Nurturing Justice works with a diversity of talented and motivated people who are dedicated to dismantling the notion that there is a hierarchy of human value based on skin color.
Lead Facilitator and Founder Rev. Kris Watson is a seasoned facilitator, mediator, mediation trainer, and attorney at law with deep roots in the study and practice of justice.
Rev. Kris Watson is a nationally certified trainer in the Sacred Conversations to End Racism curriculum of the United Church of Christ, working with clergy and lay people nationally in the important work to dismantle racism. Rev. Kris currently serves as an Associate Minister at Safe Haven UCC in Ridgewood, NY. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Association of the NY Conference of the United Church of Christ.
Rev. Kris is a graduate of Vassar College, and the Fordham University School of Law where she obtained her B.A. and Doctor of Juris Prudence degrees. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office for several years before entering the private practice of law. Rev. Kris holds a Master of Divinity degree from the New York Theological Seminary.
In addition to the practice of law, Rev. Kris is a non-profit leader, organizational consultant, training consultant and change manager. She has recently formed Nurturing Justice, Inc, a non-profit organization brings together a diversity of people who desire to be part of a nurturing community that pursues justice and racial equity through education, support, and action. Nurturing Justice works tirelessly to dismantle the notion that there is a hierarchy of human value based on skin color through education, relational transformation, action, community building and engagement.
Rev. Dr. Ruby Wilson:
The spiritual guru of the group, Rev. Ruby provides sound counsel and a refreshing approach to the work of affirming the dignity and worth of all humanity. Her focus is working with African descendant people who are descendants of American slavery.
Rev. Dr. Ruby Wilson is the Senior Pastor of Safe Haven United Church of Christ in Ridgewood, NY. Reared in Harlem’s Lincoln Houses, she is the seventh of nine children born to the late David and Dovetta Wilson. She received her a BA degree from Houghton College and Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from New York Theological Seminary.
Rev. Ruby’s pastoral work with Safe Haven UCC, has been marked by several meaningful accomplishments to the Body of Christ. She is a sought after and gifted preacher bringing passion and life to the Word of God. She is a committed mentor to ministers of the Gospel, shepherding many on their ministerial and life journeys. Her mentees have gone forward all over the world to become Bishops, Pastors, Apostles, Evangelists, teachers, Chaplains, preachers of the gospel message, high powered executives, politicians, attorneys, graphic designers, musicians, and much more.
Rev. Ruby serves on the New York Conference UCC Commission on Ecumenism and Interfaith Relations, leads the NY Conference Gospel Choir, and serves as the President of the Metropolitan Association of the NY Conference UCC. Rev. Ruby is also a non-profit leader and the Founder and Executive Director of JasD’Jor: Emerging Philanthropists, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families of special needs children and training children to use their gifts and talents for service to the world. She is a founding Board Member of Nurturing Justice, Inc, where she also serves as a gifted facilitator of both Sacred and Courageous Conversations to eliminate the notion that there is a hierarchy of human value based on skin color.
Rev. Laura McLeod
Rev. Laura is an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ for over thirty years. She has served churches in New England and the midwest. Originally from Chicago, Laura graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a degree in Psychology before getting her Masters of Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School. She completed her coursework in Psychology and Clinical Studies at Andover Newton as well, becoming a Member of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Laura has long been an advocate and ally with the LGBTQ+ community and is currently the chair of the Open and Affirming Committee of the Wisconsin Conference UCC and a member of the Queer and Allied Faith Leaders of Greater Milwaukee. She was part of the 2019 cohort, becoming a vetted facilitator of Sacred Conversations to End Racism through the National UCC and is now a part of Join the Movement. She has facilitated racial justice conversation with faith communities and non-profits throughout Wisconsin and Northern Illinois with her teaching and accountability partner, the Rev. Andre Pirtle. Laura is currently pastor of Brookfield Congregational UCC just outside Milwaukee. Her husband Scott is also a UCC pastor in the Milwaukee area and they have a daughter, Ruth, who is in graduate school at the University of Connecticut, and son Henry who is attending the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Part of Laura’s journey into racial justice work is shaped by being the mother of a son of African descent.
Andre was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As a child Andre lived in a very diverse community until nine years old when he moved to the north side of Milwaukee. While only a few miles away, this change would open his eyes to the effects that segregation had on his community. During his senior year of high school, Andre decided the best way he could give back to his community was through working with kids. After graduation he worked as a camp counselor at local and residential camps throughout Wisconsin. This is where he truly found his passion for youth and diversity. Andre attended City on a Hill Bible College and worked as an ordained pastor at several local churches as well as a community organizer. Andre enjoys working with people in all walks of life and believes it’s important for everyone to know their history, and embrace how God created you. Andre co-facilitates Nurturing Justice groups for youth and adults.