A decade of shalom was celebrated and a future vision was unveiled at the Fresno Pacific University Center for Community Transformation 10th Anniversary Banquet.
Tables filled the Elizabeth V. Lyles Theater in the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center September 29, 2022, on the main FPU campus. Some 185 community leaders and university representatives as well as both those who have supported the CCT and those who have benefitted from its programs came together for dinner and a program.
Among the achievements honored:
- Spark Tank: supporting 64 social enterprises, with 23 currently in operation (three times the national rate).
- Certificado de Ministerio en Transformación de la Communidad: 121 pastors and lay leaders in 40 churches in 17 cities have completed the program in Spanish, building skills to improve the economic, physical and spiritual well-being of their communities.
- Financial Literacy: 225 trainers equipped to help people with low incomes resist exploitation, overcome the shame many feel about their finances and build new patterns of accountability, spending and saving.
- City Shaping: Sacred Streets training to provide reasonable care for church facilities and members while supporting people experiencing homelessness; the Human Trafficking Data Project to unite agencies and share data regarding victims, survivors and services; and the Mayor’s Faith-Based Partnership Cabinet featuring leaders from ever faith tradition in the Valley.
The keynote speaker was Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries. Bitwise is Fresno’s tech hub—combining expertise in real estate, technology, consulting and workforce training to explore what could happen if a city puts human beings at the center.
Randy White, D. Min., founder and executive director of the CCT, was honored for his decade of service, and Carlos Huerta addressed the crowd as incoming executive director. FPU President André Stephens and H Spees also spoke. Former housing and homelessness services and director of strategic initiatives for the City of Fresno, Spees has a longer career in community activism.
In addition to White and Huerta, CCT staff includes Juan Garza, ministry resource coordinator; Jeanette Jaurena, administrative program coordinator; Cathleen Lawler, church relations coordinator; Carolina Mueller, multi-media specialist; and Sandra Rodriguez, program coordinator.