as well as young and unsung advocates for justice. This year, each of the people we are honoring, in a number of ways, represents excellence in their fields and ministries of justice and peace locally as well as throughout the world.”

The Rt. Rev. John Chane, Bishop of Washington, is a peace maker who has traveled twice to Iran at the invitation of President Khatami, and has invited the Iranian leader to speak at the National Cathedral. He was recently appointed to serve on a Global Anglican Task Force investigating human rights violations in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Africa. Prior to attending Seminary, Bishop Chane worked as an urban community organizer in Boston’s South End, and Roxbury.

Kevin Johnson, retired NBA player with the Phoenix Suns, is a businessman and activist in Arizona and California. In his retirement (at age 36) he manages St. Hope Corporation, a non-profit community development corporation designed to expand economic, education, and social opportunities for inner city communities. He is the founder of St. Hope Academy in Sacramento, an after school program for inner city children. A graduate of UC Berkeley, Johnson has been a guest on the Oprah Winfrey program, discussing the plight of youth in America. Among his achievements is the revitalization of the Boys Choir of Harlem.

Cynthia Shattuck, lay woman and consulting editor for Church Publishing, is recognized for her role in giving voice to lost voices, publishing the works of authors such as Verna Dozier so their words are accessible to a wider audience. She is passionate about her work, and an entrepreneur in the religious press business. Shattuck co-edited The Oxford Guide to the Book of Common Prayer in 1996. The guide traces the many revisions that the Anglican Book of Common Prayer has undergone, and examines the various versions of the prayer book used in different countries. She serves on the board of the Anglican Theological Review, the Sewanee Theological Review, and is a founding member of Episcopal Publishing Ministries. Shattuck is also a member of the advisory board of Forward Movement Publications.

Katie Sherrod is a freelance writer and television producer based in Fort Worth, Texas, and a contributing editor to The Witness. She is an outspoken advocate for women’s reproductive rights, and for battered women. In 1972, she wrote a newspaper series on the crime of rape, which led to the formation of the Rape Crisis Task Force, now the Rape Crisis Center. Another series she wrote on battered women was the basis for the made-for-TV movie “Battered,” and caused the formation of Women’s Haven, a United Way sponsored shelter for battered women and their children. A pioneer among women journalists, she was the metropolitan editor of the Fort Worth Star, and was named one of Fort Worth’s Outstanding Women in 1988, and Texas Woman of the Year in 1989. In recent years she has been a spokesperson for LGBT inclusion and for the mainstream voice of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Hellen Wangusa is an Anglican lay woman, and since 2006, the Anglican Observer to the United Nations. Previous to her present position, she served as the United Nations’ Africa coordinator for the Millennium Development Goals. A native of Uganda, she worked as the National Women’s coordinator for the Anglican Church of Uganda and was responsible for developing national programs, fundraising, and managing a staff of 27. From 1997-2004, Wangusa was coordinator and one of the founding members of the African Women’s Economic Policy Network (AWEPON), a faith-based women’s organization in Africa that also coordinates the UN’s Millennium Campaign for Eastern Africa. On March 9, 2007, Wangusa was a keynote speaker at the TEAM (Toward Effective Anglican Mission) Conference in Boksburg, South Africa.

Additional Information about Hellen Wangusa:

Ms. Wangusa holds a Bachelor of Arts, Education Diploma, and a Master of Arts in Modern Letters. Her undergraduate studies were taken at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, where she worked as a teaching assistant, and later as a lecturer for the Literature Department. Wangusa is one of the founding members of Gender and Economic Research in Africa (GERA), and the Council for Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa (CEEWA). Along with AWEPON, she successfully reactivated two other organizations that had previously closed: The Joint Mother’s Union, and the Women’s Office in the Province of the Church of Uganda. In October, 2006, Wangusa accepted the call to be the next Anglican Observer at the United Nations, and officially took office on January 1, 2007. She is married with four children.

About Episcopal Divinity School
Episcopal Divinity School is a respected center of study and spiritual formation for lay and ordained leaders with a strong commitment to justice, compassion, and reconciliation. EDS, formed in 1974 with the merger of Philadelphia Divinity School (founded in 1857) and Episcopal Theological School (founded in 1867), offers doctor of ministry and master’s degrees, as well as certificates in theological studies. Located on an eight acre campus just a few blocks from Harvard Yard, EDS is a member of the Boston Theological Institute, a consortium of nine eminent theological schools, seminaries, and departments of religion.


Muthah+ said...

Bravo, on EDS. A noble bunch of DD's.

airedale said...

Yeah for Katie. That girl knows her stuff!

Raphael said...

When I contributed over $1,000 a year
to my Church for several years, I
thought the Priest and Vestry would
help me with foreclosure. Not only
was I refuted, but my rights to
confession were compromised right in
the hospital.

Blessings to my Lord. Praise Jesus.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Raphael, I don't know if you meant to leave this message here, but I just want to say how sorry I am that the church failed you. Please don't give up. There are other Bodies of Christ that take the gospel seriously. Please write to me. Go to my profile and click on email. It would be an honor to talk to you about this.