Burton to direct Women’s & Children’s Advocacy

Susan Burton
Picture provided by the General Board of Church and Society

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Susan Burton, who has directed the United Methodist Seminar Program on National & International Affairs at the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) for 12 years, has been named to fill the position of Director & Organizer for Women’s & Children’s Advocacy.

This position oversees the work of the Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project, which works with and on behalf of women and children around the globe by advocating for just policies by the U.S. Congress and the United Nations consistent with the United Methodist Social Principles and Book of Resolutions.

During her tenure with seminar program, Burton facilitated justice-advocacy education for 8,000 high school and college students and adults from across the United States. This led to more than 300 congressional visits, peer education and advocacy events.

“Susan Burton will be great as Director of Women & Children’s Advocacy,” said Jim Winkler, GBCS chief executive. “I’m delighted she was willing to put her name forward for this important ministry.”

Deeper engagement

Burton said she is honored to have been asked to serve The United Methodist Church as the new Director of the Louise & Hugh Moore Population Project.

“Having spent the last 12 years learning with groups of United Methodists from local churches, youth groups, campus ministries, annual conferences and United Methodist Women about issues that concern them as people of faith,” Burton said, “I am looking forward to engaging more deeply in issues impacting women and children throughout our church and the world.”

As director of the project, Burton is responsible for mobilizing, training and supporting United Methodists to advocate for women, children, population and development as it relates to child labor, child sex trafficking, age-appropriate sex education, child sexual abuse, the impact of war on children, violence against women, reproductive justice and labor trafficking.

Burton will supervise GBCS advocacy networks that address AIDS, women and children. Other responsibilities include developing and strengthening partnerships with United Methodist organizations, including local churches, ecumenical coalitions and secular groups.

As director of the project, Burton will also participate in interagency work for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee, the General Board of Discipleship Committee on Older Adults, United Methodist Women Program Advisory Board, and General Commission on the Status & Role of Women Sexual Ethics Task Force.

20 years of experience

Burton brings 20 years of experience working toward social-justice in community, education and faith-based organizations to her new position. She has built coalitions among diverse people; designed and organized educational, advocacy and leadership events; and facilitated discussions regarding equity- and public-policy issues.

Burton has trained approximately 250 faculty, boards of directors and volunteers to promote equitable organizations by increasing consciousness of systemic injustice and developing cultural competence. She has developed programmatic goals and educational models to increase the efficacy of initiatives at six different types of not-for-profit institutions.

A member of the Board of Directors of Men Can Stop Rape, Burton has implemented initiatives to increase recruitment, participation and retention of people of color, women and youths. At GBCS, she coordinated a design team to plan and implement an international conference for 750 attendees connecting faith and justice.

Before joining GBCS in 2001, Burton was Associate Director of Service Learning at Loyola College in Maryland, Baltimore, for three years. Prior to that she was Associate Director at Jubilee Ministries in Washington, D.C., for two years where she initiated collaborative programmatic and fundraising efforts among member community-based organizations and strengthened relationships with the broader community.

Burton holds an M.A. in Counseling & Personnel Services from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.A. in Biology/Pre-Medicine with a minor in Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

GBCS is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Its prime responsibility is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination’s highest policy-making body. The board’s primary areas of ministry are Advocacy, Education & Leadership Formation, United Nations & International Affairs, and resourcing these areas for the denomination.

This story provided by Wayne Rhodes of the General Board of Church and Society

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