Funds will allow for continued investment in and growth of
instructional opportunities and public courses, along with the creation of a board committee for racial justice education
The Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary (EDS at Union) received a $100,000 gift from an anonymous donor with the explicit request that the funds be used for racial justice programming. This gift is being used as the first contribution to a racial justice fund that will go directly toward EDS at Union’s racial justice programming and will be overseen by a newly formed standing committee of the EDS at Union Board of Trustees.
The Rt. Rev. John Rabb, Chair of the EDS at Union Board of Trustees, noted “The creation of a board standing committee on racial justice shows that this is not just lip service. We are committed to embracing this moment and making this a part of our whole life.”
This donation will be used to expand EDS at Union’s racial justice programing, including public courses on Black theology and bringing racial justice organizers into the classroom. The donation also will provide funding for students’ fieldwork or job-shadowing opportunities in communities of color as well as immersion trips to racial justice sites such as Montgomery, Selma, and El Paso where students can learn from on-the-ground racial justice leaders. In addition, this new fund also will provide an opportunity to develop programming for local school children in New York City, such as hosting an annual event on racial justice history that highlights racial justice activists, both historical and current.
“Racial justice is at the heart of EDS at Union,” said Dean Kelly Brown Douglas. “This generous gift is a sign of the confidence in this institution as a place that is continuing its legacy and witness of advancing important racial justice work in the Church and the world.”
About Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary
Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary nurtures moral leadership, focusing on theological education, spiritual formation, and community transformation. In 2017, EDS affiliated with Union Theological Seminary, creating EDS at Union. It has grown into a program of discernment of vocation, academic rigor, spiritual formation, and exposure to diverse opportunities for ministry. Students immerse themselves in a theologically and spiritually rigorous Anglican Studies program that reflects the global diversity of the Anglican Communion and the complex history of the church’s relationship to social injustice. Students participate in a program geared toward cross-cultural racial and ethnic literacy. EDS at Union is guided by the vision and leadership of The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, inaugural Dean of EDS at Union and the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology at Union.
About the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas
The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas is the Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary (EDS at Union), the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology at Union, as well as the Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral and Theologian in Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street. Douglas is a renowned faith leader and expert on the intersection between the Black church and various social justice and moral issues from voting rights to police reform. Douglas is widely published in national and international journals and other publications. Douglas’ ground-breaking books include Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015), Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (1999), The Black Christ (1994, 25th Anniversary edition 2019), and What’s Faith Got to Do with It?: Black Bodies/Christian Souls (2005).