Michelle Alexander Joins UTS

New York, NY (September 12, 2016) Rev. Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological Seminary, announced today that Michelle Alexander, the highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, author, advocate, and legal scholar, is joining Union Theological Seminary in New York as Visiting Professor from 2016-2021.
“I am enormously excited and proud that Michelle Alexander is coming to Union,” said Rev. Dr. Jones. “I look forward to Michelle having the opportunity to further study faith traditions and their relationship to social justice. The entire Union community will benefit from her eloquent and steadfast commitment to stimulating profound national moral and social change grounded in diverse faith and religious traditions.”
As a Visiting Professor, Michelle Alexander will engage in directed study in consultation with Union faculty to provide her with a strong theological foundation for her work at Union and beyond.
“A very strong reason I am so attracted to the community at Union,” explained Michelle Alexander, “is that I believe the experience will enable me to clarify my spiritual beliefs, deepen my understanding of systematic theology, and expand my thinking about the possibilities for prophetic advocacy and movement-building across faiths, races, and cultures. I would like to imagine that a wide range of people of faith and conscience who sing songs from different keys may be able to join in a common chorus that shakes the foundations of our unjust political, legal and economics systems,

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How to Heal the Spiritual Pain of America: We need a new common narrative about who we are as a country

Over the past year, streams of commentaries have analyzed the ferocious and alarming combat marking this year’s presidential campaign. Few among them, however, include wide-ranging spiritual or theological accounts of what is transpiring. From where I sit, as a religious and spiritual leader, I see it as the manifestation of a profound spiritual crisis in our nation, one grounded in a deeply distorted view of ourselves, and our past and future.
Read the full article here.

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Barnard College to Participate in Statewide Clean Energy Challenge

environmentsustainability Barnard College announced today that it has agreed to participate in the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s REV Campus Challenge. The Challenge, part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s strategy to build a more resilient and affordable energy system for the state, obtains commitments from two- and four-year public and private colleges and universities to demonstrate clean energy leadership in greenhouse gas emission reduction, research and development, curricula integration, and community engagement.

Challenge members will serve as mentors and share their knowledge, and have the opportunity to receive public recognition for their progress and achievements. Schools will also have access to tools, resources and funding to augment in-house expertise to turn clean energy project ideas into actions.

Barnard is continuing its commitment to environmental sustainability by participating in several programs. The College joined Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 2007 PlaNYC2030 challenge, pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent within 10 years. Barnard met that goal in just six years, and was one of the first institutions to complete the challenge. In 2014, Mayor Bill De Blasio renewed the challenge under his #OneNYC program, encouraging participants — including Barnard — to reduce emissions by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2025.

To learn more, please visit Barnard’s Sustainability page. A press release from NYSERDA about the Challenge may be found on their website.

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Rev. Dr. William Barber Press Conference

On Thursday, September 1st, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, convened national religious and faith leaders to speak out against the divisive policies and rhetoric specifically as it relates to race that are being used in the Presidential campaign. Watch the press conference below.

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God and Guns

 The Riverside Church in the City of New York, along with a growing list of partners, will host an intensive training on gun violence for faith leaders of all traditions beginning the evening of October 6 through the evening of October 7, 2016. Designed for millennial faith leaders, a demographic with the capacity to shift our culture, the training is also open to ministry teams of any age that include a millennial attendee. Those who attend do not have to agree on the solutions to the epidemic of gun violence, only that something must be done.

Evangelicals and mainline Protestants make up 40 percent of the population, but own guns at higher rates than the rest of the country.  The power to change our culture is in our pews.

Attendees will gain concrete tools to educate, engage, and mobilize your congregations to enact change in your community. Each God and Guns 2016 participant will commit to taking concrete action in their circles of influence.

Space is limited.

Following the training, The Riverside Church will provide ongoing support, resources, and reporting mechanisms. This will help those who attend stay connected and share the work you are doing in your congregations.

The training begins with a free, open to the public screening of “The Armor of Light” on Thursday, October 6 at 7PM. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with filmmakers Rev. Rob Schenck, Abigail Disney, and Lucy McBath.

Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE

Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE kicks off September 17, inviting community members to create literary lanterns inspired by 100 years of Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry. This year’s edition of Morningside Lights will literally illuminate favorite passages by great poets of the last century. Artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, co-directors of Processional Arts Workshop, will lead free, collaborative workshops Saturday, September 17 through Friday, September 23. The workshops are geared toward adults, but kids 10 and up working with an adult are welcome. The procession will be the culmination of the Friends of Morningside Park’s annual Common Ground festival, which takes place early Saturday afternoon and welcomes young children and families to make simple lanterns they can carry in that night’s event. More details and workshop registration: