Ten seconds after a visitor registers online with the Diversity Leadership Network at the Big Tent, Monica Cabell’s smart phone beeps.
It’s an email letting her know her PC(USA) leadership team may be one step closer to diversity.
“How cool is this!” she says, eyeballing the skills and interests of a prospective candidate. It takes about 15 minutes to register.
A database in which racial/ethnic applicants are encouraged to register rolled out Thursday, June 30. Visit www.pcusa.org/diversity to learn more.
Cabell, the PC(USA)’s associate for organizational education and recruitment, began work in September 2010 with a mandate to “help the organization become more culturally proficient.”
About 9 percent of PC(USA) members are racial/ethnic. “It’s going to take a concerted effort to identify them,” she said.
Here’s how the registry works: you’re asked to identify your skills and expertise, identify your ethnic background and attach an optional resume. As oppotunities arise in jobs that require your skills, you’ll be contacted,” Cabell said.
For the time being the network is being used for specialized ministry on the national and regional level, not the congregational level.
“Our goal is to create a pool we can be proud of,” she said.
The network is designed for people of all racial backgrounds.
“All people are diverse,” Cabell said. “I believe that was God’s intent.”
Mike Ferguson is a member of the United Presbyterian Church in Lone Tree, Iowa, and a reporter for the “Muscatine Journal,” the newspaper where Mark Twain got his start. A regular contributor to Presbyterian News Service, he is covering the National Elders Conference at Big Tent for PNS.