Open House at the new Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty


dent headshot smallBy Sabrina Dent
Arlington, Virginia

I learned about the Baptist Joint Committee from my mentor, Dr. Adam Bond, at Virginia Union University. In the fall of 2014, he invited Charles Watson Jr. to give a presentation on religious liberty and insisted that I would appreciate the cause. As an advocate for interfaith cooperation (and then serving as president of the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond), I could only agree with Dr. Bond. For me, religious liberty is about protecting human rights and humanity.

The BJC has proven its commitment to educating young leaders about the importance of religious liberty. Whether it is through internship opportunities, the essay contest or the BJC Fellows Program, there’s something so valuable about education. The BJC makes its knowledge, tools and experience accessible to everyone. This empowers communities and gives them a voice to demand change.

After my experience as a 2015 BJC Fellow, I felt like it was my social responsibility to give back to an organization that does so much to educate people about religious liberty. It was important that I made an investment not just with my words of encouragement but also my financial resources. My experience as a BJC Fellow literally changed my life; so, I am grateful.

In the United States, we are fortunate to exercise our freedom of conscience or belief without legal punishment or fear of death. As a monthly donor, I benefit by witnessing the number of individuals and groups (especially young people) who are impacted by the mission of the BJC. At the same time, every day I am honored to work at the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute — where I serve as the education advisor — to engage religious and civic leaders who are committed to learning about religious liberty principles. The privilege of giving towards this socially responsible cause is not anything that I take lightly. It reminds me that I am making a difference by being a stakeholder in a movement that is a necessary essential in our world.

For anyone considering becoming a donor, I ask you to imagine a world where your freedom of belief or conscience is not protected nor validated. Imagine being in a place where your speech is censored. Imagine a life without the hope of possibilities – that’s life without the BJC. Your contribution and investment will make a difference. Just do it.


From the July/August 2016 edition of Report from the Capital. You can also read the digital version of the magazine or view it as a PDF.