Annie Allen (T’10) has newly accepted the post of Director of the Shalom Resource Center at Drew. Along with the MDiv from Drew Theological School and a masters degree in Public Administration, Annie’s passion for Shalom and three years of experience with the center make her a perfect fit. Annie will be responsible for daily operations, the intern program, and the training of regional Shalom facilitators.
This year Annie will be training 20 new Shalom facilitators from around the U.S. to build Shalom communities in some of the poorest and most blighted neighborhoods. According to Annie, this approach takes the weight off the National Resource Center at Drew, and provides resources on a more grassroots level. The Training Retreat will be held July 7-13 at the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island in South Carolina.
Also this year, Shalom is sending six Drew seminarians in the summer intern program to serve in Macon, Georgia; Camden, New Jersey; and East Belfast, Ireland. ”Camden is the #1 poorest city in the United States. East Belfast continues to suffer strife around issues of poverty and religious violence, while Macon has six neighborhood Shalom Zones who are attempting to rebuild community. From our successes in the US, Africa and Haiti, we believe we can have a real and lasting impact in these communities as well,” says Annie.
Annie is proud of each class of interns she has trained, and hopes to continue to integrate Shalom contextual education into the academic life of the Theo School. ”Our interns have added a wealth of perspectives and experiences to their other classes. They share their ‘work in the world’ at Chapel and among the student body.” Annie will continue to be a vital presence in the Drew community, representing Shalom on faculty/staff committees and the Contextual Education Constellation.
Prior to coming to Drew, Annie brings over 30 years of experience in higher education and community engagement. She was Assistant to the President for Strategic Planning & Community Relations at Essex County College, Associate to the Provost for Cultural Pluralism and Outreach at the University of Vermont, Assistant Director for Multicultural Affairs/Affirmative Action at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Assistant Director of Labor Studies Program at Cornell University. In addition, she was Director of Human Services for Bergen County and has served as Legislative Aide to two State Senators.
Michael Christensen continues to work for Shalom half-time as International Director responsible for fundraising, promotion and West Coast development, as part of his yoked position with Epworth UMC in Berkeley CA.
Please join Dean Kuan and the rest of the Drew staff in congratulating Annie Allen on this new appointment.