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Rena Weller Karefa-Smart, ’45 B.D.
The first black woman to graduate from YDS, Rena Karefa-Smart has been a champion for global ecumenism over the course of her long and distinguished career. An attendee of the first Assembly of the World Council of Churches, she has served as an Episcopal priest and a minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, as Ecumenical Officer for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, as Professor of Ethics at Howard University, and as an associate of the Center for Theology and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. Dr. Karefa-Smart’s pioneering presence and subsequent success have paved the way for generations of black women at YDS.