Why Pauli Murray Matters Copy

Instructor: Kelly Brown Douglas
Date: Friday, Apr. 9, 1:00 – 6:00 pm  |  Saturday, Apr. 10, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Format: This two-day intensive course will be held online, through synchronous sessions. Registrants are expected to attend full-time, for both days.

Prior to the course, the instructor recommends that you have read the following sections of Rosalind Rosenberg’s book Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray.

Part III: Naming Jane Crow
Part V: A Chance to Lead
Part VI: To Teach, To Preach


More than three decades after her death, the activist, lawyer, and Episcopal priest Pauli Murray remains one of the most compelling and enigmatic figures in Black intellectual history. In addition to playing a pivotal role in both the civil rights and women’s movement, her experiences of being non-binary in race and gender expressed a complex identity.

Through this 1-credit, two-day course, the Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas invites students and community members to explore Pauli Murray’s legacy in light of where the country and church are today. The course will especially draw from sections of Rosalind Rosenberg’s biography of Murray, Jane Crow.


The Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas was named Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Theology at Union in September 2017.  She was named the Bill and Judith Moyers Chair in Theology in November 2019.

She also serves as the Canon Theologian at the Washington National Cathedral and Theologian in Residence at Trinity Church Wall Street. Prior to Union, Dean Douglas served as Professor of Religion at Goucher College where she held the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion and is now Professor Emeritus.  Before Goucher, she was Associate Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity (1987-2001) and Assistant Professor of Religion at Edward Waters College (1986-1987).

Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1983, Dean Douglas holds a master’s degree in theology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union. Dean Douglas is the author of many articles and five books, including Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective and Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God.  Her academic work has focused on womanist theology, sexuality and the black church.

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