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National catechetical conference to feature Black Catholic keynote speaker, session leaders

This year's National Conference for Catechetical Leadership gathering will look a bit different, as the organization has a new name and a new format for its annual conference.

In Word and Witness (IWW), formerly known as The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL), will hold its annual “Partnered in Mission” conference later this month, featuring numerous Black Catholic speakers.

The event will be virtual, held from May 23rd-26th.

IWW was originally founded as the National Conference for Diocesan Directors (NCDD) in 1967, a membership association emerging from the annual meetings of US Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) directors which began in 1934.

It adopted its current name late last year, alongside an overall rebrand before announcing this year’s event.

On its first day, Msgr Ray East of St Teresa of Avila in DC will help lead one of its “Processing Sessions”, a series of members-only conference breakouts focusing on the IWW’s core values. East’s session will focus on inclusion and solidarity.

An event later that night will feature internationally-renowned artist Bro. Mickey McGrath, OSFS, co-creating an icon of Servant of God Thea Bowman alongside session participants.

On Wednesday, a session on MLK’s theme of “The Beloved Community” will be led by author and speaker Andrew Lyke of Arusi Network, speaking on anti-racism from a Catholic lens.

This will be immediately followed by a tripartite discussion on the same topic led by Deacon Timothy Tilghman of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in DC; Michael Howard of Eat the Scroll Ministry; and Dr. Valerie D. Lewis-Mosley, OPA of Christ the King in Jersey City.

Dr. timone davis of Loyola Chicago will then give the closing keynote.

They will be joined by over two dozen scholars, sisters, ministers, and artists from around the country, participating in the first virtual annual conference for the new-look IWW.

Interested parties can register here. The cost is $75.

Nate Tinner-Williams is co-founder and editor of Black Catholic Messenger, in priesthood formation with the Josephites, and a ThM student with the Institute for Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).