Religion and Activism in Conversation: How People of Faith Cross Lines of Difference, Confront the Fierce Urgency of Now, and Create a More Just World
Join Rabbi Jonah Pesner and Reverend Hurmon Hamilton for a powerful conversation about how people of faith can come together to advocate for justice, and what this means in a world of racism and antisemitism. In 2005, Reverend Hamilton and Rabbi Pesner co-led a grassroots campaign that organized thousands of religious people in the Massachusetts fight for health care access, which became a nationwide model for reform. We’ll hear about they navigated deep ideological differences, how they’ve confronted antisemitism and racism in their careers, and what it means for religious groups to approach activism as a community, not simply a coalition.
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner serves as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, a position he has held since 2015. Rabbi Pesner’s work has focused on encouraging Jewish communities to reach across lines of race, class, and faith in campaigns for social justice. Over the course of his career, he has led and supported campaigns for racial justice, economic opportunity, immigration reform, LGBTQ equality, human rights, and a variety of other causes. He is dedicated to building bridges to collectively confront anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, and other forms of hate and bigotry. Rabbi Pesner serves as a board member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), among other national leadership organizations. He has served as a scholar for the Wexner Foundation and served as a congregational rabbi in Boston and Westport, Connecticut.
Reverend Hurmon Hamilton serves as the senior pastor of New Beginnings Community Church in the San Francisco Bay Area, leading a large and rapidly growing, diverse church community. In 1998, Pastor Hurmon co-founded the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and served as its president for over a decade, overseeing its rise as a significant political and moral change agent in Massachusetts. At the same time, he served as the senior pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston for seventeen years. In his career, Pastor Hurmon has built successful partnerships between churches, community organizations, and public schools. A graduate of Grambling State University and San Francisco Theological Seminary, Pastor Hurmon has also served as an adjunct professor at Harvard Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell Seminary.
Location: Whitney Humanities Center (WALL53), 208, 53 Wall Street, New Haven, CT 06511
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Admission: Free; open to the general public
Contact: Yale Program for the Study of Antisemitism at email@example.com