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:
Lutheran Student Movement Rep: Paula Sommerville
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.
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: Aude A. Isimbi (Baltimore, MD, USA)
Aude is a Pentecostal Christian originally from Rwanda whose connection to her faith grew out of her struggles following the genocide there. Her life journey has included significant time in Tanzania and Canada before she landed in the United States. Both her B.A. in psychology and her current work towards a Master’s in sociology bespeak her passion for helping people to better lives; a passion which is also evident in her work for social justice from her base at Stony Point Center in the Hudson Valley of NY State, including activism in ecojustice, mass incarceration, islamophobia and race relations. She currently provides Christian leadership to a multi-faith Summer Institute program for young adults.
Bible, Theology and Creative Liturgy Coordinator: Maya Brathwaite (Toronto, ON, CA)
Montréal native Maya Brathwaite is a Master of Divinity student at Emmanuel College, University of Toronto. She is a candidate for ordination with the United Church of Canada who already possesses a Master of Religious Education (2008). She is busy raising her four children with her husband of eleven years, Kevin Brathwaite. They enjoy visiting parks and farmers’ markets during their free time. A dedicated educator, Maya recently completed her 22-year career as an elementary school teacher which took her from Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, Jamaica, and back to Canada. Aside from reading the Bible and theological books, Maya enjoys dance immensely, often taking classes in modern, jazz, African and Caribbean folk dance. She enjoys watching documentaries, knitting, and she loves canoeing.
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: Jay Hooper (Bronx, NY, USA)
Rev. Jay R. Hooper was born in Richmond, Va and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He considers himself a perfect blend of his southern and northern roots, coining himself a Virnorker. Under the alias, Rev. Jé Exodus Hooper, southern charm and a gridlock-city attitude goes a long away in the fight for social justice and the love for equality. His passion for youth, arts & cultural non-profits, and social equality have impacted charter schools, cultural institutions, and churches in the evangelical sects. Jé advocates that all people have a divine right access to the Creative Spirit, and by supporting cultural arts programs in communities, people can respond to the revelation of God’s reign. In this way, his teaching experience is utilized to advocate for diversity, community, and a signifier of their identity. Through theology as a strategy for social justice, he applies skills in conflict resolution, and respectfully assess the needs of various ethnic groups. He contribute a wealth of knowledge in creative programming, human development, and community engagement.
He is a current Ph.D candidate at Plymouth University/ Transart Institute and a graduate of Union Theological Seminary’s Masters of Theology program. He received a Master’s of Professional Studies in Arts and Cultural Administration with a primary focus in non-profit management. He also hold a Bachelor of Arts in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute, which has led to teaching and variety of diverse opportunities. He is ordained interfaith minister of the New Seminary’s Interfaith Studies and Ambassador of Peace with the UN’s Universal Federation of Peace, consulting interreligious conflict and resolution. He also is the Minister of Youth, Children, and Family at the Abundant Life Transformation Seventh Day Sanctified Church (ALT). He serve with a heart of gladness and steadfastness. He is aware of the dedication, energy and ingenuity that must go into WSCF in order to be successful in reaching their goals. As an artist, sacred activist, and educator, he will use his creativity as a tool that unites community, educate and seek out various truths of justice.
Jé currently revise in the beautiful area of Riverdale, NY with his Michele L. Stanback-Hooper and their two dogs, Milo and Shilo.
Women, Gender and Sexuality Coordinator: Sarah Wynne-Taylor (BC, Canada)
Wynne is a genderqueer rabble rouser from the rainforests of northern BC. They are involved in a queer church startup in Edmonton, Alberta, which is fostering their interest in lgbtq advocacy and affirmation within the Christian church. An enthusiastic supporter of her city's volunteer culture, Wynne is a member of a local community theatre and works in federal, nonpartisan vote activism.
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!”