The World Student Christian Federation-North America (WSCF-NA) is one of the six regions of the WSCF (www.wscfglobal.org), a world-wide ecumenical federation of over 100 national grassroots Student Christian Movements (SCMs) present in more than 90 countries with an exciting history, since 1895, and a 21st Century prophetic vision for peace, social, economic, gender and ecological justice. The WSCF provides opportunities for students to be engaged in critical thinking, ecumenical formation, leadership training, innovative theological and biblical reflection, advocacy and solidarity activism and inter-regional exchanges. The WSCF-NA provides the coordination of ecumenical student activities in the US and Canada and connects North American students to the rest of the global federation.
The WSCF-NA is a community of students and youth committed to embodying the radical and prophetic words of Christ. As one affiliated national member movement (SCM-Canada) and four associated movements (SCM-USA*, Lutheran Student Movement, United Methodist Student Movement, and Jeunesse Etudiante Chretienne) connecting to the global World Student Christian Federation, we represent a number of Christian and spiritual denominations, cultures and traditions, and strive to offer an anti-oppressive community of living ecumenism.
If you would like to learn more about us, or get involved, please contact our Regional Secretary, Luciano Kovacs, or one of the Co-Chairs to the North American Regional Committee (NARC), via our Contact Us page.
*SCM-USA was formed as a national member movement in 2010 and will apply to become an affiliated movement at the next WSCF General Assembly in 2014.
What is the North American Regional Committee (NARC)?
The North American Region of the WSCF is led by a board of representatives nominated from the member movements in the United States and Canada. NARC consists of the Regional Secretary (ex officio), the two North American members of the WSCF Executive Committee ("ExCo"), and a set number of delegates from the member movements.
The membership of NARC is as follows:
Canadian Co- Chair: Cydney Proctor (Halifax, NS, Canada)
Church affiliation: Anglican Church of Canada
Cydney had been involved with the justice side of her faith for as long as she can remember. Before coming to NARC, Cydney worked with the Primate's World Relief and Development Fund on their Youth Council, and traveled with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank on a food study tour to Nicaragua, and since her return has talked extensively about food security. Cydney also, for a while, worked in youth and campus ministry. Cydney works professionally in journalism and communications, and enjoys good food, good friends and good fun.
US Co-Chair: Ann C. Jacob (Norristown, PA, USA)
Church affiliation: United Methodist Church
Ann Jacob is a graduate student at Yale University pursuing a Master of Divinity. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Boston University in International Relations and Political Science. She is an active United Methodist and finds great joy in serving with social justice ministries. Ann is currently a board member of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) of the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the co-chair of the Division on Ministries with Young People (DMYP) for the UMC. While she currently calls Pennsylvania home, she has also lived in various places in the U.S. and around the world. Ann is passionate about civic engagement and social justice issues including restorative justice initiatives, immigration reform, and equality for all. Ann has a love for youth and camping ministry, music, national parks, museums, and travel.
Treasurer: Linwood Blizzard (Boston, MA, USA)
Linwood Blizzard, II is a graduate student at the Boston University School of Theology pursuing a Doctoral of Philosophy in Practical Theology with a concentration in church and society. His research interest is understanding how collective memory is embodied in religious practices. He serves as a Co-Leader of The Refuge Young Adult Ministry and as an Associate Minister at Morning Star Baptist Church in Boston, Massachusetts. He was licensed to preach the Gospel in 2009 at the Saint Paul's Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia. Currently, he serves the World Student Christian Federation as one of the lead organizers of the Student Christian Movement at Boston University, treasurer of the North American Regional Committee, and chair of the global federation's Bible and Theology working group. Linwood holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and a Master of Divinity degree from Howard University. He became involved in the WSCF in 2010 while at Howard University after serving as Co-Chair of the Washington Theological Consortium’s Student Board and while serving as President of Howard University School of Divinity’s Student Government Association. The thought that centers his passion for a deeper understanding and practice of social justice is Harriet Tubman's assertion: "I freed thousands of slaves; I could have freed thousands more if they knew they were slaves." Linwood is a native of Williamsburg, Virginia, life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and is married to the former Joycelyn Bassette. They are parents to Linwood, III.
Canadian Ex-Co: Brandi Friesen Thorpe (Winnipeg, MB, CA)
Brandi Friesen Thorpe is located for a season in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She works extensively in local restorative justice initiatives and is pursuing a Masters of Peace and Conflict at the University of Manitoba.
US Ex-Co: Louis Tillman (Chicago, IL, USA)
Louis Tillman is from Atlanta, Georgia. He recently graduated cum laude from Carthage College in 2013 where he obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in Business Administration and Public Relations. He is currently in his second year of seminary at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. A great deal of his ministry involves community organizing, community activism, racial justice, and Black liberation theology.
Advocacy and Solidarity Coordinator: Rev. Jennifer Bailey (Nashville, TN, USA)
Rev. Bailey currently serves as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Outreach Coordinator at Community Food Advocates. In this capacity she works to increase access to affordable, healthy, foods to low-income families across Davidson County. A Master of Divinity Candidate at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, Jennifer is an ordained deacon in the African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church. Prior to Community Food Advocates, Jennifer served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Washington, D.C. and on the staff of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to making interfaith cooperation at social norm. An experienced trainer and consultant on matters of religious and racial diversity, Jennifer has spoken at a number of prestigious venues including the White House, United States House of Representatives, Cornell University and Oberlin College. A graduate of Tufts University, Jennifer is a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Harvard University Galbraith Scholar, Bread for the World Hunger Justice Leader, 2012 Ministry Fellow with the Fund for Theological Education, and a member of the inaugural cohort of the Sojourner Truth Leadership Circle at Auburn Seminary.
