Project Urge Tour

On Saturday, October 22nd, Project URGE will host a high impact presentation and tour of Rochester’s key service organizations and ministries committed to serving the under-resourced, the abused, and at-risk youth. Guests will meet dynamic leaders of these dedicated groups and ministries, see them in action and tour some of their facilities.
     Dr. John M. Perkins, Co-founder of CCDA (Christian Community Development), will be on hand to discuss how faith-based leadership can transform a neighborhood, and will further cast a vision for discovering, developing, and empowering the community to serve in the neighborhoods where they live and work. His strategy for community development, successful in urban settings especially, targets future leaders who are already invested and connected to a specific neighborhood and gives them the tools they will need to initiate lasting change. Dr. Perkin’s impact on developing under-resourced neighborhoods and inspiring to move others toward racial reconciliation, promises to offer both an informative and stimulating morning to the greater Rochester community, and this year’s URGEnt Presentation and Tour.
     In addition, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, President of the Skinner Leadership Institute will be part of the discussion and workshops. Her experience speaks for itself as president of Skinner Leadership Institute (SLI), formed to produce a new generation of leaders who are technically excellent and spiritually mature. A nationally recognized spiritual leader, teacher, lecturer and writer, she earned her undergraduate degree from San Francisco State University, and the M.S.W. and law degrees from UCLA. She has also earned the M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from Howard University School of Divinity. She is the author of numerous articles including “The Power of Love,” “Been There, Done That: Why African American Christians Resist Racial Reconciliation,” and a leadership training workbook entitled “Becoming An Effective 21st Century Leader.”
     Dr. Williams-Skinner and her late husband, the Rev. Tom Skinner, a former Harlem, New York gang leader, founded the Skinner Leadership Institute in 1992. The Institute evolved from Tom Skinner Associates, the ministry founded in 1964 by Tom Skinner, who became chaplain to the Washington Redskins football and New York Yankees baseball teams, and authored numerous books. Skinner Leadership Institute provides leadership development and reconciliation training for people of all backgrounds and faiths, especially to current leaders, students, emerging young leaders and urban youth.
     For many years, Dr. Williams-Skinner was the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC, made up of the African American members of the U. S. Congress who collectively represent 39 million African Americans. She is currently on the boards of Christian Community Development Association, Fuller Theological Seminary, and the Community Empowerment Equity Partnership (CEEP). CEEP, founded as a tribute to Tom Skinner, operated an Urban Leadership Academy at Ballou Senior High School in Washington, DC for five years. The Academy offered courses in moral character development, job readiness, and computer technology training, and she provides curriculum and teacher training for the Academy.
     Three additional events will further fuel an already exciting day: First off, while the URGEnt Presentation and Tour are underway, The URGEncy Collection will receive donations of gently used or new coats, gloves, hats, blankets and towels, as well as canned goods and non-perishables to be distributed to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, food pantries and other organizations serving the under-served in the Rochester area. Churches, individuals and organizations are invited to conduct collections locally throughout Sept. through mid-October, then bring their donations to 100 West Ave. (Salvation Army) October 22nd from 8:30am until noon .
     Secondly, CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) workshops will be offered in the afternoon from 1:15 – 3pm, also at the Salvation Army 100 West Ave. location. Choose one of our informative workshops: Reconciliation: Bridging the Racial Divide which will be facilitated by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner or Understanding Poverty, facilitated by Jim Swearingen. Both are CCDA board members and leaders.
     In addition, there will be a pastors/church leaders forum with Dr. John Perkins, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Jim Swearingen and Project URGE. The pastors/church leaders meeting will provide a forum for discussion on how churches can more effectively partner with each other and organizations to provide for transformational change in restoring neighborhoods consumed by the challenges of poverty. Both Dr. Perkins and Dr. Williams-Skinner will facilitate. Pre-registration by pastors and church leaders is required and can be done by email or phone (information listed above). The forum will be held as people are touring organization sites.
     For the eighth consecutive year Project URGE is providing a glimpse at those serving the under-resourced. Once again participants will hear from and visit a broad spectrum of organizations which include: after-school programs and summer camps for at-risk youth, soup kitchens, clothing ministries, entrepreneurial education, drug and alcohol rehab, food pantries, health/wellness and more. A partial list of the organizations includes: Action for a Better Community, Aids Care, Cameron Community Ministries, Catholic Charities, Catholic Family Center, City Vision, Community Lutheran Ministry, Community Place, Compeer of Rochester, Crossroads 441, Foodlink, Genesee/Finger Lakes Volunteer Center, the Father’s Heart, Gerhardt Neighborhood Outreach Center, Grace Community Village, Heart for the City, His Hands Nursing Center, Mom’s In Touch, Outreach Temple Soup Kitchen, Place of Hope, Project URGE, Inc. (Bread Run, Jacob’s Ladder, Mothers In Need of Others, Prayer Team, Sat. Sonshine Program), Open Door Mission, Recovery House of Rochester, Salvation Army, SMART (Safer Monroe Reentry Team), Youth for Change (Determined Divas and Good Fellas), Youth for Christ and more will be represented.
     This URGEnt Presentation event will help bring awareness of opportunities for involvement by church and community groups, as well as individuals from our community. Participants will be able to visit 4-6 sites and have an opportunity to meet with approximately 30 plus organizations prior to the tour. A continental breakfast will be offered with juice and coffee.

The trip will provide an in-depth view of the good work being done daily, as well as expose some of the profound needs in the Rochester community. Come, and be part of the solution. Discover specific ways and places that you or your group might contribute to healing the brokenness in our city.
Project URGE, Inc. is a local faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that connects and unites churches, organizations to break down barriers of poverty, race and despair in the name of Jesus Christ.

To register, contact prourge@aol.com or phone (585) 223.8340 on or before Saturday, OCT 15th.