About the speaker
When she was eight years old, Jacqui Lewis hid under her bed as bullets flew in her Chicago neighborhood following the assassination of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In that moment, she felt called to work for racial equality in the United States.
It has been said that her 1,000-member congregation, Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, has diversity that looks like the subway, but its legendary love feels like home. Jews, Buddhists, atheists, and Christians pack its sanctuary to standing-room-only capacity. Millennials and boomers, trans and gay, singles and families all call Middle their own. Middle Church is celebrated in Robert P. Jones’ book, The End of White Christian America, as an example of what revolutionary love can do to combat racism and xenophobia.
Believing faith communities can lead the way to racial reconciliation, Dr. Lewis co-founded The Middle Project with her spouse, The Rev. John Janka, which trains leaders to create a more just society. More than 300 faith leaders attended the 11th annual conference, “Revolutionary Love – Disruptive Ethics to Dismantle Racism” last April, with speakers such as Van Jones, Valarie Kaur, William J. Barber II, Zainab Salbi, and Bill Moyers on faculty. Revolutionary Love–Complete the Dream, is April 6-8, 2018.
Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Lewis is the first African American and first woman to serve as senior minister in the Collegiate Church, which was founded in New York City in 1628. She hosted “Just Faith,” an on-demand television program on MSNBC.com and is a frequent media commentator. In 2016, Dr. Lewis completed the six-city Together Tour with best-selling author Glennon Doyle Melton, Seane Corn, Valarie Kaur, Jennifer Randolph, and special guest Alicia Keys. Her books include The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-racial, Multi-cultural Congregations, The Pentecost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for Multiracial Churches (April 2018) and the children’s book, You Are So Wonderful! She is currently at work on a book about a path to revolutionary love.
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