Bible, Theology and Creative Liturgy Coordinator: Kelly Colwell (Toronto, ON, CA)
Kelly Colwell finished her M.Div in 2013 and now works for a progressive United Church of Canada congregation in Scarborough, Ontario. She's passionate about ecumenism and about churches' faithful action together for justice, and her particular interests include queer theology, anti-racism, being an ally to folks with disabilities, and eco-theology. Kelly has been involved with the local SCM unit at the University of Toronto and on the national SCM-Canada board. An American transplant to Canada, Kelly is loving the intercultural learning of being an expat.
Communication Coordinator: Zillah Wesley (Washington, DC, USA)
Zillah F. Wesley, II is currently working for a Washington, DC base non-profit in programs. She attends Peoples Congregational Church United Church of Christ (UCC). She loves being apart of the UCC denomination. She believes that faith and justice go hand and hand. Both of her parents taught her the value of helping others and being true to oneself. Zillah is excited and thrilled to be apart of World Student Christian Federation - North America. She is on twitter at @zidc25.
Fundraising Coordinator: Sarah McCune (Berkeley, CA, USA)
Sarah McCune received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Birmingham-Southern College. In 2010 McCune was a Hess Fellow partnered with the United Nations Alliance and Civilizations and a member of the 2011 Moore Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program cohort at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently enrolled at the Graduate Theological Union, affiliated with the Pacific School of Religion, in Berkeley, California where she is a Master’s candidate in Art and Religion. Sarah has used her seminary education as foundation for new artistic exploration: her first exhibition, “Ossuary: Exhuming Poetry” was inspired by Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones, her mixed media piece “Prayer in a Time of Distress” won first place for visual art in the National Religion Campaign Against Torture’s Call for Art--Life in a Box - Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard, and she is currently working on a new photographic series about female identified bodies as altars. Recently she launched her new website Thy Flesh and Thy Bone, which explores art as incarnational theology.
Women, Gender and Sexuality Coordinator: Sonny Duncan (Berkeley, CA, USA)
Sonny is currently a seminary student at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA. He is completing a M.Div. and Certificate in Sexuality and Religion, and training for chaplaincy. Beyond the classroom, he lives in a bustling home of chosen family where he co-parents his Godson, and serves in several ministries for LGBQIA & Trans*gender people imprisoned in the U.S. Sonny first had the honor of learning from SCM / WSCF by attending their Leadership Training Program, and continues to be deeply moved by the organizations core values and faith, commitment to justice, and healing.
SCM-CA At large Member: Phillip Shearin (Toronto, ON, CA)
Currently in seminary at Trinity College in the University of Toronto and is seeking ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada. Originally from Williamsburg, Virginia USA, he moved to Canada in 2012 to work at St. Alban Anglican Church in Glen Williams, Ontario in their St. Richard’s Bridge project, which is a ministry discernment opportunity for young adults. Before that he was in the Episcopal Service Corps at St. Hilda’s House in New Haven CT.
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Young Adult Networks at Large Member: Laura Newby (Minneapolis, MN, USA)
I serve on staff at Church of All Nations (PCUSA) coordinating special projects and supporting our ongoing ministries. I have a special passion for equipping lay leadership, working for social and economic justice, and engaging in local church life. My interest in global ecumenism developed out of my multicultural congregation, where members come from a variety of denominational backgrounds and yet have learned to embrace and learn from one another. Attending the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Busan, South Korea further established my solidarity with the global church, and I am grateful to continue that commitment to ecumenism through service with NARC.
Lutheran Student Movement at Large Member: Smith Heavner (Pendlelton, SC, USA) - bio coming soon
United Methodist Student Movement at Large Member: vacant
United Church of Christ USA
Youth Council Rep at Large Member: vacant
Ex-Officio: Shantha Ready Alonso (Washington, DC, USA)
Click below for bio:
Staff of WSCF North America:
North American Regional Secretary: Luciano Kovacs (Originally from Italy, currently living in New York, NY - Church Affiliation: Member of Waldensian Church (reformed) of Italy and senior friend of FGEI, the Italian SCM of WSCF Europe.)
Luciano Kovacs, as the Regional Secretary, acts as the face of the Region, building partnerships with other ecumenical and justice-oriented groups, connecting the Region with the rest of the global Federation, and empowering the students within the member movements and local units, as well as overseeing the day-to-day business aspects of running a non-profit organization.
"SCM and WSCF have shaped my life in untold ways and are fully part of my identity. I was involved in SCM/WSCF as a student in the 1990's at local, national and international levels. SCM gave me enormous tools to articulate the connections between faith and justice, to harness leadership skills and to be formed as an ecumenist. WSCF has been my international community, my church and my family ever since and continues to provide an important platform for my involvement in justice issues. I currently serve as one of the global staff of the federation and I provide some of the leadership I have learned through the WSCF!”