John M. Perkins is a sharecropper’s son who grew up in New Hebron, Mississippi amidst dire poverty. Fleeing to California at age 17 after his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he vowed never to return. However after converting to Christianity in 1960 he returned to Mendenhall, Mississippi to share the gospel of Christ. While in Mississippi, his outspoken nature and support and leadership in civil rights demonstrations resulted in repeated harassment, beatings and imprisonment.

In 1983, Perkins and his wife, along with a few friends and other major supporters, established the John M. Perkins Foundation for Reconciliation & Development, Inc for the sole purpose of supporting their mission of advancing the principles of Christian community development and racial reconciliation throughout the world.


Patrick W. Lawler has served as chief executive officer of Youth Villages since the organization’s beginning in 1986. Under his leadership, Youth Villages has grown from two small residential facilities serving 40 youth in Memphis to a national leader in the child welfare community. The organization now serves over 22,000 families every year and has established over 60 locations across 11 states and the District of Columbia.Mr. Lawler collaborated with Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services to establish the Youth Villages Continuum of Care. This nationally recognized service approach has become a model for other states interested in reforming their systems of care.

In 2006, Lawler was recognized as one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report in conjunction with the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He also is one of the select few professionals in the nonprofit sector inducted into the prestigious Society of Entrepreneurs. Youth Villages has been cited as a model by such prominent organizations as the American Youth Policy Forum, National Coalition of Juvenile Justice and the United Way of America.

Mr. Lawler has Masters degree in Counseling from the University of Memphis and a bachelor’s degree in criminal Justice. He enjoys reading, running, biking, swimming and participating in triathlons, annually serving as a volunteer in Honduras, and spending time with his wife, Jan, his daughter, Brooke, his son, Brad, and his grandsons, Cooper and Luke.


Patricia is the President/CEO of the Northwest Leadership Foundation, a faith-based intermediary based in Tacoma. Every day, the Northwest Leadership Foundation discovers and empowers urban leaders so that they will engage in community based strategies on behalf of the poor and disenfranchised. Pat considers herself lucky to be a part of such a dynamic mission for the last 10 years.

In addition to her work at the Northwest Leadership Foundation, Pat consults in the areas of evaluation, strategic planning and organizational development. As a self-proclaimed Tacoma convert, Pat is committed to contributing to a legacy of transformational leadership in the city.

She is a homeowner in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood, has served in a number of ways to include church leadership, boards of directors and through appointment on city government committees. But it is travel, experiencing other cultures, live music (preferably jazz and blues) and hosting friends that feed Pat’s soul.


D.A. HORTON currently serves as the Executive Director of ReachLife Ministries, the non-profit ministry of Reach Records as well as the National Coordinator for Urban Student Missions at NAMB. Prior to serving at ReachLife, D.A. was an urban church planter, pastor and Lead Teaching Elder in Kansas City, MO for 6 years.
For over 16 years D.A. also has used the medium of Rap music as a tool to help educate the people of God on the precepts of Scripture as well as how to evangelize to the lost by presenting them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
D.A. also has served as an Adjunct Professor at Calvary Bible College where he earned his bachelor and master’s degrees. D.A. is currently working towards his PhD at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
D.A. has written two books; G.O.S.P.E.L. and DNA: Foundations of the Faith.
D.A. is currently serving under the leadership at Blueprint Church in Atlanta. He and his wife of 10 years Elicia have two daughters, Izabelle and Lola and one son, D.A. Jr.


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