Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights attorney, advocate, legal scholar and author of The New York Times bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The New Jim Crow helped spark a national debate about the crisis of mass incarceration in the United States and inspired racial justice organizing and advocacy efforts nationwide.
Numerous commentators have dubbed The New Jim Crow, ''the bible of a social movement," and the book has become a staple of university curriculum’s, advocacy training, reading groups, and faith-based study circles. Alexander has been featured on national radio and television media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, The Bill Moyers Journal, the Tavis Smiley Show, MSNBC, C-Span, and Democracy Now. She has also written for numerous publications including: The New York Times. The Washington Post, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times and The Huffington Post. Alexander has served as a Professor at several universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an Associate Professor of Law and where she directed the Civil Rights Clinics. She also taught at The Ohio State University where she held a joint appointment with the Moritz College of Law and the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Alexander served as a Soros Justice Fellow in 2005 and was appointed a Senior Fellow for the Ford Foundation in 2015.
Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the Director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project’s media advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition-building, and litigation. The Project’s priority areas were educational equity and criminal justice reform, and it was during those years that she launched a major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement, known as the “DWB Campaign” or “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.”
In addition to her non-profit advocacy experience, Alexander has worked as a litigator at private law firms, including at Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, in Oakland, California, where she specialized in plaintiff-side class action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.
Currently, Alexander is a Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she is exploring the moral and spiritual dimensions of mass incarceration. She is also an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
Keisha Lance Bottoms is the 60th Mayor of Atlanta.
A daughter of Atlanta, Mayor Bottoms is committed to realizing her vision of One Atlanta – an affordable, resilient and equitable Atlanta – which stands as a model city for both commerce and compassion.
A lifelong public servant, Mayor Bottoms is the only Mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge and City Council member before being sworn in as Mayor.
Leading with a progressive agenda focused on equity and affordable housing, Mayor Bottoms serves as Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee for the United States Conference of Mayors.
Among Mayor Bottoms’ notable accomplishments to date include the establishment of the City’s first fully-staffed Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the appointments of a LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator and a Human Trafficking Fellow, the citywide elimination of cash bail bond, the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees, and the rollout of the most far-reaching financial transparency platform in the City’s history – Atlanta’s Open Checkbook.
Under Mayor Bottoms’ leadership, the City of Atlanta led the historically successful staging of Super Bowl LIII, which included unprecedented community benefits – a $2.4 million renovation of John F. Kennedy Park on Atlanta’s Westside, more than 20,000 trees planted throughout the community and the seamless coordination of 40 federal, state and local public safety agencies.
A product of Atlanta Public Schools, Mayor Bottoms graduated from Frederick Douglass High School and received her undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University. She earned her Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law.
An active member of the community, Mayor Bottoms is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, Jack and Jill of America, The Links, Incorporated, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. She has also served on the board of Families First and shares her personal story of adoption and advocates on behalf of adoption and foster care.
Mayor Bottoms is the daughter of Sylvia Robinson and R&B icon Major Lance. She resides in historic Southwest Atlanta with her husband, Derek W. Bottoms, their four children- Lance, Langston, Lennox and Lincoln, and their family dog, Logan.
Judge Amber Givens-Davis currently presides over the 282nd Judicial District Court in Dallas County, Texas. Before taking office on January 1, 2015, Judge Givens-Davis served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York and Texas for eight years. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Tuskegee University and earned a Juris Doctor Degree from the Syracuse University College of Law.
Judge Givens-Davis believes that everyone is entitled to a just and fair system; evidenced by the two programs she has implemented since taking the bench. Both the Word of Mouth series and Empowerment Program have been featured on KDFW Fox4. The Word of Mouth series gives the public access to the inner workings of the criminal justice system and demystifies the system. The Empowerment Program is designed to equip probationers with the necessary support and life skills to successfully complete probation. She also works in conjunction with three of her Judicial Colleagues on the Pipeline to Possibilities Program.
