-Meet the Speakers- 

Keynote Speaker: REV. GRACE IMATHIU

 Grace loves people and has a passion and gift for inspiring and nurturing communities of faith to live out loud the prophetic story of Jesus. For Grace, the quintessential expression of the resurrected Lord’s presence is a community whose very DNA is a radical hospitality which births a loving and a healthy tension that is ideological, theological, racial, ethnic and cultural.  Grace thrives on diversity.  Needless to say, red is Grace’s favorite color and Pentecost is Grace’s favorite liturgical season.

  For Rev. Imathiu “the world is her parish”. As an African who is married to a European and is raising an American son, Grace is committed to advocating for the inclusion of all people.    Her sermons are always exegeted as tools of justice on the intersections of religion, race, sexuality and gender. Grace has been an open ally and activist for the LGBTQI community since 1997.   She has preached in Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Togo, Liberia, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, Brazil, and all throughout the United States.  In 2016, Rev. Imathiu was a speaker at the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women as well as preaching for the third time at the World Methodist Conference held in Houston, Texas  – an event attracting 3,000+ participants from more than 80 countries.

  Grace is married to David Hay Jones and together they are the parents of Erik Imathiu-Jones an 11th grader at Providence St. Mel School in Chicago.

 Artist Speaker: CHLOÉ DUPLESSIS

Artist. Speaker. Culture Bearer.

Chloé Duplessis creates images that illuminate the forgotten, elevate the unknown, and address the present.
In doing so, she seeks to offer space to all that are willing to grow; while working to erode the
social constructs that oppress People of Color.

She is a legally blind artist, speaker and culture bearer committed to creating work that centers
history and healing.

With over twenty years of experience in intercultural engagement, arts administration and
advocacy, she has traveled to 9 countries and 21 states in support of her work.

She earned a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies from The University of New Orleans, and
studied art and history at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

She presents work annually and offers virtual talks on history, art, equity, and cultural capacity
We are honored to welcome back Chloé Duplessis to the Mountain Sky Conference once again! On February 18th of this year, the MSC hosted Duplessis and her Virtual Art Exhibition entitled, "Negro Stories." Her exhibit and artist talk helped us learn how to open ourselves to one another's stories and to recognize our own stories, as stories have the power to transform us. We look forward to welcoming Chloe' Duplessis to our 2021 Annual Conference!

Laity Session Speaker: ANN MICHEL

Dr. Ann A. Michel has served on the staff of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary since 2005. She is co-editor of the Lewis Center’s online newsletter, Leading Ideas. She also teaches at Wesley Seminary in the areas of leadership and stewardship. She is the author of the book Synergy: A Leadership Guide for Church Staff and Volunteers (Abingdon Press, 2017) and co-author with Lovett H. Weems, Jr., of Generosity, Stewardship, and Abundance: A Transformative Guide to Church Finances (Rowman and Littlefield, 2021) and The Crisis of Younger Clergy (Abingdon Press, 2008).