The Center for Racial Reconciliation in partnership with the Clergy Community Coalition and APU Department of Social Work

"Remembering our Past, Repairing our Systems, Reimagining our Community"

How often do you think about the place where you live, its history, and where people geographically live within your city?

This program will demonstrate how systems and institutions impact people’s daily lives and conversely how people impact systems and institutions.

What can we learn about our communities and ourselves as we examine the disparities between the Bungalow Heavens and “a” Northwest Pasadena? Truth is, when we examine our city, we examine ourselves. Dr. David Leong argues that the very fabric of our most deeply held beliefs and values, including our cultural identities themselves, are intimately shaped by cul-de-sacs and grocery stores, parking lots and freeway overpasses, children and parks, and the lives of others we encounter there.

Theologian Willie Jennings plainly states that “Race is a matter of geography, and that we cannot overcome our racial dilemma until we get serious about the geographic formation and sustaining of racial identity…” within the structures of our society.

Reconcile Pasadena examines these questions and invites participants to communally develop tools that enable them to engage Pasadena’s racial and geographic history through a theological framework that uncovers the underpinnings of advocacy for the oppressed replete throughout Scripture.

The cohort’s aim is to empower and equip people with the tools to dismantle oppression through, the ongoing cycle of turning theory into practical engagement. Reconcile Pasadena strives to move away from the well worn goal of improved race relations that waddles in the sea of individual morality or personal responsibility, and toward addressing the structures of society that perpetuates racial disparities.

There will be four different pods: Children and Schools, Homelessness and Housing, Policing and Incarceration, and one specifically for Pastors/Clergy.


This pod addresses the issues that confront Pasadena’s most vulnerable children: poverty, trauma, violence, and educational inequities. We will learn how to engage with institutions and community partners in order to advance child-centered systemic change and imagine together what a safe, loving, and just city could look like for every child in Pasadena.

Housing +

This pod will explore the history of housing injustice in the city of Pasadena. Join us as we examine how systems such as homelessness, segregation and the affordability crisis are implications of decades of housing discrimination perpetuated through practices such as redlining, blockbusting, etc. We will also discuss practical and tangible action steps that can be taken that will help bring lasting, systemic change through policy, community organizations and individual activists.


This pod is for local pastors/clergy. We will learn the history of our city and how it informs the current state of our city, learn about key areas of inequities and what is required to create a more equitable community. Through communal biblical and theological reflection, we will examine the role of the church and its leaders in pursuing God’s vision for our city and its residents.


Join this pod to learn more about mass incarceration and the past and present outcomes of the Pasadena Police Department. Journey with us as we move from history, to impact, to God’s call for biblical justice for the people of Pasadena. This pod might be for you if you already have some basic knowledge about the issue of mass incarceration at large and now want to become educated and active on the ground in Pasadena.


At the end of the 5 months, participants will present an initiative or action plan to address the inequalities they learned about in their pod. Topics will include:

  • Theology of the City
  • How Racism Built Pasadena
  • Who is Your Neighbor?
  • Power and Policymaking
  • Loving Your Neighbor in Action
  • The Prophetic Role of the Church

Time Commitment

  • Two Full-Day Retreats:
    March 18-19 and July 22-23
  • Two Meetings per Month*:
    Every 2nd Thursday Evening: Large Group Meeting
    Every 4th Thursday Evening: Pod-Specific Meeting
*In-person gatherings contingent upon COVID-19.


The total cost of this 5-month cohort is $300. Payment plans are available and scholarships may be available upon request.




  • Dr. Margaret Lee
    is an assistant professor in the Social Work Department at Azusa Pacific University.  She teaches graduate-level courses in policy, community organizing, organizational development and management, anti-racism and inclusion, and faith-based social justice strategies. She lives in Pasadena with her husband and two young children where she is actively involved with the local community in areas of children, housing, and education justice. She currently serves as a project manager with Making Housing and Community Happen, is on the board of Elizabeth House maternity shelter, and is the Principal Investigator for the Azusa Love My City Project.