Judge Givens-Davis' public service extends beyond the courtroom as she serves on the Dallas County Juvenile Board, the Advisory Board of the Dallas Women Lawyers Association, Miles of Freedom, Chair of the Junior League of Dallas Diversity Committee, Texas Appleseed, and the Tyler Street Christian Academy Advisory Board amongst other organizations. Judge Givens-Davis served on the 2016 Dallas Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force and has been selected to serve as a panelist for several Dallas Bar Association programs. In 2015, she was elected as a Texas Bar Foundation Fellow. Each year the top 1/3 of 1% of Texas attorneys are invited to become Fellows. This is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the State Bar of Texas. In 2017, Judge Givens-Davis was awarded the Unity Award by the City of Dallas. In September 2017, she was selected to be a Fellow in the Racial Equity Action Leadership Program for Young Leaders (REAL City). Judge Givens-Davis is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. [Alpha Xi Omega Chapter]. She is married to Attorney Corwyn M. Davis and they are members of Concord Church.
Willie Francois III
Walter S. Gilliam
Walter S. Gilliam is the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy and Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology at the Yale University Child Study Center. He is the current board president of Child Care Aware of America; a member of the board of directors for ZERO TO THREE, the Irving Harris Foundation, First Children’s Finance; a research fellow of the National Institute for Early Education Research; and former Senior Advisor to the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Dr. Gilliam is co-recipient of the prestigious 2008 Grawemeyer Award in Education for the coauthored book A Vision for Universal Preschool Education. His scholarly writing addresses early childhood care and education programs, school readiness, and developmental assessment of young children. His work frequently has been covered in major national and international news outlets, and he actively provides consultation to state and federal decision-makers in the U.S. and other countries.
Judge Shequitta Kelly was born and raised in Michigan City, Indiana. In 1999, she graduated as a first-generation college student from Indiana University with a dual bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Later, in 2003 she continued her studies to earn her law degree.
Judge Kelly subsequently joined the Indiana Allen County Prosecutors office where she prosecuted domestic violence cases. She served as the Felony Domestic Violence Intake Prosecutor for over six years. Her experience led her to Dallas, Texas where she received her Texas law license and joined the Dallas County District Attorneys’ office. While at the Dallas D.A.’s Office she prosecuted severe child abuse cases. In January 2015 she was sworn in as the presiding judge of Dallas County Criminal Court #11 which is one of two family violence specialty courts.
Throughout her career, Judge Kelly has attended various courses on domestic violence, spoken at national conferences and been an active member in several professional organization including Whittington Home Shelter, Literacy Alliance, NAACP, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated-MDA chapter. In addition to these organizations, Judge Kelly is also a member of JL Turner Legal Association, Urban League, Dallas Bar Association, North Dallas Texas Democratic Women, Irving Democratic Women, and the National Action Network. She has mentors numerous disadvantaged teens and previously served as a national motivational speaker.
Dr. Jennifer M. McBride (Ph.D. University of Virginia) is Associate Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Programs and Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. McBride is author of The Church for the World: A Theology of Public Witness (Oxford University Press, 2011) and co-editor of Bonhoeffer and King: Their Legacies and Import for Christian Social Thought (Fortress Press, 2010). She serves as president of the International Bonhoeffer Society – English Language Section. Her work has appeared in popular publications like The Christian Century and CNN.com and has been featured in the New York Times. McBride’s most recent book, Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel (Fortress Press, 2017), is based on her experience teaching academic theology in a women’s prison and participating in the Open Door Community, an intentionally interracial, residential Christian activist and worshipping community in Atlanta, Georgia, that has been engaged in mercy and justice work on behalf of the homeless and prison populations for over thirty-five years. McBride was a professor and close friend of Kelly Gissendaner, who was the only woman on Georgia's death row until her execution in September 2015, and was a leading activist in the international #kellyonmymind campaign.
