MCC photo/ Daniel Friesen

MCC Washington Office staff gather outside the office in Washington D.C. Front, left to right: Charissa Zehr, legislative associate for international affairs; Cherelle M. Dessus, legislative assistant and communications coordinator; Charles Kwuelum, legislative associate for international affairs. Back, left to right: Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach, director, and Tammy Alexander, senior legislative associate for domestic affairs. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office invites you to attend its 50-year anniversary open house and reception on July 17.


For 50 years, the Washington Office has promoted justice and peace in the realms of federal policy. The work began on July 1, 1968, when the Peace Section of MCC opened the Washington, D.C., office, first to listen and soon to call for peace in Vietnam.


“I am grateful for the vision of our Washington Office to speak to our government officials on behalf of Anabaptists about issues of injustice over the past 50 years and continuing today,” says J Ron Byler, executive director for MCC U.S.


Those who attend the afternoon open house may tour the current MCC U.S. Washington Office, owned since 2005, to speak with staff and learn about current advocacy work.


A reception commemorating 50 years of national advocacy work will be held in the evening. It will include remarks from former and current staff. Also invited to speak will be representatives of several federal offices that Washington Office staff have worked with over the years.


The open house will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. at the MCC U.S. Washington Office, 920 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Washington, D.C. The reception will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. nearby at The Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE.


To register for the open house and reception, visit


For more information about the Washington Office’s history, visit to download the latest issue of the Washington Memo newsletter and to follow the office’s blog, which will have daily posts during July that celebrate 50 years of advocacy


Cherelle M. Dessus is legislative assistant and communications coordinator for the MCC U.S. Washington Office.