A ‘faithful’ approach to the nation’s most pressing public issues

Through a series of panel events held in varying cities across the United States, Yale Divinity School is bringing a theological and moral perspective to bear on some of the most pressing public issues facing the nation and world.

Here are stories and videos of the events held to date, as well as information on the next in the series.

September 26, 2018, New York City

“#HumanToo: Equity for Women in the #MeToo Era”

Before more than 150 Yale alumni and other attendees, on the eve of historic Senate questioning of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, Yale Divinity School convened a panel conversation at the Yale Club in New York exploring equity for women—and its absence—in the #MeToo era. The underlying question at the Sept. 26 event—how can the best of our theologies and philosophies set a new trajectory toward a humane culture around gender, sex, and power—drew passionate and, at times, deeply personal responses from the panel and audience members.

The panelists were:

  • Kaji Douša ‘06 M.Div., Senior Pastor at Park Avenue Christian Church, New York City - full biography
  • Serene Jones ‘85 M.Div., ’91 Ph.D., President of Union Theological Seminary and former Yale Divinity School professor - full biography
  • Galen Sherwin ‘94 B.A., Senior Staff Attorney at the Women’s Rights Project of the ACLU (moderator) - full biography
  • Carmelyn P. Malalis ‘96 B.A.Chair and Commissioner, New York City Commission on Human Rights - full biography
  • Josef SorettAssociate Professor in the Religion Department and the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, director of the Center on African-American Religion, Sexual Politics and Social Justice (CARSS) - full biography

Watch the video Read the story / See the full playlist of highlights

March 12, 2018, Memphis, Tenn.

“Living the Legacy Today: MLK at 50”

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr., Yale Divinity School and the Memphis chapter of the Moral Mondays movement hosted a panel at Temple Israel in Memphis on revitalizing the King legacy and advancing civil rights today. The panelists were:

  • Traci Blackmon, Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries, United Church of Christ

  • Katie Bauman, Associate Rabbi of Temple Israel in Memphis

  • Gerald Durley, Senior Pastor Emeritus, Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta

  • Eboni Marshall Turman, Assistant Professor of Theology and African American Religion, Yale University Divinity School

  • Jonathan Judaken, Professor, Rhodes College (moderator) 

  Watch the video / Read the story    

September 25, 2017, Pasadena, Calif.

Humans at the Gate: A Faithful Approach to Immigration

The panel took place at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, whose rector, Mike Kinman ’96 M.Div., is a YDS alumnus. Making up the panel were: Isaac Cuevas, Associate Director of Immigration Affairs for the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Felicia Escobar, a Yale alumna and former immigration policy adviser to President Obama; Apolonia Morales, Political Director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles; and Lamin Sanneh, D. Willis James Professor of Divinity and Professor of History at YDS. Moderating the panel was Stephen Pitti, Professor of History and American Studies at Yale and Director of the University’s Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity, and Transnational Migration.

Watch the video / Read the story

April 3, 2017, Chicago

Violence: A faithful response to the plague in our neighborhoods and nation

Before an audience of 300 people at the Chicago Temple, Yale Divinity School convened a panel conversation on the scourge of violence in Chicago and around the country. Serving on the panel were Thomas Dart, Cook County Sheriff and justice reform advocate; Willie Jennings, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at YDS; Otis Moss III ‘95 M.Div., Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago; and Michael Pfleger, anti-racism activist and pastor of the Faith Community of Saint Sabina in Chicago. Robin Robinson, an award-winning journalist and broadcaster who is currently Director of Community Affairs at the Chicago Police Department, moderated.

Watch the video / Read the story

October 5, 2016, Washington, D.C.

Faithful Citizenship and the 2016 Election

One month before the 2016 election, Yale Divinity School brought together a leading Christian theologian, one of the country’s pre-eminent pastors, and a U.S. senator for a panel conversation at the National Press Club on what it means to take a “faithful” approach to voting and citizenship. The panel was composed of Miroslav Volf, founding director of the Center for Faith and Culture at YDS; Otis Moss III ’94 M.Div., senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago; and Chris Coons ’92 M.A.R., a U.S. senator from Delaware. Indira Lakshmanan, a prominent Washington-based journalist, moderated.

Watch the video / Read the story

The events were organized in partnership with the Association of Yale Alumni and its chapters in the respective cities.

January 22, 2018