Madeline McClenney is the president and founder of Exodus Foundation with over a decade of experience serving the church. She completed a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, and a Master of Divinity Degree at Howard University in Washington, D.C. where she was an active advocate for the homeless. She continued her education at Duke University where she earned a Ph.D in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies in 2001, with minors in Women’s Studies and Islamic Law. Made possible by a Lilly Endowment grant, in 2019, Dr. McClenney was trained in Restorative Practices by the International Institute of Restorative Practices. As an advocate for the underserved, she received a citation from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2001 for her humanitarian work in the community. She served as a sentencing specialist for ReEntry Inc. in Raleigh North Carolina while completing graduate studies. As a sentencing specialist, she went to the court at the time of sentencing to make a case for alternatives to prison for defendants. In 1999, she founded Exodus Foundation.org, a national Christian faith based charity headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. which serves people of all faiths or no faith at all. The mission of the foundation is to stop the flow of African-Americans to prison. Its banner program is a 24 hour re-entry mentoring program for adults known as the Red Sea Crossings Mentoring and Scholarship Program which provides personal growth coaching, career coaching, job placement, behavioral and street escape support and a host of therapeutic friendship interventions. In 2012, after a national search, the Open Society Institute and Frontlines Solutions recognized Exodus Foundation.org as one of eleven organizations leading in black male achievement. Dr. McClenney has been a guest on several radio and television programs including the Roland Martin Show, Karen Hunter Program, Beverly Smith Show, and Larry Young Show. In 2018, she was a Visiting Professor at Duke Divinity where she taught “Jesus and Moses on Death Row.”
Since the T&T Clark publication of her dissertation Recovering the Daughter’s Nakedness: A Formal Analysis of Israelite Kinship Terminology and the Internal Logic of Leviticus 18, Dr. McClenney has pivoted toward publishing about re-entry and mass incarceration. Dr. McClenney is one of several nationally known contributors to the 2011 Judsen Press release Ministry with Prisoners and Families: The Way Forward, a groundbreaking tool for pastors and congregations. In 2015, Judsen Press released Church On Purpose where Dr. McClenney’s chapter appeared entitled, “Believers Unchained: Why Christians Must Abolish Prisons or Stop Preaching the Gospel.” Dr. McClenney was recognized by the Center for American Progress as “1 of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2015.” In 2016, Exodus Foundation.org was awarded the Pride Magazine “Paths Out of Poverty” award for its work to increase upward mobility in Charlotte. In 2018, the nationally syndicated Café Mocha Radio presented Dr. McClenney with a “Salute Her Community Activist Award.” She is the chief strategist and creator of the “Time’s Up- Let Me Go!” Campaign and Rally, an effort to support presidential grants of clemency to federal prisoners with exceedingly harsh sentences. The rally was held in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 2016 in front of the White House with national sponsors and local advocates for prison and sentencing reform. Dr. McClenney designed and authored the Exodus Coalition Plan which is endorsed by 48 subject matter experts and agencies. It called for President Obama to release all nonviolent federally convicted and overcharged persons before he left office. It offered a third track to clemency which was submitted to the White House. The recommended protocol would result in the release of up to 80,000 nonviolent and overcharged federal inmates within a 3-5 year period. Without such a measure, thousands will die in prison. She is honored to be the mother of a teenage daughter, Ariyah McClenney Sadler.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Lydia attended the University of Texas in Austin (hook 'em) and Hebrew University for undergraduate studies, earning dual degrees in Middle Eastern Studies and Honors Humanities. Between undergraduate and graduate studies, she worked as the education director for a synagogue in Jackson, Mississippi, and traveled to places as varied as South Africa, Peru, and Greece.
Rabbi Lydia Medwin was ordained on the Los Angeles campus of HUC in May of 2010. While there, she received a Masters of Hebrew Letters and a Masters in Jewish Education from the Rhea Hirsch School. She interned and later served for four years as a pulpit rabbi at Stephen S. Wise Temple in Los Angeles. At The Temple, Rabbi Medwin serves as the Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach, facilitating the membership experience and partnering with other Temple clergy to lead the Rothschild Social Justice Institute, The Temple’s social justice home.
While in rabbinic school, Rabbi Medwin met her husband, Rabbi Dan Medwin, and they and their three children are thrilled to be a part of the Atlanta community. Lydia is a co-Author with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Nicole Auerbach on The Relational Judaism Handbook: How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community (Kripke Institute).
Rabbi Lydia B. Medwin
Director of Congregational Engagement and Outreach
p 404-873-1731 | f 404-873-5529
Check out my new book with Dr. Ron Wolfson and Rabbi Nicole Auerbach:
"The Relational Judaism Handbook: How to Create a Relational Engagement Campaign to Build and Deepen Relationships in Your Community” (Center for Relational Judaism),
A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Judge Stephanie Mitchell earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Law and a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After being admitted to the State Bar of Texas in November of 2006, she practiced civil litigation and criminal defense before joining the Navarro County District Attorney’s Office.
