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The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Engage Our Differences

A workshop with Y. Joy Harris-Smith and Carolyn B. Helsel

August 23, 2022 @ 12:00 pm 1:30 pm

In partnership with the NC Conference Evangelism and Discipleship committee, the Center for Leadership Excellence invites you to a virtual workshop designed for children’s ministers, youth ministers, parents, and those who work with children and youth. 

The world we live in is diverse. Yet often we tend to stay closer to what feels comfortable—what we are more familiar with—which means that we can feel uncomfortable when engaging with people who are different from us. Learning about the differences of others can feel like learning a new language, like starting all over with our “ABCs.” Being gentle with ourselves and others as we learn the language of difference can help us as ministers, parents, and members of a worldwide community become more compassionate as we work together to build a better world. Carolyn Helsel and Y. Joy Harris-Smith share how to do this as they talk about their book The ABCs of Diversity: Helping Kids (and Ourselves!) Engage Our Differences.

Participants will spend some time reflecting on their own approaches to difference and will leave with practical tools and suggestions for honoring and engaging difference through their youth and children’s ministry programs.  

About Y. Joy Harris-Smith

The Rev. Dr. Y. Joy Harris-Smith is the Senior Lecturer in Speech Communication in Ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary and adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Business Management teaching Business Communication at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (City University of New York or CUNY). She is also the co-author of The ABCs of Diversity with Carolyn B. Helsel and the author of several articles and book chapters. Harris-Smith is ordained by Bethel Gospel Tabernacle, Inc., and lives with her husband and two children in New York City where she enjoys cooking with fresh foods from her garden.

About Carolyn B. Helsel

The Rev. Dr. Carolyn B. Helsel is Associate Professor in the Blair Monie Distinguished Chair in Homiletics at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and the author of Anxious to Talk about It (2nd Edition, 2021) and Preaching about Racism (2018). In addition to co-authoring The ABCs of Diversity with Y. Joy Harris-Smith, she is also co-author of The Flawed Family of God: Stories of the Imperfect Families of God with biblical scholar Song-Mi Suzie Park. Helsel is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and she lives in Austin with her husband, two children, and nine chickens.