Reservoir’s Equity Diversity Inclusion (REDI) Team
Reservoir’s Equity Diversity Inclusion (REDI) Teamemail:
REDI Team was first convened in 2019 with the desire to steward the diversity of our church with more intention and effort towards the work of equity, diversity, and inclusion. It was commissioned by the Board and after accepting various nominations, a group of 9 people gathered together to meet. That team began the work of collecting initial demographics data through the REDI Survey. You can find the result in the REDI Survey Report 2020.
After two years of work with the initial team, a new team was convened for the next term. Here are the members of Reservoir Church who love and care about equity, diversity, inclusion, and antiracist work at our church, Fall 2021-Spring 2023:
Catherine McDonald (she/her)
Catherine has been a long-time friend and member of Reservoir Church for the past 10 years. A continual thread of her work in communities she’s called home, as well as her career for 20+ years in various business and non-profit sectors, has been a passion for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Most recently, she was a member of the inaugural DE&I council at a major healthcare provider helping drive forward honest and candid conversations, policy shifts and the opportunity for lasting change for an employee base of over 87,000. She looks forward to bringing this passion to Reservoir’s REDI team.
The prayer of Claire’s heart is that more and more all people we encounter in any way- in person, online, in policy making- whether friends, strangers or enemies – will know more fully they are cherished by us because of Jesus who is among us as we gather with them. Claire’s story is currently taking place with her family in a diverse, urban neighborhood of Boston where her and her husband, Roger, have lived for 40 years. As a former Boston paraprofessional and then teacher at the Henderson Inclusion School and on staff of the Visiting Nurses of Boston and currently a resident of Boston, Claire has observed structural racism in many facets of life and recognizes her white privilege. She continues to learn ways to act more anti-racist and live more justly with increasing freedom. Traveling with Roger and living in their community influences her to work with others towards police reform and just immigration policies. She is grateful to be on the REDI team and looks forward to becoming a team as we learn and serve together.
Diana Odei (She/her)
Diana draws upon her immigration from Ghana, Africa when connecting with people in all communities. As one of the founding members of the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) team at her current job, she believes everyone has a voice, and all voices are heard.
Diana enjoys finding ways to build equality while creating an engaging environment where people can bring their authentic selves and contribute to courageous conversations.
Dorothy Hanna (she/her)
Dorothy Hanna’s care for diversity and inclusion grew out of her experience of being a stranger in many different countries and settings. Growing up in Thailand she experienced both the privileges and indignities of life as a foreigner from a wealthy nation. Her childhood best friend’s heritage is Rawong, a Southeast Asian ethnic minority group. This friend started Dorothy on her journey to notice and care about justice for people whose rights are not respected. Since then Dorothy has spent time in Mexico, Iraq, Jordan and the UK as well as recently living in Boston for several years. Each place and its people have gifted Dorothy with more awareness of the ways her inheritance as a white person is to tend to live out our world’s history of racism and colonialism and how to choose a different way to live by building a beloved community.
Gloria Sun (they/them)
Gloria has been attending Reservoir Church since early 2020. Over the last year and a half, they have enjoyed making friends in Community Group, contributing to videos with Worship Team, taking classes with pastoral staff, and serving behind the scenes at Virch. Currently located in Austin, Texas, Gloria is looking forward to a career in public health to push for more equitable outcomes in mental health and eating disorders. They strive to bring a lens of disability justice, fat liberation, racial justice, queer liberation, and environmental justice to their work, and they are thankful for this opportunity with REDI to put their intentions into practice.
Shirley “Lee” Elliott (she/they)
Originally a native New Yorker, 15 years ago Lee visited family in Cambridge and realized this city would be forever home. At UMass, she earned her B.A in Anthropology with a minor in Communication Studies because she believes human connection and the ability to communicate is an integral part of our very existence. Her passions extend beyond people; she’s also a community volunteer and staunch sustainability advocate, currently serving on the board for the city’s waste initiatives.
Joining the REDI Team was important to Lee because she believes in the power of the collective. She also believes our diverse and passionate members have the power to make racial equity a daily priority resulting in practices and experiences that are supportive, welcoming, inclusive, and most importantly safe for people of color. Lee believes this is possible not only in the confines of our congregation, but our community as a whole.
Becoming a member of Reservoir 2 years ago was the answer to countless prayers of finding the right church for her family and Spiritual journey, and she is grateful for the opportunity.
Lydia Shiu (she/her)
Lydia is one of the pastors and the Director of Social Justice and Action at Reservoir Church. Her experience as an Asian American immigrant, learning English as a second language at the age of 9, and being a woman compels her heart towards equity and justice. She seeks to continue to learn from others what liberation and empowerment of those who have been oppressed and marginalized should look like. She’s excited to work alongside others from diverse backgrounds, gifts, and passions on the Redi Team, to contribute and continue to build a Beloved Community that is based on the radical love of Jesus at Reservoir Church.
Nickholas Rodriguez (he/him)
Nick is a recent graduate from Boston University school of theology who is currently working as a hospice chaplain in Rhode Island. He is passionate about common ground, equity, and inclusion and believes that engaging with diversity is foundational to better understanding the Divine. On the weekends, you can also find him dancing West Coast Swing around Boston.
Tatenda Shumirai Ngwaru (she/her)
Tatenda is an actress and public speaker based in Boston. She is an intersex activist, international human rights champion, immigrant, and refugee who has promoted community awareness of intersex issues and advocated for the dignity, rights, and well-being of the underepresented communities while living in 3 different countries. She has worked and collaborated on essays for Shondaland by Shonda Rhimes, The Huffington Post, Vogue, Video Out and The Root, and has been featured on several national news programs and podcasts about her work. She is the subject of a short film called She is Not a Boy that was an official selection at The Boston LGBT Film Festival.