Courageous women honored at Scarritt Bennett dinner

United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño received the Ann L. Reskovac Courage Award from Scarritt Bennett Center on Dec. 6 in recognition for her work as an immigration activist.

Carcaño, who leads the California-Pacific Conference, has been an outspoken advocate for comprehensive immigration reform for more than 10 years. She has promoted a variety of ways to dialogue including a bilateral ministry between the United States and Mexico.

The bishop has brought her message of compassion to President Barack Obama and members of Congress on several occasions. She was arrested twice outside the White House in acts of civil disobedience to draw the nation’s attention to caring for the millions of undocumented people in the U.S.

She has worked beyond advocacy with organizations such as Humane Borders to establish water stations for those crossing the desert.

Carcaño was elected to the episcopacy in 2004 by the denomination’s Western Jurisdictional Conference, the first Hispanic woman ever elected bishop. She was assigned to the Phoenix Area on Sept. 1, 2004. After eight years, she was assigned to the Los Angeles Area in 2012.

Scarritt Bennett Center, a nonprofit educational center and conference and special events venue, started an annual awards dinner seven years ago to honor social justice activists who have embodied the core values and mission of the center in their lives and work.

Others honored at the 2014 awards dinner were: Rosetta Miller-Perry, publisher and civil rights activist; Barbara E. Campbell, United Methodist deaconess; Sue C. Johnson, president of Nashville district of United Methodist Women and advocate for local mission work; and Anne Fleming Williams for service to the National Black Methodist for Church Renewal, the James Memorial United Methodist Church and the Eastern Pennsylvania Commission on the Status and Role of Women.

Scarritt Bennett Center was originally a training school for female missionaries in Missouri. The Women’s Ministry Council gave it to the 1926 General Conference, and it became an institution of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, with the council as its administrator.  The property now belongs to United Methodist Women.

News contact: Kathy L. Gilbert at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org

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