past event

Bridge or Wedge? How Faith Can Heal Our Divides

Join us on Monday, October 3 from 12pm-2pm ET for an exploration of how faith traditions and spiritual teachings can offer frameworks to help get us “unstuck” from unhealthy conflict and polarization and ground our action in empathy and love. Guests will discuss ideas, tools, and practices that you can adopt to help foster a more connected society.


Speakers Include

Adam Taylor @revadamtaylor
President, Sojourners, and author of “A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community”

Rev. Adam Taylor is President of Sojourners, a Christian ecumenical nonprofit with a mission to articulate and advance social justice and peace, working in solidarity with justice movements and causes in the United States and around the world. Prior to this role, Adam led the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group, served as Vice President in charge of advocacy at World Vision U.S., worked for the Obama Administration as a White House Fellow, and co-founded and served as Executive Director of Global Justice.

Adam was the recipient of the Public Policy and International Affairs Scholarship as well as the the Marion Luther Brittain Award, Emory University’s highest student honor. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Emory University, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Master of Divinity from Virginia Union University’s Proctor School of Theology. Adam is ordained in the American Baptist and Progressive National Baptist Church and is the author of the book A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community. Adam is a Fellow of the inaugural class of the Civil Society Fellowship, A Partnership of ADL and The Aspen Institute, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Simran Jeet Singh @simran
Executive Director, Aspen Institute Religion and Society Program, Author of “The Light We Give”

Simran Jeet Singh, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute and author of The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life (Riverhead, Penguin Random House).

Simran is a well-known scholar and champion of religious pluralism who is committed to driving civic change through disrupting bias and building empathy. He is an Equality Fellow with the Open Society Foundations, Senior Adviser on Equity and Inclusion for YSC Consulting, and a Visiting Professor at Union Seminary. Simran is a regular contributor to major outlets, including The Washington Post, CNN, and TIME Magazine, and he writes a monthly column for Religion News Service.

Dr. Singh first became involved in Religion & Society’s programming as a panelist at its Conscience, Community, and Citizenship Symposium in 2018. He continued to share his expertise at the Program’s NYC Briefing on Religious Pluralism, Social Capital and Philanthropy event (2019), and as a member of two Powering Pluralism Network cohorts (Religious Literacy and the Racial Justice and Religion Task Force).

Reverend Jen Bailey @revjenbailey
Founder and Executive Director, Faith Matters Network, author of “To My Beloveds: Letters on Faith, Race, Loss, and Radical Hope”

Rev. Jen Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and national leader in the multi-faith movement for justice. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Faith Matters Network, a Womanist-led organization equipping community organizers, faith leaders, and activists with resources for connection, spiritual sustainability, and accompaniment. Rev. Jen is also Co-Founder of the People’s Supper. Founded after the 2016 Presidential Election, The People’s Supper has hosted over 2,000 suppers in 135 communities nationwide focusing on bringing people together across lines of difference to engage constructively on issues affecting their communities since January 20, 2017.

An Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Ideas Scholar, On Being Fellow, New Pluralist Field Builder and Truman Scholar, Rev. Jen earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was awarded the Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of theology.


Dar Vanderbeck
Vice President, Aspen Global Leadership Network

Dar is a community-minded leader and executive with deep experience in bringing innovation to major global organizations. Her vocational focus is transformation – how we imagine, innovate and create the structures and systems we need to bring about a just and vibrant world for all of us.

As Vice President of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, she is focused on strengthening a growing international community of people and partners committed to lifelong, values-based leadership and bringing its impact to much larger scale and significance.

Prior to joining the Aspen Institute, Dar served as the first Chief Innovation Officer at CARE USA where she was responsible for driving the transformation and leading the creation of the 75-year-old organization’s global innovation strategy.


I’m excited for this @aspenagln event on Oct. 3 to be in dialogue w/ @simran & @revadamtaylor as we explore how faith traditions can also frame handling conflict & polarization and ground our action in empathy and love. Join me and register here:

Event information