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BJC is committed to providing space for important discussions about topics related to faith freedom for all, bringing new voices and perspectives to the conversation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve moved many of these conversations to our Facebook page, providing live conversations and opportunities for interaction. Here are a few recent conversations and a list of upcoming discussions you don’t want to miss.

Voices of Asian American Faith Freedom: A series of conversations in May 2021

Join BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. on BJC’s Facebook page Thursdays in May for live  conversations: Voices of Asian American Faith Freedom. We’ll post videos here after each discussion airs.

Schedule:

May 13 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time
“How does my identity inform my theology?” 
Guest: Rev. Lauren L. Ng, Director of Leadership Empowerment – American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS)

 May 20 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
“How do minority religions gain equality in the face of Christian privilege?” 
Guest: Dr. Khyati Joshi, Professor of Education at Fairleigh Dickinson University and author of White Christian Privilege: The Illusion of Religious Equality in America

 May 27 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
“What can America learn about religious diversity from Asian Americans?”
Guest; Tahil Sharma, Regional Coordinator for North America at the United Religions Initiative; Hindu-Sikh Interfaith Activist

 

Preview of 2021 Shurden Lectures — Religious Liberty Has Been White Too Long: Voices of Black Scholars

On Wednesday, April 14, four Black scholars will talk about ways religious liberty has been white too long during BJC’s annual Shurden Lectures. We’ll hear from Dr. Teresa L. Smallwood of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Dr. Nicole Myers Turner of Yale University, Dr. David Goatley of Duke Divinity School, and Dr. Anthony Pinn of Rice University.

In this live conversation, BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. and Executive Director Amanda Tyler talked about why these conversations matter and how it impacts BJC’s work This conversation was first broadcast on Facebook on March 22, 2021, and it is also available on BJC’s YouTube channel.

On Thursdays in February, BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. was joined by special guests for a series titled “Voices of Black Faith Freedom.” They explored different angles of the intersection of race and religious liberty, looking at how most narratives on religious freedom have been white too long.

February 4: What can America learn from the Black church about faith freedom?

Guest: Rev. William Lamar, IV, Pastor of Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.

Click here to watch it on Facebook, or play the video below.

Additional responses and reflections:
The Invisible Institution: What the Black Church Reveals about Religious Freedom by Rev. Jaimie Crumley

Feb. 11: What does faith freedom mean to Black Nonbelievers?

Guest: Mandisa Thomas, Founder and President of Black Nonbelievers, Inc.

Click here to watch it on Facebook, or play the video below:

Additonal responses and reflections:
Instagram takeover from Rev. Elijah Zehyoue
Religious Freedom As I See It by the Rev. Dr. Perry Hopper

Feb. 18: What does faith freedom mean for your generation?

Guests: Dr. Timothy “Tee” Boddie, Social Justice Church Engagement Consultant at SOJOURNERS and Former General Secretary of the PNBC; Maya Boddie, communications associate at Advancement Project National Office and former BJC intern

Click here to watch it on Facebook, or play the video below:

Additional responses and reflections: 
Bringing our Whole Selves: Faith Freedom in the Next Generation by Jaziah Masters

Feb. 25: What does faith freedom mean for minority religions in America?

Guest: P.J. Andrews, Race Discourse Officer at Baha’is of the United States

Click here to watch it on Facebook, or play the video below.

Additional responses and reflections:
A Baptist Tradition Rooted in the African American Experience: video reflection from Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins

New perspectives for congregations and communities

On January 21, 2021, Dr. Sabrina Dent and the Rev. Keisha Patrick — two members of the BJC Fellows — joined BJC’s Charles Watson Jr. for a conversation on Black perspectives on religious freedom, a new book they contributed to, and more. Click here to watch their conversation on Facebook, or play the video above to watch it on YouTube.

Sabrina and Keisha contributed to the recently released book African Americans and Religious Freedom: New Perspectives for Congregations and Communities. Click here to access a PDF copy of the book.

When clergy become candidates: December 2020

The conversation around the U.S. Senate race in Georgia between the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Sen. Kelly Loeffler brought up many questions: What are the implications of using sermons as a basis for campaign attacks? Are different candidates held to different standards?

BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. and Executive Director Amanda Tyler discussed these questions and more in a live conversation on December 2, 2020.

White supremacy and American Christianity

After the BJC Luncheon on white supremacy and American Christianity, BJC Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. spoke with Dr. Alphonso Saville IV, a scholar who serves at Georgetown University as the Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow for American Religion and Slavery in the Department of Theology. Their conversation took place on June 26, 2020.

Juneteenth and religious freedom

On Juneteenth, BJC Executive Director Amanda Tyler and Director of Education Charles Watson Jr. held a conversation on Facebook about Juneteenth, its history, and what it means. 

Additional Resources