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2012 Presenters

Macky Alston serves as Senior Director of Auburn Media at Auburn Theological Seminary, dedicated to informed, engaging coverage of religion and justice in the media. Alston is an award-winning producer and documentary filmmaker (Love Free or Die, premiering Sundance Film Festival 2012, PBS 2013; Hard Road Home, PBS 2008; The Killer Within, Discovery Films 2006; Questioning Faith, HBO/Cinemax 2002; Family Name, PBS 1998), an educator on issues of media and religion, an organizer within the worlds of philanthropy and media-making, and a writer and reviewer on film and religion. A graduate of Union Theological Seminary (M.Div.), Alston comes from a long line of ministers in the American South and grew up exposed to the power of the media and the pulpit, as charismatic leaders on the Left and the Right shaped society and politics for generations to come.

Rev. Jennifer Butler is the founding Executive Director of Faith in Public Life, a strategy center for faith communities. Founded in 2005 to transform the American values debate, FPL has become a go-to source for journalists, activists, and community leaders seeking to connect with or amplify resurgent moderate and progressive faith voices. During her nine years as the Presbyterian Church (USA) Representative to the United Nations, Butler represented the denomination on a range of issues, including women’s rights, genocide in the Sudan, and the war in Iraq. Her book Born Again, The Christian Right Globalized explores the Christian Right’s impact on the global women’s movement through its growing activism at the United Nations and globally. Butler served in the Peace Corps from 1989 to 1991 in a Mayan village in Belize, Central America. A graduate of Princeton Seminary, she holds a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary.

Rev. Stephen Cady is an ordained Elder in the Kansas East Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and is serving under special appointment with Kingston United Methodist Church. In addition to serving KUMC, Cady is a doctoral student at Princeton Theological Seminary where he is working on a Ph.D. in Practical Theology/Christian Education. Cady’s particular research is in the area of adolescent faith formation. Stephen has been named a Timothy Scholar by the United Methodist Foundation for Evangelism, was a 2009-2010 recipient of a Dempster Fellowship through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and is a John Wesley Fellow. Cady attended seminary at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University. Stephen grew up in Olathe, Kansas, and attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he received a B.A. in Theatre. He was active on the stage and in commercials prior to entering seminary.

Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre serves as a professor of social ethics at Iliff School of Theology. He focuses on ethics within contemporary U.S. thought, specifically how religion affects race, class, and gender oppression. He specializes in applying a social scientific approach to Latino/a religiosity within this country, Liberation theologies in the Caribbean and Latin America, and postmodern/postcolonial social theory. De La Torre came to the U.S. as a refugee from Cuba when he was six months old. He earned his M.Div. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. from Temple University in social ethics. He has authored numerous books, including Reading the Bible from the Margins; Santería: The Beliefs and Rituals of a Growing Religion in America; and Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins. He has served as a director to the Society of Christian Ethics and the American Academy of Religion. In 2011, he was elected Vice-President of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Rev. Dr. Curtiss Paul DeYoung is a Professor of Reconciliation Studies at Bethel University. Prior to this he has served as an executive director of faith-based nonprofits and as a pastor at urban multicultural congregations. In 1999, his work began to include an international focus when he participated as a McKnight Foundation Fellow at the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria-an event that convened 70 people from 39 different nations to discuss issues of race and ethnicity. Since then, DeYoung has traveled the world to develop networks with people and organizations working for peace, reconciliation, social justice, and human rights. He is the author of several books including United by Faith: The Multiracial Congregation as an Answer to the Problem of Race and Coming Together in the 21st Century: The Bible’s Message in an Age of Diversity. He is an ordained minister in the Church of God.

Rev. Dr. Gary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, Professor of Religion at Columbia University, and an Episcopal priest. He is the author of 14 books and approximately 250 articles that range across the fields of ethics, social theory, theology, philosophy, politics, and history. He is described by Boston University philosophical theologian Robert Neville as “the most rigorous theological historian of our time, moving from analysis of social context and personal struggles through the most abstruse theological and metaphysical issues.” More than 40 reviewers have described his trilogy, The Making of American Liberal Theology, as the definitive work in the field. Dorrien holds a Ph.D. from Union Graduate School (1989), a Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary (1979) and a M.Div., Union Theological Seminary (1978). A frequent lecturer, Dorrien is a recent past president of the American Theological Society and has a long record of involvement in social justice organizations.

Rev. Dr. James Alexander Forbes, Jr. is the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary. He is Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church, President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation, and host of “The Time Is Now” on Air America Radio. Forbes served as Senior Minister to the 2,400 members of The Riverside Church from 1989-2007. In 1996, Newsweek magazine recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. In 2004, Forbes keynoted most of the “Let Justice Roll” tour sponsored by the National Council of Churches of Christ. In August 2004, Forbes addressed the Democratic National Convention. He is on the board of the Interfaith Alliance, Children’s Defense Fund, Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University, and the United Way. Forbes earned a Doctor of Ministry degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School; a Master of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.

Rev. John Janka is a consultant to congregations and non-profits, and is an experienced trainer and coach with a focus on systems intervention, educational design, training models, staff supervision, coaching, and evaluation. He has trained, coached, and led teams in diverse settings and across racial/ethnic, generational, gender, and socio-economic lines. Janka’s experience includes strategic planning and visioning, managing change and resistance, dealing with difference, cultural diversity, human relations training, and conflict management. He is currently on the Doctor of Ministry faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. Janka is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and the Director of Program for The Middle Project.

