The faculty of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago will honor the steadfast efforts of SDPC with its prestigious Community of the Cross Award, given to groups who clearly demonstrate, “…the invitation of our Lord to take up the cross and follow him and whose service is directed to the world around it…and whose satisfaction and honor clearly derive from the gospel.” The award will be presented to Dr. Carruthers during the commencement exercises of the Lutheran School of Theology Chicago on Sunday, May 18th, 2014. Dr. Freddy Haynes, SDPC Board Chair, says “This is God’s sign that we are to continue to speak unadulterated truth to power and engage the church, academy and community.”
The Community of the Cross Award is the highest group honor the faculty can bestow. The Theology School faculty listed numerous reasons why the honor was bestowed on the SDPC, affirming SDPC’s effective programming and national and global outreach. They are:
- SDPC is a Christ-centered organization committed to the uplift of African-ancestored people, both nationally and globally.
- SDPC has proved to be an organizational model for collaborative work to meet the needs of the people.
- SDPC showed exceptional leadership and support for hurricane Katrina survivors, the Living Legacies Recognition Tour and Teach-ins for the March on Washington 50th Anniversary and the conference’s ability to celebrate, “the unsung heroes and heroines which evidences your dedication to, ‘Remember, Reclaim, Revive and Restore.’”
- SDPC’s interfaith and ecumenical diverse approach to social justice and faith related issues.
- SDPC’s annual conferences seek to engage young seminarians and encourage them to interact with elders in the faith to hone their ministries and faith journeys.
- And, SDPC’s ongoing work on mass incarceration, the prison industrial complex, the war on drugs and the implications on communities of color.
Dr. Iva E. Carruthers, general secretary of SDPC, says “the honor validates the difficult work of addressing systemic oppression of God’s people in our midst, while at the same time offering pathways and nourishment for hope and action for the Church and those most impacted. From its inception, the work of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC) has been the ongoing pursuit of justice and equity for those who voices society has muted, ignored and dismissed. We are so very humbled by this honor.”