In 2008 she began prosecuting at the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office where she was recognized as the 2010 “Rookie of the Year” and the 2012 “Prosecutor of the Year”. Quickly rising through the ranks, she became the Chief Felony Prosecutor of the Gang Unit and during this time she announced her candidacy for judge.
On January 1, 2015, Judge Mitchell was sworn in as the Presiding Judge of the 291st Judicial District Court, making her the youngest sitting District Court Judge in Dallas County. She also serves as the Presiding Judge of the Second Chance Community Improvement Program, SCCIP. This is the first and only felony community court in Texas. SCCIP focuses on transforming the lives of participants with pending felony and/or misdemeanor cases, by providing exposure, support and empowerment. She is also one of four Dallas County Judges that created the nationally recognized, Pipeline to Possibilities Program, P2P. P2P has partnered with Dallas Independent School District to educate young adults about the criminal justice system and the importance of making good decisions. Judge Mitchell lends her time outside of the office to a number of charitable causes and community service driven organizations. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Concord Church.
Second Chance Community Improvement Program Court (SCCIP)
SCCIP Court is the first-ever felony community court in Dallas County. Judge Mitchell was hand selected by her predecessor, Judge Rick Magnis (Ret.) to be the presiding judge of SCCIP in January 2017. The SCCIP Court participants range between the ages of 17 and 30 and must have been arrested in or reside in the 75210, 75215 and 75216 zip codes. They participate in a 9-18 month pre-trial diversion program aimed at improving participants’ lives through particularized strategies of building support systems, coping skills and providing services that aid them in making better choices. Upon completion of the program the participants’ cases are dismissed and expunged.
Pipeline to Possibilities (PTP)
Judge Mitchell along with Dallas County Judges, Shequitta Kelly, Lisa Green and Amber Givens-Davis created Pipeline to Possibilities and partnered with the Dallas Independent School District to engage students in a four month curriculum based on the criminal justice system. Students will learn the Texas penal code and punishment consequences in conjunction with daily problem-solving life skills to change and create positive mindsets.
Bridging Law Enforcement and Neighborhoods in Dallas Initiative (BLEND)
The rise in police shootings of unarmed minorities along with attacks on law enforcement across the country, have exasperated the distrust and unrest between the two in our communities. In response to this unrest Judge Mitchell implemented the BLEND Initiative, working with law enforcement to go into schools and address concerns our youth and the police have with each other to bridge the disconnect and become unified.
Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Mr. Johnny Perez is the Director of the U.S. Prisons Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, an interfaith membership organization comprised of 325 religious organizations working to end U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Through his leadership, Mr. Perez coordinates NRCAT’s existing campaign efforts to end the torture of solitary confinement, adding value and strategic insight to building the capacity of faith leaders and directly impacted communities to engage in education and advocacy across the United States.
In addition, Johnny works to change unjust policies and practices in the criminal justice system as a member of the NYC Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee and a member of the NY Advisory Committee to The US Civil Rights Commission. He also sits on the Board of Directors at the Juvenile Law Center, a non-profit public interest law firm advocating for the rights, dignity, equity and opportunity for youth in the child welfare and justice systems.
A sought after speaker and organizer, Johnny has been invited to provide major presentations on criminal justice reform at law schools and institutions of higher learning nationwide, including various state, regional, and national conferences on topics including the perpetual consequences of justice involvement, access to higher education, and solitary confinement. His commentary has been published by The New York Times, The Fordham Law Journal, Ebony Magazine, USA Today , and the Daily News.
Johnny’s recent collaboration with ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign reentry resulted in acceptance into the Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Perez has made appearances on Now This, Capital Tonight, and recently in the new short film: After Rikers: Justice by Design about a future NYC without Rikers Island jail complex in New York City. Johnny is a father to a teenage daughter and newborn son. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from St. Francis College of Brooklyn where he mentors formerly incarcerated students.
Raymond C. Pierce
Raymond C. Pierce became President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation in January 2018. He leads the organization’s 150 year old mission to advance student access to quality education in the southern states. Prior to joining SEF, Mr. Pierce served as Dean of the School of Law at North Carolina Central University and earlier as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights under the administration of President Bill Clinton. Mr. Pierce has also been a partner at the law firms of Baker Hostetler and Nelson Mullins, where his practice focused on higher education matters, commercial transactions, and banking. Pierce began his career as a civil rights attorney with the John W. Walker law firm in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Mr. Pierce earned a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law and a Master's from the Divinity School at Duke University.
