empowering people to become self-reliant

ESR Faith Based Event

Experiment in Self-Reliance

3480 Dominion Street | Winston Salem, NC 27105

Contact: Victoria Hutchins | 722-9400 ext. 124 | victoria.hutchins@eisr.org

Rev. Dr. Bill J. Leonard Celebrates Faith-based Community with ESR

Winston-Salem – In honor of its partnerships with the faith-based community, Experiment in Self- Reliance held a celebratory luncheon on May 14, 2015 at 10:30 am in the Training Room of ESR.

The event showcased the organization’s relationships with the community faith-based organizations who have helped ESR “empower people to become self-reliant.” Locally, many individual congregations and faith leaders throughout the community stepped up to help found ESR and support its early growth and development. Likewise over the years, churches, clergy, and communities of faith have continued to be instrumental in ESR’s programming, funding, and efforts to come together across the community in caring and outreach.

The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Bill J. Leonard, former and founding Dean of Wake Forest Divinity School and currently the James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Church History. Dr. Leonard spoke about the Civil Rights Movement and the foundation of Community Action Agencies and church involvement. The Mistress of Ceremony is Mütter D. Evans, President of Mütter Evans Communications.

Visionary Remarks were made by D. D. Adams, City Councilwoman of the North Ward.

Mayor Pro tempore and City Council Member of the Northeast Ward, Dr. Vivian H. Burke received special acknowledgement on behalf of her late husband, Rep. Logan Burke, who has been an advocate for ESR throughout the history of the organization. Mr. Burke worked with former Executive Director, the late Louise Wilson to aid in negotiating strategies to engage faith-based organizations, sororities, and fraternities with the organization. Mr. Burke served as Chair of ESR’s Board of Directors, and served his family’s beloved church, Grace Presbyterian, which has also supported ESR throughout the years.

“We wouldn’t be here today without the incredible support we have received over the years from our partners, like the churches we are recognizing today. They are truly a gift,” said Executive Director, Twana W. Roebuck.

More than 30 representatives attended the event, which included lunch, entertainment, and thoughtful empowerment. ESR expresses its appreciation to its sponsors, Woodforest Bank and Contract Furnishings, and other supporters by recognizing the effort of everyone involved in the mission of helping people help themselves.

ESR expresses great gratitude and thanksgiving for its deeply engrained relationship with the faith community, which has been a hallmark of the agency’s success throughout its entire 50-year history. The Church at-large played a key role in Civil Rights in the 1950s and ’60s which spawned Community Action Agencies like ESR through the Equal Opportunity Act of 1964.


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