Robert Sherman McCathern

Robert Sherman McCathern has been recognized nationally as a “visionary” for his work in community development, youth violence prevention/gang intervention, and substance abuse prevention and intervention. He also has shared on the topic of conflict resolution in Brazil and several countries in East Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania and South Sudan.
 
McCathern’s passion is to change the common public misconception of African-American males as throw-aways who are unworthy of society’s investment of time, energy and resources. His mission is to help rescue urban individuals, families caught in the cycle of crime, gangs and violence so they can become productive and valued citizens.
 
McCathern is currently writing a book entitled “Beyond Their Faces,” which describes his work with urban youths in Little Rock, Arkansas; Racine, Wisconsin; and Flint, Michigan. McCathern - along with former Flint Mayor Dayne Walling and U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee – was highlighted in the 2013 book, “Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City” by Gordon Young.
 
McCathern is founder of the Joy Tabernacle Church, which today serves as one of Flint’s leading churches in reaching the urban community, especially those young men, women and children living in and near the Civic Park Neighborhood. He currently is Executive Director of the Urban Renaissance Center, a social service entity of the church and believes in the strength of partnerships and works regularly with, among others, the City of Flint, Genesee County Land Bank, the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, Forge Flint, the Civic Park Neighborhood Association, and the University of Michigan-Flint. The latter is currently piloting a hybrid social work class, English Linguistics Class and other classes at Joy Tabernacle that includes both UM-Flint students and young men and residents from the Civic Park Neighborhood. McCathern serves as a community specialist/resource for the classes.
 
He has taught in public schools, served as a specialist to national leadership projects and is currently involved with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative. McCathern was recently selected to be one of only a dozen people nationwide to participate in the Chicago-based Christian Community Development Association’s 2015-2016 national Cohort 6 leadership team.
 
A 1978 graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary and College of the Bible in Nashville, Tennessee, McCathern earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Pastoral Counseling; he was ordained the same year. McCathern has served as pastor of several churches in Tennessee, and founded Greater Revelations Baptist Church in the same state. He has pastored in Arkansas, ministered in Wisconsin, and also in other countries.

DeWaun Robinson

DeWaun E. Robinson is a pro-active member of our community who currently serves as Chief Operation Officer at the Urban Renaissance Center. There he facilitates the day-to-day operations for the overall mission of the organization.
 
DeWaun’s body of work in the community includes member of the Steering Committee of the Flint African-American Leadership Dialogue, The Leadership Team of the Steering Committee, My Brother’s Keeper Initiative, Certified Tourism Ambassador, AmeriCorps Alumni, Young Professionals of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Habitat Young Professionals, Ambassador of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Master Plan Committee, and the Flint Branch of the NAACP. He also proudly serves as a host of other community organizations, boards, and committees including but not limited to; Gen Forward Philanthropist, Grant Review Board for Greater Flint Arts Council, CBOP Organization, Southside Business Association, Neighborhood Advisory Council, Flint Neighborhood’s United and African-American Advisory Committee. As the founder of Artistic Visions Enterprise, he is an active mentor for the youth in the community while providing opportunities for at-risked and re-entry members. DeWaun is dedicated to providing our community with the wealth of knowledge that will far exceed its purpose to empower our culture, lives and the people.