Patrick B. Reyes
Dr. Patrick B. Reyes is a Latinx practical theologian, educator, administrator, and institutional strategist. He is Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), and author of the book, Nobody Cries When We Die: God, Community, and Surviving to Adulthood (Chalice Press, 2016). The work explores the role of stories and violence in vocational discernment. His portfolio includes oversight of annual grant funding to create conditions for scholars and students of color to thrive in theological education through fellowships, partnerships, and grants to theological institutions. He collaborates and works with leaders of institutions, foundations, and other para-academic organizations in theological and higher education to build their capacity and transform theological schools and programs for the 21st century. He received a doctorate and master’s from Claremont School of Theology, and a Master of Divinity from Boston University, School of Theology.
Nse Ufot has dedicated her life and career working on various civil, human, and workers’ rights issues. As the Executive Director of the New Georgia Project, she is proud to lead the organization to its goal of strengthening the state's democracy by registering and engaging Georgia’s eligible, but unregistered African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans.
Prior to joining the New Georgia Project, Ms. Ufot worked as the Assistant Executive Director for the Canadian Association of University Teachers, Canada's largest faculty union. She also served as the Senior Lobbyist and Government Relations Officer for the American Association of University Professors. In this role, she coordinated initiatives for mobilizing members around legislation and regulations that impacted higher education and labor law.
Ms. Ufot, a proud naturalized citizen, was born in Nigeria and raised in Southwest Atlanta. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law. Ms. Ufot is fluent in both French and English. In her free time, she enjoys international travel, listening and playing music from the African Diaspora, and hosting house parties for close friends and family.
Dawud Walid is currently the Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) and a Senior Fellow at Auburn Seminary. Walid has studied under qualified scholars the disciplines of Arabic grammar and morphology, foundations of Islamic jurisprudence and sciences of the exegesis of the Qur’an. He previously served as an imam at Masjid Wali Muhammad in Detroit and the Bosnian American Islamic Center in Hamtramck, Michigan. He is the author of the book Towards Sacred Activism, co-author of the books Centering Black Narrative: Black Muslim Nobles Among the Early Pious Muslims and Centering Black Narrative: Ahl al-Bayt, Blackness & Africa and author of essays in the 2012 book All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim as well as the 2014 book Qur’an in Conversation. Walid has lectured at over 100 institutions of higher learning in North America and West Africa about Islam and social justice. He also has been interviewed and quoted in approximately 150 media outlets ranging from the New York Times, Wall St Journal, National Public Radio, CNN, BBC, FOX News and Al-Jazeera. Walid was a 2011 - 2012 fellow of the University of Southern California (USC) American Muslim Civil Leadership Institute (AMCLI) and a 2014 - 2015 fellow of the Wayne State Law School Detroit Action Equity Lab (DEAL). He has also received awards of recognition from the city councils of Detroit and Hamtramck and from the Mayor of Lansing as well as a number of other religious and community organizations.
The Rev. Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock has served, since 2005, as the Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The son of two Pentecostal pastors, Dr. Warnock responded to the call to ministry at a very early age, and became, at age 35, the fifth and the youngest person ever called to the senior pastorate of Ebenezer Church, founded in 1886.
Under Pastor Warnock’s leadership, more than 4,000 new members have joined Ebenezer, enhancing the Church’s legacy of social activism with both spiritual and numerical growth. Additionally, he has led Ebenezer in a successful fundraising campaign to build the $8.5 million Martin Luther King, Sr. Community Resources Complex which houses the Church’s administrative offices, the fellowship hall, classrooms, meeting rooms, and the MLK, Sr. Community Resources Collaborative which focuses on helping individuals and families to improve their own life outcomes and live healthier and more prosperous lives.
As a pastor, Rev. Warnock sees the whole community as his parish. Accordingly, he has defended voting rights in his own state of Georgia. And when, in 2006, the State of Louisiana failed to protect the voting rights of recent Katrina evacuees, he led a “Freedom Caravan” of citizens back to New Orleans to vote. Dr. Warnock has taken on the contradictions in our criminal justice system, public education, health care, HIV/AIDS and has defended the downtrodden and disenfranchised through his preaching and his fierce public advocacy.
