Free Webinar: The History of Racism in America and Its Economic Ramifications

Monday, March 16
11 a.m. CT
12 p.m. ET | 9 a.m. PT



The effects of racism are deeply embedded in American structures and culture. Often society ignores the problem and works to push the discussion out of the mainstream dialogue. Just admitting there is a problem would be a step in the right direction.

In this webinar, CCD leaders Wayne Gordon and Sandra van Opstal will explore the horrific effects of slavery, manifest destiny, the doctrine of discovery and discriminatory immigration policies on the American society. We will pay particular attention to the development of an American culture that has minimized the struggle and the economic ramifications in today’s society.

Questions that will be addressed in this webinar:

  •  What are the issues?
  •  What is the effect of these racist policies today?
  •  How can we heal the hurts?
  • What does reconciliation look like?



Dr. Wayne “Coach” Gordon
Professor of Urban Leadership
President Emeritus and Founding Member of the Christian Community  Development Association

In 1975 Wayne Gordon, a graduate of Northern Seminary, moved to North Lawndale located on Chicago’s Westside. At that time, North Lawndale was the 15th poorest neighborhood in the U.S. He was a teacher and coach at Farragut High School, also located in North Lawndale. During his time as a teacher and coach, some of his players asked he and his wife to plant a church in North Lawndale. Today, the church has over 1000 worshipping families and Wayne continues as pastor. In addition, the church has founded the Lawndale Christian Development Corporation to bring holistic revitalization to the lives and environments of Lawndale residents through housing improvements, educational enrichment and community advocacy, and the Lawndale Christian Health Center which strives to show and share the love of Jesus Christ to the Lawndale Communities by providing holistic, affordable and quality health care services.

Pastor Sandra Van Opstal
Pastor at Grace and Peace Community
Sandra Maria Van Opstal, a second-generation Latina, pastors at Grace and Peace Community on the west-side of Chicago.  She is a preacher, liturgist and activist who re-imagining the intersection of worship and justice.

Sandra’s influence has also reached many others through her leadership and preaching on topics such of worship and formation, justice, racial identity and reconciliation, and global mission. She has been featured at Wheaton College, North Park University, The Justice Conference, Evangelical Covenant conferences, Willow Creek Association conferences, and various churches.  Sandra serves as a board member for Evangelicals for Justice and the Christian Community Development Association.  Sandra was also the Worship Director for the IFES World Assemblyin Mexico 2015,  Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jarkarta 2016 and Global Gathering in South Africa 2018.

Pastor Greg Armstrong
Director of Enrollment at Northern Seminary
Lead Pastor at Renew Church
Greg is a native Chicagoland resident loving the opportunity to see transformation in his city. At Northern Seminary, Greg walks alongside students as they discern if seminary is the next step for them and which programs are best suited for their calling.  In addition to leading Renew Church, Greg serves as the Founder and Director of Renew Movement, a worship collective comprised of worship pastors and musicians from various churches in the Chicagoland area. Worship nights are hosted quarterly as a means to cross-denominational unity in the local church.




Interesting in learning more about this topic and Christian Community Development? Considering enrolling in our Masters or Doctoral program. Learn more about them here:

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