Dr. Iva E. Carruthers is General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC), an interdenominational organization within the African American faith tradition focused on justice and equity issues. SDPC is both a 501c3 and United Nations Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). As founding CEO and a trustee of SDPC, she has steered the organization as a unique, influential and esteemed network of faith based advocates and activists, clergy and lay. Former director of the Black Theology Project, Dr. Carruthers has a long history of teaching, engagement in community development initiatives and social justice ministry, fostering interdenominational and interfaith dialogue and leading study tours for the university and church throughout in the United States, Caribbean, South America and Africa.
Dr. Carruthers is Professor Emeritus and former Chairperson of the Sociology Department at Northeastern Illinois University and was founding President of Nexus Unlimited, an information and educational technology firm. She was appointed to the White House Advisory Council on the internet, “National Information Infrastructure”, Mega Project and the educational software she developed was awarded a ComputerWorld Smithsonian Award. She is also founder of Lois House, an urban retreat center, Chicago, Illinois.
Dr. Carruthers is a frequent guest speaker before various national and international forums, including U.N. Civil Society Forums. She has served as a consultant and delegate to many organizations in the public and private sectors. She currently serves as a Life Time Trustee for the Chicago Theological Seminary and trustee for The Kwame Nkrumah Academy, Chicago; American Baptist College, Nashville; Shared Interest, New York; Bread for the World, Washington, DC. She is a member of the National African American Reparations Commission and is working on initiatives related to the U.N. Decade of People of African Descent.
Dr. Carruthers is co-editor of Blow the Trumpet in Zion: Global Vision and Action for the 21st Century Black Church and has authored and edited a number of articles and publications, in the areas of sociology, technology and instructional technology. Her many study guides on African American & African history were developed as a co-producer of a multi-year educational television program. She was a delegate to the 2001 UN World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance and her publication, The Church and Reparations, was distributed by her denomination, United Church of Christ, in several languages.
She received the B.A. degree from the University of Illinois; the M.A. and the Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University; a Master in Theological Studies degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Humane Letters, Meadville Lombard Theological School. Awards and postdoctoral fellowships received by Dr. Carruthers include Northwestern University Center for Urban Affairs, The Russell Sage Foundation, University of Chicago, Adlai Stevenson Institute for International Affairs and The National Endowment for the Humanities.
Her many awards and appointments include the 1999 Life Achievement Award by Northeastern Illinois University and “Year 2000 Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award, given by the National Foundation of Women Legislators and the Small Business Administration. She was inducted into the National History Makers; was a recipient of Ebony Magazine’s year 2001 Outstanding Mother Award for Mentoring; and, noted as a Chicago area social justice pioneer in the Women Alive! A Legacy of Social Justice Exhibit.
Dr. Carruthers is the mother of two sons.