The Rev. Dr. Warnock graduated from Morehouse College cum laude in 1991, receiving the B.A. degree in psychology. He also holds a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Union Theological Seminary, New York City, from which he graduated with honors and distinctions. Seeing his pastoral work as tied to the ministry of scholarship and the life of the mind, Rev. Warnock continued his graduate studies at Union, receiving a Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in the field of systematic theology. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the 100 Black Men of Atlanta, Inc. and a Lifetime Member of the NAACP.
Rev. Warnock is the recipient of numerous awards and has been honored by induction into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers. As an opinion leader, his perspective has been sought out by electronic and print media, locally, nationally and internationally. He has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, The Huffington Post and Newsweek magazine among others. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution hailed him “a leader among Atlanta – and national – clergy, a fitting heir to the mantle once worn by The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” At President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama’s request, Dr. Warnock delivered the closing prayer at the 2013 Inaugural Prayer Service held at the National Cathedral and delivered the sermon for the Annual White House Prayer breakfast in March 2016. His first book is entitled, The Divided Mind of the Black Church; Theology, Piety & Public Witness (NYU Press, 2014).
Rev. Warnock is married to Mrs. Oulèye Ndoye Warnock and they are the proud parents of two children - a daughter, Chloé, and a son, Caleb.
Tiffany Williams Roberts
The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright is the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which covers north and middle Georgia and embraces 118 worshiping communities. At the time of his election in June 2012, he had served 10 years as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Prior to that, he was a school chaplain and on the staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.
Since becoming bishop, Wright addressed the Georgia legislature about gun control, spoke up for Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal and active opponent of the death penalty in Georgia. In commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, he prayed with a City of Atlanta sanitation crew before taking an early morning shift on the back of a city garbage truck. In January 2015, he was named among Georgia Trend magazine's 100 Most Influential Georgians. Atlanta Magazine named Wright as one of the city's top religious leaders.
Wright was born in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was adopted at 9 months of age. After graduating high school, he served five years in the U.S. Navy. While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., he worked as a child advocate for two mayors. He earned an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary, and he has been awarded honorary doctor of divinity degrees by the Virginia seminary and Sewanee: The University of the South.
He is married to Beth-Sarah Wright, Ph.D. They have a grown daughter and four school-age children.
In life there are moments that will define and redefine the trajectory of our lives. Such happened to Rev. Adrienne M. Zackery while attending her cousin’s graduation from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX as she received her call to ministry. It was truly an audible voice of the Lord that she said. “ I am calling you to a higher level and it begins in seminary!” Without wrestle, Rev. Zackery responded with an application and subsequent admission into Fuller Theological Seminary’s School of Theology and graduated with a Master of Divinity. During her time at Fuller, Rev. Zackery was assigned to an internship at Crossroads United Methodist Church which proved to be life changing. Rev. Zackery has served in five (5) appointments as Pastor (1) Crossroads United Methodist Church (2) Clavary United Methodist Church (3) Pastor of Multi-Language Congregation—Garden Grove United Methodist Church and St. Paul United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Currently, she is the Pastor at Crossroads United Methodist Church in Compton. Rev. Zackery call to urban ministry stems from her professional duties as a Social Worker and her born desire to inspire everyone to live their best lives. She has lead a Community Initiative and collaboration to allow persons in Compton with criminal records to get a fresh start by getting their convictions expunged. This program has earned recognition from the Mayor and City Councilpersons of Compton and the collaborative efforts of law firms, volunteers and a coalition of pastors. Her efforts to build community ministry leaves people with hope and possibilities. A native of Los Angeles, she attended elementary middle and high school in Los Angeles graduating from Washington High School. Upon high school graduation, she attended UC Irvine where she pursued and earned a Bachelors’ degree in Social Ecology and also while in attendance served as a founding member of the Lambda Sigma undergraduate Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Rev. Zackery has completed her dissertation in the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary with a concentration on Youth and Family Ministry. She has been blessed as the mother of three adult sons. She has been anointed with the gifts of preaching, prayer, and pastoral ministry. The scripture that embodies her ministry is “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6.