  • Jasmin Shupper
    is the Director of Business at Fellowship Church. She is also the Founder and CEO of Greenline Housing Foundation, an organization that seeks to close the racial wealth gap by granting access to homeownership and reversing the effects of systemic racism in housing. Jasmin loves real estate and has from an early age, and her background in finance gave her insight into the generational opportunities that homeownership affords. However, along with that knowledge came a deep sense of sadness at what generations of discrimination in housing has meant for the economic legacy of people of color. As such, and as a California Real Estate Salesperson licensee, she uses her background and skills to further her passion of facilitating homeownership and, specifically, minority homeownership. Jasmin graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in International Business and a minor in French. Upon graduating from college Jasmin worked as a corporate credit risk underwriter and financial analyst for 10 years, underwriting large contractors, developers and fortune 500 companies. Jasmin also serves on the Board of Directors of the San Gabriel Valley Community Land Trust. In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her husband and two girls, speaking French, cooking, and eating at new and exciting restaurants. She can also be found at the beach with a good book or watching HGTV.



  • Dee Jones
    has 15 years of experience in leadership and program development with an emphasis on the justice system and community mental health. Her innovative efforts include working with marginalized communities, 2300+ unaccompanied children crossing the US border, and teaching in LA County jails. Dee’s background in educational psychology and counseling paired with Southern hospitality and great comedic timing, offer a rare combination of making people laugh and cry while challenging them to view others as brothers and sisters. Her heart is to equip the church to provide intentional and holistic care, promote healing, and address trauma.
  • Dr. Michal Meulenberg
    is involved in addressing the issue of mass incarceration through advocacy, interactive educational experiences, local grassroots activism, and restorative justice initiatives. It is her passion to mobilize the church to be reconciliation workers in the way of Jesus in their own lives, locally, and around the world. She works as a professor teaching conflict transformation, interfaith dialogue, peace & justice advocacy and grassroots organizing. She has an MA in English and Journalism, a Master of Divinity, an MA in Intercultural Studies, and a PhD in Intercultural Studies.
  • Jasmine Ward
    was previously an academic instructor within the LA County Jail system. She received her Master’s of Science in school psychology from California State University, Northridge, and she also attended the University of Southern California where she attained her Masters of Social Work with an emphasis in community organization and planning. She has done work with Communities in Schools of the San Fernando Valley (CIS) where their main focus is re-entry and working with the local gangs and at-risk youth to provide a safer community. Her work with CIS has also allowed her to participate in coalition building and community mobilization for the all-around reform and improvement of the local, state, and national criminal justice system.



  • Mayra Macedo-Nolan
    grew up in East Los Angeles, and has lived in Pasadena for over 20 years. She was on the pastoral team of Lake Avenue Church for over 20 years and is now Executive Director of the Clergy Community Coalition of Greater Pasadena, which seeks to unite and mobilize the local church to bring about a just community where all people can flourish. Her love for her community and the local and global church fuels her speaking, teaching, mentoring and coaching, especially in the areas of leadership, gender equity, embodied faith, race, justice, and the Church.  She has served on numerous local, regional, and national boards, currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), an Elder of The Voices Project, and Board Member of The Voices School for Liberation and Transformation. She is married to Chris and they have raised their four children in Pasadena.
  • Michael Field
    is the Executive Pastor to Staff and Ministries at Fellowship Church. He is a frequent contributor and facilitator of workshops and Table Talks at the Center for Racial Reconciliation. Michael’s passion and commitment to be a part of racial reconciliation started 20 years ago as a Global Studies major at Azusa Pacific University. He is passionate about seeing the local church be a major contributor in the work of reconciliation going forward.



Center for
Racial Reconciliation

  • John Williams
    is a strategic teacher and visionary reconciliation leader. He has served as the Director of the Fellowship Center for Racial Reconciliation since 2016 and has faithfully worked toward racial reconciliation for over 30 years. John is passionate about training groups who seek to increase their awareness around race, racism, and racial reconciliation in the U.S. Mentored by Dr. John Perkins, he brings years of experience and expertise in facilitating and training to this work.

    John Williams has consulted churches, universities, and non-profits across the country in how to become more equitable and just organizations. He uses critical questions, dialogue, and interactive exercises as a core element in all of his workshops. John serves on the board of the Immigration Resource Center of the San Gabriel Valley (IRCSGV) and the Greenline Housing Foundation as he strongly believes that the work of racial reconciliation must be communal and collaborative.

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