The Inclusive America Project Launches Racial Justice & Religion Commission

July 21, 2021

The commission of 20 faith leaders and organizers will work together in the pursuit of racial equity and justice


Contact: Sheridan Ruiz
Inclusive America Project

Washington, DC, July 21, 2021– The Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute has launched a Racial Justice and Religion Commission. This group of highly accomplished activists, faith leaders, organizers, scholars, and practitioners of racial justice will explore how religious pluralism and multi-faith coalition building in the United States can better contribute to the fight for racial justice. Among this diverse group are thought leaders and organizers who represent several different religious traditions, political ideologies, and racial identification. Members of the Commission will convene over the next several months to produce a comprehensive strategic report and organize a national call to action for people of faith to join in the pursuit racial equity and justice. The group will be led by Billy Michael Honor, a respected public scholar, faith organizer and fellow with the Inclusive America Project.

Members of the commission are:

The Very Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas
Dean of Episcopal Divinity School, Union Theological Seminary & Canon Theologian at Washington National Cathedral
Dr. Brittney Cooper
Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies & Africana Studies, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Kaitlin Curtice
Poet, Author & Public Speaker, The Aki Institute

Hebah Farrag
Assistant Director of Research, USC Center for Religion and Civic Culture

Nina Fernando
Executive Director, The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign 

Rev. Stephen A. Green
Pastor, Metropolitan AME Church (Harlem, NY) & Chair, Faith for Black Lives

Rev. Alvin Herring
Executive Director, Faith in Action

Rev. Dr. Chaz Howard
University Chaplain & Vice President for Social Equity and Community, University of Pennsylvania

May Lample
Race Discourse Officer, Baha’is of the US Office of Public Affairs

Rev. Amber Lowe
Assistant Pastor, West Mitchell Street CME Church (Atlanta, GA), Political Consultant, Community Organizer, & PhD Student


Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner
Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

Dr. Anthony Pinn
Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities, Rice University

Nicole Pressley
Field and Program Director, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero
President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition

Tahil Sharma
Regional Coordinator for North America, United Religions Initiative

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh
Senior Adviser for Diversity and Inclusion, YSC Consulting & Visiting Professor of Religion at Union Theological Seminary

Kia Smith
Digital Director, Faith in Public Life & Divinity Student

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign & Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary

Ekemini Uwan
Public Theologian & Co-host of Truth’s Table Podcast

Imam Dawud Walid
Imam & