Faith In America

Categories: Union News

Faith in America is a new series of public conversations hosted by Union Theological Seminary.  Every month, Union’s stellar faculty is joined by renowned artists, activists, writers, politicians, journalists, academics and faith leaders for stimulating lectures and panel discussions focusing on faith and social justice in the national arena.

Topics are wide-reaching and include identity politics and socio-economic inequality, mass incarceration and criminal justice reform, women in leadership, first amendment rights, the psychology of group dynamics, and the longevity revolution.


The 2016-2017 inaugural season of Faith in America has ended.  Thank you to all who attended these events in person or tuned-in remotely via livestream. A new season is currently being planned and will likely begin in early October 2017. Please stay tuned for more information.


October 18, 2016
Invisible Woman: The Experience of Women and Girls in the Era of Mass Incarceration with Michelle Alexander 

Keynote: Michelle Alexander, Visiting Professor, Union Theological Seminary & Author, ‘The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness’

Susan Burton, Executive Director, A New Way of Life & Co-Founder, All of Us or None
Gina Clayton, Executive Director, Essie Justice Group
Andrea James, Founder, Families for Justice as Healing and Author, ‘Upper Bunkies Unite And Other Thoughts on the Politics of Mass Incarceration’
Teresa Younger, President and CEO, Ms. Foundation for Women

November 9, 2016
Post-Election Analysis with Bill Moyers

Keynote: Bill Moyers, Managing Editor, Moyer and Company

Betty Sue Flowers, Former Director, Johnson Presidential Library & Professor of English & Honors Program Head, University of Texas at Austin
Senator Bill BradleyFormer U.S. Senator (NJ) & Democratic Candidate, 2000 U.S. Presidential Race
Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, Former US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State
Rev. Dr. Sam CruzAssistant Professor of Church and Society, Union Theological Seminary
Shirley Velasquez, Executive Editor, PeopleEnEspañol.com

December 7, 2016
The Aging of America: A New Workforce for Social Justice with Ruth Wooden

Keynote: Ruth Wooden, Former President, Public Agenda & M.A. Graduate, Union Theological Seminary

Ellen Goodman, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Columnist & Founder, The Conversation Project
Lester Strong, NBC Nightly News Anchor (Boston, MA) & CEO, AARP Experience Corps

January 31, 2017
Documentary Premiere:An American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story.”
Film Doc FIA
Hosted by: Martin Doblmeier, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker & DirectorAn American Conscience: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story

Gary DorrienReinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary & Professor of Religion, Columbia University
Andrew Finstuen, Dean, Boise State University Honors College
Cornel West, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Christian Practice, Union Theological Seminary


February 23, 2017
Religion & Faith in the Time of Trump: An ACLU Perspective with Anthony Romero

Keynote: Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
Moderator: Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President & Johnston Family Professor for Religion and Democracy, Union Theological Seminary

Gary DorrienReinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics, Union Theological Seminary & Professor of Religion, Columbia University
Jerusha T. LampteyAssistant Professor of Islam and Ministry & Islam, Social Justice and Interreligious Engagement Program Advisor, Union Theological Seminary
Wesley Morris, Community Organizer & Master of Divinity Candidate, Union Theological Seminary

March 21, 2017
Society’s Hidden Psychological Forces with Frances Unsell

Moderator: Frances Unsell ’78, Founder & President, The Development Center and Union ’78

Dr. Victoria BarnettDirector of the Programs on Ethics, Religion, and the Holocaust, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Rev. Amy B. Gregory ’96, Pastor, First United Methodist Church (Greene, NY) & Construction Team LeaderCultural and Interfaith Project (Gradacac, Bosnia)
Alex Patchin McNeill, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians
Dr. Mary McRaeAuthorGroup Relations Consultant and Associate Professor, New York University, Department of Applied Psychology

April 5, 2017
The Role of Women in Democratic Governance with Leymah Gbowee

Moderator: Dr. Lisa L. ThompsonAssistant Professor of Homiletics, Union Theological Seminary

Leymah Gbowee,
Founder and President, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa
Tanya Henderson, 
Founder and Executive Director, Mina’s List
Mikaela Luttrell-Rowland, 
Associate Director, Women, Peace, and Security Program, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Tamika Mallory, 
National Co-Chair, Women’s March
Jamia Wilson, 
Executive Director, Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!) 

April 20, 2017
In Search of a Moral Revolution of Values with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II
Visiting Professor of Public Theology and Activism, Union Theological Seminary