moderator: Hassan Xavier Henderson-Lott
Biography: Hassan Xavier Henderson-Lott is a Master of Divinity student and emerging interdisciplinary scholar of Systematic Theology and Christian Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Hassan came to New York City from Atlanta, Georgia where undergraduate studies in religion at Morehouse College roused within him an appetite from critical queer activist and feminist study of the historical, literary, and theoretical expressions of black religion and public life. Fall 2018, Hassan was invited to assist in the design and fulfillment of their newest staffed position—Student Affairs Initiatives Coordinator. In this capacity, Hassan has worked to (1) fortify the exiting partnership between Union Theological Seminary, (2) organize infrastructural systems for referrals to health, social services, and recourses (local, state, national) for Union’s LGBTQIA students, and (3) aid in petitioning sponsorships and grant proposals to fund LGBTQIA of color programming at Union and throughout the city of New York. Hassan’s research interests include Black Religion(s), Prison Abolitionism, Blackqueer embodiment, Genders and Sexualities in Black Churches, Blackqueer space and geography. Hassan loves God, he loves Black people, and demands a world wherein all black lives are loved; a world wherein #AllBlackLivesMatter.
Kendrick Arthur Kemp was raised in Upstate NY, Lyons. He earned a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary and an MSW from Binghamton University. Kendrick was the founder and co-chair of the Disability Justice Caucus while at Union Theological Seminary and the key leader in getting an accessible door at Union’s entrance. Kendrick was mentored by the late Dr. James Cone and Dr. Cornel West. Out of such depths of theological wisdom, Kendrickconstructed Black Liberation Theology of Disabilities. He even inspired and sat on a panel at the American Academy of Religion titled “Black Liberation Theologies of Disabilities.” Kendrick has spoken around the country at conferences, before faith communities, and nonprofits. For more information please go to kendrickarthurkemp.com.
Dr. Charlene Sinclair is the Managing Director of Groundswell. Prior to coming to Groundswell, Charlene served as the Director of Reinvestment at the Center for Community Change. Prior to this she was the founding director of the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy at Union Theological Seminary and served as program director for Engaging the Powers at Union Theological Seminary, a program designed to train Black and Latino pastors in critical theory, policy, and strategy relevant to the development and implementation of their social justice ministries. A community organizer for over 20 years, Dr. Sinclair is committed to the development of lived theologies of liberation where questions of faith are engaged and articulated within struggles for justice.
Dr. Wende Elizabeth Marshall was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1961 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She worked as a student and community organizer in Central Harlem, New York City during the 1980s and graduated with an M.A. in religious studies from Union Theological Seminary in 1992. In 1999 she received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Princeton University. Her scholarly work centers on the study of race/class, medicine, science and social change, topics covered in her book (Potent Mana: Lessons in Power and Healing) exploring the effects of colonialism on the physical, mental, and spiritual health of Native Hawaiians. The book chronicles indigenous efforts to decolonize through healing, remembering, and political action. Marshall is also a leader of Stadium Stompers, a movement of North Philadelphia-based community members, students, and workers who stopped Temple University’s plan to build a football stadium in a historic black community. As an adjunct at Temple University, Marshall was a leader in the efforts to unionize adjuncts. Marshall is also a member of LeftRoots and of the Circle on Revolutionary Nonviolence
Nkosi Dubois Anderson‘s work draws primarily from the tradition of Christian Social Ethics, Black religious and political thought, and social theory to explore the concept of freedom based upon principles of social justice and democratic rights. This includes analyzing the function of religion within liberation struggles, particularly related but not limited to, the African-American experience. His dissertation will examine the stream of socialist thought found within Black Christianity.