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: Andrew Ponder Williams (Kansas City, MO, USA)
Andrew is a Senior studying Philosophy at Rockhurst University, which is a Jesuit school in Kansas City, Missouri. In addition to working with WSCF, he holds numerous leadership positions with the United Methodist Church. Andrew is a member of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C., the Mission Council for the South Central Jurisdiction of the UMC, and is active with the UM Reconciling movement. At the 2012 General Conference of the United Methodist Church, Andrew chaired the committee that considered the denominational position on human sexuality. In the Summer of 2014 Andrew intends to begin graduate study in theology with an emphasis on interfaith community building, urban ministry, and inclusivity.
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: Sheryl Johnson (Toronto, ON, CA)
Sheryl has been involved with the SCM since 2005. She has served in many roles, including local unit coordinator of SCM at the University of Toronto (2009-2013), co-chair of SCM Canada (2008-11), and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Coordinator of the North American Regional Committee (2009-2012). Sheryl is a graduate of the Master's of Divinity and Master's of Pastoral Studies in Social Ethics programs at Emmanuel College in Toronto. She currently works as the Minister to Children and Youth at Fairlawn Avenue United Church and for KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives.
US Ex-Co: Brandon Cook: (Chicago, IL, USA) - photo and bio coming soon
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: Desiree’ Kameka (St. Daivie, FL, USA)
Desiree Kameka joined WSCF in 2009 as a volunteer in the WSCF Global Office in Geneva, Switzerland just before the relaunch of SCM USA. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Miami in psychology, emphasizing psychobiology, with a minor in psychological and educational studies, and she has a Masters in Theological Studies from Wesley Theological Seminary in DC and a graduate certificate from the Washington Theological Consortium. Desiree started Faithful NeuroDiversity to celebrate and affirm neurodiversity of the church and is currently finishing a book called, 'What Would Jesus Do... with Autism?' She also volunteers with the World Counsel of Church's program, the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network. Desiree currently works for the Madison House Autism Foundation as the Director of Education and Advocacy, empowering organizations, families, and autistic adults to create local solutions to the national disability housing crisis. In her free time, Desiree can be found inline skating, paddle boarding, or salsa dancing! Church Affiliation: Vagabond follower of Jesus the Christ
"As a summer volunteer in the WSCF Global office and a member of the WSCF/WCC Youth Media Team for the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation, the WSCF has opened my eyes to the accessibility of international collaboration and connections! I cherish the lessons learned and stories heard from my friends in other countries, it has taught me to think more widely. My passion is to help faith communities become more neurologically diverse.”
Fundraising Coordinator: vacant
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.
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)
United Methodist Student Movement at Large Member: vacant
United Church of Christ USA
Youth Council Rep at Large Member: Tyler Thomas (Cleveland, OH, USA) - no photo available
Tyler Thomas is on the 2013-15 biennium of CYYAM for the UCC (United Church of Christ). He has always had a passion for serving Christ in leadership and currently worships at Eastview UCC in Shaker Heights, Ohio. I hope to enjoy working with the WSCF.
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!”