The Wake Forest University School of Divinity will host a virtual faculty panel on anti-racist pedagogies on Wednesday, April 7, from 11 a.m. to noon. The event offers faculty across the University the opportunity to think more deeply, dialogue more broadly and act more decisively in implementing anti-racist pedagogies in their courses. The interdisciplinary panel will discuss the challenges and opportunities of engaging anti-racist pedagogy in the classroom.
“Grassroots movements across the U.S. are urgently calling for bold action to eradicate racial injustice and violence at its core,” said Jill Crainshaw, Vice Dean for faculty development and academic initiatives. “Through intentional dialogue, we hope to explore our role as educators in embodying bold action through teaching and ways to enhance our pedagogy to better prepare students for critically conscious, anti-racist leadership.”
The conversation will be moderated by Betsy Barre, executive director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Katherine A. Shaner, associate professor of New Testament
- Corey D. B. Walker, Wake Forest professor of the Humanities
- Betina Cutaia Wilkinson, associate professor and associate chair of Politics and International Affairs, and director of the Race, Inequality and Policy Initiative (RIPI)
This event is co-sponsored by the WFU Race, Inequality and Policy Initiative (RIPI) and made possible through a departmental grant from the Program for Leadership and Character.
Wait Chapel will host a virtual Easter service on April 4, 2021, at 8 a.m. and invites all to join in reflection and celebration. The service will stream live at divinity.wfu.edu/Easter and on the School of Divinity’s Facebook page and YouTube.
“Easter marks a time of renewal and rebirth. The resurrection story calls us to consider both the fragility of life and the resilience proven in overcoming tragedy and pain,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of Wake Forest University Divinity School and Wait Chapel. “We have sacrificed and lost so much this year. Yet the budding of spring and celebration of Easter can both remind us of the promise of renewal and hope that blooms eternal.”
The service features music by the University Chamber Choir, conducted by Christopher Gilliam, assistant professor and director of choral activities. The North Carolina Baroque Orchestra will accompany the Chamber Choir in Beethoven’s “Hallelujah from Christ on the Mount of Olives” and Bach’s “Der Himmel Lacht! Die Erde jubilieret.”
The University Gospel Choir, conducted by Golden Globe and Oscar Nominee Joshuah Brian Campbell, will also perform. Campbell is a composer best known for his award-nominated composition “Stand Up” written for the film “Harriet.”
The following is a guest post from Johnathan Lee Walton, Dean of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Wait Chapel.
It’s hard to believe that today, Thursday, March 25, marks an entire year that we’ve been in this new normal of wearing masks, limiting in-person interactions, and hoping for an end to COVID restrictions. Couple this with the rise of anti-Asian hate and recent mass shootings, many of us want to witness some semblance of hope and love that we know lives within the human heart.
In partnership with the Office of the Chaplain, we ordered over 1000 plants that will line the steps of Wait Chapel this morning. The entire Wake Forest community is invited to take one and give one. We hope this opportunity to spread love and joy brightens your day and someone else’s.
Stop by today, Thursday, March 25, starting at 9:30 am.
Jonathan Lee Walton
Dean of Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Wait Chapel
$5 million grant brings Gilead COMPASS Faith Coordinating Center to WFU School of Divinity to combat HIV/AIDS in the South
With a $5 million grant from Gilead Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Divinity will establish a new center to fight HIV/AIDS throughout the South.
The COMPASS Initiative® Faith Coordinating Center will focus on preparing ministry and nonprofit leaders to address the needs of vulnerable populations such as rural communities in Appalachia, African Americans and LGBTQ individuals. These groups, particularly in the South, often experience a higher number of cases of HIV/AIDS with access to fewer support and prevention resources.
Wake Forest University School of Divinity is uniquely positioned to unite and strengthen faith communities to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A focus on social justice and equity will guide the mission and vision of the center.
“At Wake Forest University School of Divinity, we shape agents of justice, reconciliation and compassion,” said Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School. “Our origins are rooted in preparing a place for those often marginalized and left out of not only conversations, but congregations. This new center will help us put that mission into needed action in communities across our region.”
The Faith Coordination Center is part of Gilead’s 10-year, $100 million COMPASS Initiative®. In its fourth year, the initiative includes coordinating centers at Emory University Rollins School of Public Health, University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and the Southern AIDS Coalition.
“Expanding the Gilead COMPASS Initiative to include faith-based communities will help advance our collective efforts to end the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States,” said Brett Pletcher, executive vice president, corporate affairs and general counsel. “We are convinced that the leaders at Wake Forest School of Divinity have the academic rigor, implementation expertise and passion required to advance this important work.”
The center will use a social justice framework, interfaith engagement and advocacy for LGBTQ communities as tools to equip faith communities to respond to the needs of those impacted by HIV/AIDS. The center intends to cultivate change in and through faith communities with strategic implementation of collaborative learning, grant-making and training. One planned program is a cohort-based educational path for clergy and faith leaders that intends to build collaborative knowledge, capacity and expertise related to faith and HIV/AIDS.
WFU School of Divinity was selected through a national, competitive grant application process. Read more
Melva Sampson, assistant professor of preaching and practical theology in the School of Divinity, recently received the Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant for Minority Scholars for her project entitled “Going Live!: Black Women’s Proclamation in the Digital Age”. This award will provide for a sabbatical for the fall 2020 semester.
Sampson is a practical theologian and ordained minister. Her research interests include black preaching women’s embodiment, African heritage spiritual traditions, black girls’ ritual performance, and the relationship between digital proclamation and spiritual formation. She is the creator and curator of Pink Robe Chronicles™ and Raising Womanish Girls™, both digital platforms used to elucidate the role of sacred memory and ritual in the collective healing of marginalized communities.
The Louisville Institute’s First Book Grant for Minority Scholars enables junior, tenure-track religion scholars of color to complete a major study that contributes to the vitality of Christianity in North America. Grants of up to $40,000 support year-long research projects that will lead to the publication of a first (or second) book.
Louisville Institute is funded by the Religion Division of Lilly Endowment and based at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary (Louisville, Kentucky). The Institute’s fundamental mission is to enrich the religious life of North American Christians and to encourage therevitalization of their institutions, by bringing together those who lead religious institutions with those who study them, so that the work of each might inform and strengthen the other.