So Help Me God: In Conversation with Congressman Ritchie Torres

Our So Help Me God: Faith and the Fight for a Progressive Future series continues on Thursday, May 13, at 4:00 pm ET when we welcome New York’s newly elected Congressman Ritchie Torres, the first openly gay Afro-Latino to serve in Congress. Please join Rev. Dr. Serene Jones and Rep. Torres for a conversation on why he and progressives are breaking with the White House and pushing the Biden administration to do more to reduce child poverty.


As you know, our series brings leading policymakers together with Union leadership and faculty to discuss some of the most pressing issues of our time. So far, we’ve been joined by Congressman Cleaver, Senator Warnock, and look forward to welcoming Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernandez in early May. Throughout the series, we will discuss the rise of the religious left and its power to shape policymaking going forward.

Rep. Torres, who represents much of the Bronx, is already emerging as a leading Democratic figure in the fight for affordable housing and more expansive LGBTQ rights. He is an ardent champion of equitable housing, and has consistently spearheaded legislation to advance progress on this issue.

Rep. Torres’ political career and policy priorities reflect his roots. He grew up in public housing, and his mother single-handedly raised him and his siblings off of a minimum wage of a measly $4.25 an hour. He served on the New York City Council, chairing its Committee on Public Housing, before breaking through a crowded Democratic field — which included a homophobic pastor favored to win — to clinch the Democratic nomination for the district’s U.S. House representative in June 2020. He then went on to win the general election in November.

We look forward to welcoming the Congressman to Union Seminary this week and discussing all of this and more.