50 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003

2011 Conference Presenters

Dalton Conley
Dalton Conley is the Senior Vice Provost and Dean for the Social Sciences, as well as University Professor at NYU. His research focuses on the determinants of economic opportunity within and across generations. In this vein, he studies sibling differences in socioeconomic success; racial inequalities; the measurement of class; and how health and biology affect (and are affected by) social position. He holds faculty appointments in NYU’s Sociology Department, School of Medicine and the Wagner School of Public Service. He holds a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley, an M.P.A. & a Ph.D. in Sociology from Columbia University, and an M.S. & M.Phil. in Biology from NYU.

James Forbes, Jr.

Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Jr. is Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church and is founder and president of the Healing of the Nations Foundation. The Riverside Church is an interdenominational, interracial, and international church. The 2,400 member church is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches and the United Church of Christ. He retired in 2007. In 1996, Newsweek magazine recognized Forbes as one of the 12 “most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world. He has taught at Union Theological Seminary and Auburn Theological Seminary. 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.

Miguel De La Torre
Rev.  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. He 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’s 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.

Gary Dorrien
Rev. 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 forty reviewers have described his trilogy, The Making of American Liberal Theology, as the definitive work in the field.

Jacqueline Lewis
Rev. Jacqueline Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. Lewis is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and earned her Ph.D. in Religion and Society/Psychology and Religion at Drew University. Lewis, ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), serves on the Multiracial Congregation Task Force of the Reformed Church in America. Lewis has been Adjunct Professor at The Graduate Theological Union and Union Theological Seminary, and is currently on the Doctor of Ministry faculty at Wesley Theological Seminary. She is a nationally recognized speaker and preacher on the topics of racial justice and reconciliation, and has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition, in Forbes Magazine, and has been a featured speaker on 30 Good Minutes. She is the author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi Cultural Congregations.

John Janka
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.

Ivan Petrella
Ivan Petrella is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He is the author of The Future of Liberation Theology: an Argument and Manifesto, Beyond Liberation Theology: a Polemic, editor of Latin American Liberation Theology: the Next Generation, and co-executive editor of the Reclaiming Liberation Theology book series. His areas of expertise include modern theology and philosophy, social theory, and the interplay between religion and politics. He earned his Ph.D. in religion and law from Harvard University and his Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School.

Tricia Sheffield

Tricia Sheffield is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has a Ph.D. in Theological and Religious studies from Drew University. She has taught religion and gender theory at Columbia University, Hofstra University, and Queens College. Most recently, she was the Lilly Visiting Scholar in Religious and Gender Studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. Sheffield is the author of The Religious Dimensions of Advertising, and has published various articles and given several lectures on the relationship between religion and queer theory. She is an associate minister at Middle Collegiate Church.

Chad Tanaka Pack

Chad Tanaka Pack is an associate minister at Middle Collegiate Church.  He is particularly interested in exploring connections between stewardship and spirituality. Chad graduated with an M. Div. from Yale Divinity School. Prior to his ministry studies, Chad worked as a corporate accountant and was a vice president in the finance division at Goldman Sachs. Chad graduated cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in Economics. He serves on the board of directors of Second Generation Productions, a not-for-profit Asian American theater company. He is also a playwright, poet, and performer.

Adriene ThorneAdriene Thorne

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.   She is a member of the Reformed Church in America’s Commission on Christian Worship, holds the position of 2010-2011 Visiting Artist at New Brunswick Theological Seminary where she offers expertise in the field of dance and theological reflection, and serves on the board of Room for All, which advocates for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the life of the Reformed Church in America.

Roger Toussaint

Roger Toussaint was the President of Transport Workers Union Local 100, the union of New York City Transit Authority employees in New York City. In December of 2005, he announced the start of the 2005 New York City transit strike after a protracted contract dispute with the New York City Transit Authority concerning worker salaries, retirement age, pensions, and working conditions. Toussaint emigrated to New York from Trinidad and Tobago at the age of 18. He held a succession of blue collar jobs including working as a welder. He was hired by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a cleaner in 1984, and became a track worker in 1985.


Registration is now closed.