The 51st Annual Business Meeting and Conference (ABMC) of the UBE will be held in Los Angeles from July 22 – July 26, 2019. The ABMC serves as a key gathering point for the members of the African diaspora in the Episcopal Church. Our organization is committed to vigilance and action aimed at achieving justice for all people, especially those of African descent, to the eradication of racism in the Church and society, and to the full and dynamic inclusion of black people in every aspect of Church life. Our conference is inter-generational with thought-provoking keynote presenters, informative workshops and lively worship services highlighting our African heritage.
We are pleased to honor four individuals who have contributed greatly to the ministry of our church at the Legendary Tribute & Gala on Thursday July 25, 2019.
They are as follows:
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper Honor Award: The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D.
The Rev. Wil Gafney, Ph.D. is Professor of Hebrew Bible at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas. She is the author of Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and of the Throne, a commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel and co-editor of The Peoples’ Bible and The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. She is an Episcopal priest canonically resident in the Diocese of Pennsylvania and licensed in the Diocese of Fort Worth, and a former Army chaplain and congregational pastor in the AME Zion Church. A former member of the Reintroduction to Women of the Torah and of the Throne, a commentary on Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah, Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel and co-editor of The Peoples’ Bible and The Peoples’ Companion to the Bible. A former member of the Dorshei Derekh Reconstructionist Minyan of the Germantown Jewish Center in Philadelphia, she has co-taught courses with and for the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Seminary in Wyncote, PA.
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (1858 – 1964), a former slave, educator, advocate and scholar courageously and consistently emphasized the importance of education to the future of black people, especially women; The nominee for this award should be someone, preferably a woman, who is recognized broadly for scholarship and/or advocacy on matters of race and gender, especially “womanism”, and the concerns of black women in society and the Church.
The Bishop Walter Decoster Dennis Award: Mr. Alfred D. Price
Alfred D. Price is a senior member of the House of Deputies of The Episcopal Church: 2018 in Austin TX was his tenth General Convention. Three times he has served as the elected chair or co-chair of the Diocese of Western New York’s deputation. At home in Buffalo, Al is active in his parish, St. Peter’s/Eggertsville, where he is a licensed Worship Leader and Chalice Bearer, Acolyte Master, and Confirmation class instructor. In the Diocese of Western New York, he has served as Chair of the Diocesan Architectural Commission for over three decades. Al was elected by Province II to serve as a member of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church (1997-2003). In that capacity, he also served as a member of the Provincial Council. During his term of service on Council, he was appointed by the President of the House of Deputies to serve as liaison to the Committee on the State of the Church. Subsequently, he served as a member of that committee, and as both Vice-Chair (2003-06) and Chair (2006-09) of the Committee on the State of the Church. Al was also appointed to work on a special Budgetary Funding Task Force appointed by the Executive Council, serving from 2004-09.
This award honors the Rt. Rev. Walter Decoster Dennis—-priest, lawyer, professor of Constitutional Law and History, and Suffragan Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York (1979-1998). This award acknowledges the contributions of persons who demonstrate significant contributions to the development, interpretation and identity of the Church, especially through its canons and its institutional mission.
The Bishop Quintin Ebenezer Primo Award: Mr. N. Kurt Barnes
Mr. N. Kurt Barnes is the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society. His career spans finance and investment management in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Mr. Barnes began his career as an economist for the RAND Corporation. He later became an Associate Editor at Time Inc.’s Fortune Magazine.
Mr. Barnes worked for 20 years as a Financial Officer at Inco Limited (International Nickel Company of Canada). He subsequently joined Morgan Stanley as a Vice President in the Fiduciary Advisory Group. In 2002, in a reorganization initiated by the New York State Attorney General, Mr. Barnes became Chief Financial Officer of Hale House Center, Inc. He also served as the Interim Deputy Executive Director for Finance and Information Technology at Amnesty International USA.
Mr. Barnes is a life-long Episcopalian and his volunteer activities include service to the Episcopal Diocese of New York as a member of the program, budget and governance committees and Episcopal Charities. He is also the treasurer of an organization that provides funding to enhance the educational and social activities of a group of Yale University seniors. Mr. Barnes also serves on the Investment Committee of Amnesty International USA.
This award acknowledges the extraordinary witness of Bishop Quintin E. Primo, Jr. as a pastoral healer, reconciler and advocate for justice ministries at all levels of Church life (from local community to larger Church). The award recognizes persons, lay or ordained, whose ministry demonstrates excellence in and passion for and effectiveness in building diverse community.
UBE Faith in Action Award: The Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Thompson, Jr.
The Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Thompson, Jr. serves as Assistant Professor of Race and Ethnicity Studies and Director of Multicultural Ministries at Virginia Theological Seminary. He helps to ensure that seminarians engage with issues of race, justice, and intercultural awareness as part of their theological education. He was formerly Archivist for the African American Episcopal Historical Collection, also at VTS. He is currently a transitional deacon. Before joining the VTS community, Dr. Thompson taught for ten years at Washington University in St. Louis. He holds an H.B.A. from the University of Delaware, an M.A. from Virginia Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D., an M. Phil., and an M.A. from Yale University.
The UBE Faith in Action Award was awarded to Rev. Joseph Thompson to honor his deep commitment to maintaining our history through his work as the Archivist for the African American Episcopal Historical Collection (AAEHC) at Virginia Theological Seminary and his academic achievements in African-American Studies.