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Rev. Violet Johnicker, Executive Director

Violet holds a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary and a Master of Public Policy degree from Adler University with a Bachelors degree in nonprofit management.  She has been involved with faith-based policy advocacy and social justice work ever since her undergraduate internship at the General Board of Church and Society, the United Methodist agency devoted to working for policies that live our faith, seek justice, and pursue peace.  Violet joined the staff of Rockford Urban Ministries in July 2021 and is proud to be part of the community’s interfaith work to build love for neighbor into our public policies.  She also serves as pastor of Brooke Road United Methodist Church in southeast Rockford.  Email her at



Board of Directors

David Jones, President
David is a retired Presbyterian USA minister. A veteran of the 1960’s civil rights movement he works to maintain voting rights achieved by others over the years.

Marlene Walker, Vice President

Jay Larson, Treasurer

Karen Hill, Secretary

Stephen Bowie

Rev. Stephen Bowie (Steve) is the pastor of Third Presbyterian Church, located at 1221 Custer Ave in Rockford, the home radio station WTPB-LP 99.3 FM which can be found streaming  at He is married to Rev. Dr. Kristin Frederich. He has a passion for fracturing the color and cultural divides in the city of Rockford, beginning with the northwest quarter of the city. 

David Black

David is a retired attorney providing pro bono representation for sealing and expunging criminal records through Prairie State Legal Services.

Keith Kelsey-Powell

Rev. Dr. Hwa-Young Chong

Calvin Culpepper

Dick Wang