The Rev. Marvin McMickle to speak at PathStone series

PathStone Corp. on Election Day will present its fourth Provok!ng Thought speaker series featuring the Rev. Marvin McMickle, a renowned thought leader and former president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School.

McMickle will be joined by a panel of local bank leaders who will lead an interactive discussion on the impact of the economic and social disparity that confronts and challenges thousands of families living in Rochester and Monroe County.

The Rev. Marvin McMickle
The Rev. Marvin McMickle

McMickle will challenge participants to embrace the vision of “The Beloved Community,” a belief that all people can share in the wealth of the earth, popularized by Martin Luther King Jr. It is the hope for a “better and brighter future when nothing in the present world suggests that such a future is possible,” officials explained.

Panelists include Daniel Randall, Federal Home Loan Bank of New York; Faheem Masood, ESL Federal Credit Union; Marty Birmingham, Five Star Bank; and Daniel Burns, M&T Bank.

Participants in the Nov. 3 program will share ideas for how we can best work together to promote equitable opportunity, financial self-sufficiency and intergenerational wealth. Actionable recommendations for next steps will be developed following the interactive program.

Last year, author Richard Rothstein drew a crowd of 550 in Rochester when he presented on redlining as part of the PathStone Presents – Provok!ing Thought series. Other speakers have included the Rev. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., and Matthew Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Participants can register for the free program online.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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RMAPI names nonprofit leader to co-chair steering committee

The Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative has chosen a nonprofit leader to co-chair its steering committee.

Jerome Underwood
Jerome Underwood

Jerome Underwood, who serves as president and CEO of Action for a Better Community Inc., will share steering committee duties with Nazareth College of Rochester President Daan Braveman. Underwood replaces the retiring Rev. Marvin McMickle, who has served as the committee’s co-chair since 2017.

“It is indeed an honor to have been chosen as the RMAPI co-chair,” Underwood said. “I would first like to extend my gratitude to Dr. Marvin McMickle, whose retirement created this opportunity.”

Underwood was named to lead ABC in January 2018, following eight years of board service, and seven as board chair. The agency promotes and provides opportunities for low-income individuals and families to become self-sufficient.

“The role is an extension of what ABC does on a daily basis—improve the lives of those who have been socially/emotionally and economically marginalized. This is challenging work on our best days,” Underwood said. “Notwithstanding, my intent is to work collaboratively with the RMAPI staff and the wide range of people and organizations who consider poverty reduction as a moral imperative. My encouragement is that we do so while remaining focused on the project’s guiding principles of addressing trauma and structural racism and community building.”

Underwood, an immigrant who came to Rochester in 1985, has served in a number of leadership roles, including as vice president and commercial product manager for community reinvestment at HSBC Bank, and in management roles within the Rochester City School District, where he oversaw programs that focused on parent engagement, student leadership and cultural responsiveness.

“Jerome Underwood is a perfect fit to serve as co-chair of the RMAPI steering committee,” RMAPI Executive Director Leonard Brock said. “His passion for improving the lives of people and dedication to equity is unmatched in our community, and we look forward to his leadership as RMAPI creates systemic change that improves the lives of all in our community.”

As co-chair of the RMAPI steering committee, McMickle helped lead the collective impact effort through an evolution in its governance structure to better bring together stakeholders around a common agenda to reduce poverty and increase self-sufficiency. During his tenure, RMAPI established working groups to bring together employers, social service agencies, funders and stakeholders from across sectors in Rochester.

“Dr. McMickle has been one of Rochester’s leading advocates for lifting up all of those affected by poverty, using his stature in our community to serve as a voice for the voiceless,” Brock said. “His leadership has helped to guide RMAPI through a critical period as we set the path for long-term poverty reduction and his focus on addressing inequalities of all kinds has served as an example to everyone across our community.

RMAPI is a multi-sector community collaborative whose aim is to improve quality of life by reducing poverty and increasing self-sufficiency. Its three guiding principles are to address structural racism, address trauma and build community.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
Follow Velvet Spicer on Twitter: @Velvet_Spicer

Divinity school picks first female president

Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School has named a new president, and she’s the institution’s first female president.

Angela D. Sims, 62, currently a dean and vice president of institutional advancement at Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas and Oklahoma, will begin her job in Rochester July 1.

Angela D. Sims, newly named president of Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School
Angela D. Sims, newly named president of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School

The announcement was made in the atrium of Rochester’s City Hall, with Mayor Lovely Warren – the first female mayor of Rochester extending a welcome to Sims and noting that she’s also the first African-American female president of any Rochester-area college.

Sims was born in Monroe, La., and spent her early years elsewhere in that state, but considers Hayward, Calif., her home as that’s where she spent her teenage years. She holds a doctorate of divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary, a master’s degree from Howard University School of Divinity and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Trinity University-Washington.

Peter Abdella, president of the board of Colgate, said of Sims, “Her scholarship was exemplary,” and he noted the three books she’s written. Her early career in finance before going on to study divinity, and her experience in administration as well as teaching also impressed the board.

The non-religious experience Sims brings to the job will come in handy as the school leaves the campus on South Goodman Street that it has inhabited for generations, and moves to leased quarters on North Goodman Street later this summer.

“When I think of free-standing divinity schools, nearly all are making similar moves,” Sims said in a brief interview after the announcement.  Saint Paul went through a similar downsizing six years ago, she said. Such a move gives a school the opportunity to focus anew on its mission, she said.

Sims is married and has three grown children and three grandchildren.

She replaces Marvin McMickle, who is retiring after serving as president of the divinity school for the last eight years. Warren thanked McMickle for his leadership in the community and presented him with the key to the city before the announcement of Sims’ selection was made.

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McMickle to retire from divinity school

The president who oversaw the sale of the iconic Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School property and inked a deal to lease space for the school near Village Gate complex is now planning to retire.

Marvin A. McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School
Marvin A. McMickle, president of Colgate Rochester Crozier Divinity School

Marvin A. McMickle announced his plans Tuesday to retire as president of the divinity school on June 30, 2019. In a statement he said a search for a new college president is already underway.

“Like many theological schools, CRCDS has experienced a decline in some of its degree programs,” McMickle wrote. “It has, however, also experienced significant growth in others, allowing us to face the future with hope and confidence.”

McMickle said the divinity school is in the final stages of selling its property on a hill at the corner of South Goodman Street and Highland Avenue, and of closing on its lease for space in the development at 320 N. Goodman St. The relocation takes the divinity school from the more affluent edge of the city and places it closer to impoverished neighborhoods.

McMickle, who served as president for eight years, said he plans to remain at CRCDS for a year after his retirement from the presidency as a member of the faculty and working on its doctorate of divinity program.

[email protected]/(585) 363-7275