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 its relationship to systems of injustice?

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 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 three different pods: Education, Housing, and a Pastor’s Pod. Since this cohort is hyper-focused on the City of Pasadena, in order to participate you must live or work in Pasadena, Alta Dena, or Sierra Madre.


This pod is designed for parents, stakeholders, and supporters of public education within the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD). We will explore the past and present life of PUSD, tracing how history informs the current challenges and opportunities the district faces today. By engaging with district leaders and key community partners within PUSD, we hope to identify opportunities for partnership and develop a framework and roadmap for continued advocacy in order to advance the vision for a high-quality district that strives to meet the needs of every student in PUSD.


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 learning and 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. This will be done while making new and deepening connections within the Clergy Community for ongoing support and collaboration.


This is both an educational cohort and an ongoing advocacy group. At the end of the 5 months, participants will prepare a summative project and presentation to address the inequalities they learned about and their plan for continued, collaborative action.

Topics addressed throughout the cohort 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:
    Jan 19-20 and May 17-18
  • Two Meetings per Month*:
    General Sessions: Feb. 8, March 14, April 11, May 9
    Pod Sessions: Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 28, April 25


The total cost of this 5-month cohort is $500. Scholarships available upon request and availability.




  • 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.



    • 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.


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.

Apply Today

If you have any questions about this Cohort, please email .

Apply Today