Kathy LeMay is the founder, president, and CEO of Raising Change, which helps organizations raise capital to advance social change agendas and individuals create Generosity Plans to help change the world. LeMay has been a social change fundraiser for 15 years, raising more than $150 million dollars in the fields of women’s human rights, hunger and poverty relief, and movement building. LeMay serves as an adviser and consultant to Fortune 100 companies, universities, international NGOs, and the United Nations. She is a sought-after speaker on strategies for social justice and empowering women to come into their voice. In 2010, she released her first book, The Generosity Plan, published by Simon & Schuster/Atria and Beyond Words. Kathy has appeared on numerous television and radio shows including Oxygen TV and The Oprah Show. She is a contributing columnist to World Pulse Magazine, where she also serves as the Board Chair.

Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City and Executive Director of The Middle Project. Lewis earned her M.Div.at Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion at Drew University. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Lewis is a nationally recognized author, speaker and preacher on the topics of racial, economic and gender/LGBTI justice. Lewis has been adjunct faculty at Princeton Theological Seminary, Union Theological Seminary, The Graduate Theological Union, New Brunswick Theological Seminary and Wesley Theological Seminary. She has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition, WABC, WNBC, CNN, GritTV, in Ebony and Forbes magazines and The New York Times online. She is the author of a children’s book that celebrates diversity, You Are So Wonderful! and The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations. Lewis has published numerous articles and sermons, and blogs for The Huffington Post. Jacqui is married to her best friend, John Janka, with whom she works for racial reconciliation every day.

Rev. Michael E. Livingston is the Director of the Poverty Initiative of the National Council of Churches. He is the former Executive Director of the International Council of Community Churches. Livingston is a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. Following more than a decade in pastoral work, he served first as Director of Admissions then as Campus Pastor and Director of the Chapel at Princeton Seminary. Livingston is a former President of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. In November 2010, Livingston met with President Obama as a member of a delegation of heads of member denominations of the NCC upon the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ecumenical movement. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), he recently chaired the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.

Rev. Dr. Barbara K. Lundblad is the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary. She received a B.A. in English from Augustana College (1966), the M.Div. from Yale Divinity School (1979), and the D.D. from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago. An ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, she served as a parish pastor in New York City, as well as campus pastor at Lehman College and New York University. She has taught preaching at Yale Divinity School, Princeton Theological Seminary, Hebrew Union College, and in the D.Min. program of the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. Lundblad is the author of Transforming the Stone: Preaching through Resistance to Change and, most recently, Marking Time: Preaching Biblical Stories in Present Tense. In addition she has published articles in journals such as Currents in Theology and Mission, Word and World, Journal of Preaching, and The Living Pulpit.

Charles Randolph-Wright has a diversified career in directing, writing, and producing for film, television, and theatre. He directed the award-winning film Preaching to the Choir, and has written screenplays for HBO, Showtime, Disney, and Fox. Television credits include directing Lincoln Heights (ABC Family), South of Nowhere (The N), the “Freestyle” soccer campaign for Nike, and producing and writing the series Linc’s (Showtime). For the theatre, his directing credits include the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Ruined and the record-breaking musical Sophisticated Ladies (starring Maurice Hines) at Arena Stage, the international tour of Porgy and Bess, Through the Night (starring Daniel Beaty in NYC and Los Angeles), the national tour of Guys and Dolls, and They’re Playing Our Song (in Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro). Randolph-Wright wrote the plays Blue (starring Phylicia Rashad), The Night Is a Child (starring Jobeth Williams), Cuttin’ Up, and co-wrote Just Between Friends (Bea Arthur) on Broadway. Randolph-Wright was the 2010 recipient of the Paul Robeson Award.

Rev. Adriene Thorne is an Associate Minister at Middle Collegiate Church. She completed her Masters of Divinity degree with an emphasis in art and psychology at The Pacific School of Religion. Prior to ministry, she pursued a nearly 20-year career in the performing arts, including time as a Rockette. Thorne served the Reformed Church in America’s Commission on Christian Worship for three years and was the Visiting Artist at New Brunswick Theological Seminary from 2010-2011. She is currently pursuing counseling studies at the Blanton-Peale Institute where she is working towards a theology of healing in which the arts play a central role. Her key assertion is that the arts have the ability to drop us into the center of ourselves and our healing more quickly than anything else we can access. Thorne is married to Colin St. Rose and together they are raising a little girl named Petal.

Dr. Janet R. Walton is a Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary. Walton graduated from Catholic University with the B.M. in 1967, and received the M.M. from Indiana University in 1971 and the Ed.D. from Columbia University in 1979. She is a past President of the North American Academy of Liturgy (1995-1997), a Henry Luce Fellow in Theology and the Arts (1998), and the 2003 recipient of the American Academy of Religion Excellence in Teaching award. Walton is a Roman Catholic and a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names, a congregation of catholic women. Her publications include Worship and Art: A Vital Connection, Sacred Sound and Social Change, co-edited with Lawrence Hoffman; Women at Worship: Interpretations of North American Diversity co-edited with Marjorie Procter-Smith; and Feminist Liturgy: A Matter of Justice, and many articles. The most recent articles include perspectives on hymnody, women’s ritual music, and active participation by congregations in worship.

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