Davis & Elkins College will host a series of free public lectures, focusing on faith and democracy, during the spring semester. Sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy, all events will begin at 7 p.m. in Myles Center for the Arts.
Lectures scheduled are “Reconciling Religion and Human Rights? An Advocate’s Experience Grappling Perennial Tensions over Gender Equality” on February 24, “Interfaith Appalachia: Faith and Justice in the Mountain State” on March 1, “Refuge for All? Reflections from Recent American Arrivals” on March 24 and “Freedom OF or FROM Religion?” on April 7.
“The Center for Faith and Public Policy is excited to return to in-person events, and we have a dynamic set of speakers this spring, largely organized around the theme of democracy and faith,” said Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Philosophy and Director of the Center for Faith and Public Policy Dr. Bryan Wagoner. “We are fortunate to have experts join us to discuss some of the great challenges of our time: the connection between religion and human rights, interfaith dialogue and collaboration, asylum and refugee issues, and the complexities of religious freedom.”
Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, D.C., will deliver a lecture titled “Reconciling Religion and Human Rights? An Advocate’s Experience Grappling Perennial Tensions over Gender Equality.” A human rights lawyer, scholar and faith leader, Timm was also the Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School.
The “Interfaith Appalachia: Faith and Justice in the Mountain State” panel will be comprised of Rabbi Victor Urecki from the B’nai Jacob Synagogue, Charleston, Ibtesam Barazi of the Islamic Society of West Virginia and Davis & Elkins College Benfield-Vick Chaplain Rev. Laura Brekke Wagoner. They will discuss the three themes from their own religious traditions, looking for points of commonality.
Nasser Alsaadun, an Iraqi refugee, and Hager Ahmad, a Sudanese refugee, will present “Refuge for All? Reflections from Recent American Arrivals” and share their stories of seeking refuge in the United States.
“Freedom OF or FROM Religion?” will feature speaker Charles Watson Jr. of the Baptist Joint Committee (BJC) in Washington, D.C. As the director of education at BJC, his work is focused on expanding the base of support for religious liberty and engaging the next generation of advocates. As a seminary-trained religious liberty advocate and educator, he routinely speaks across the nation.
For additional information on any of the lectures, email Wagoner at firstname.lastname@example.org.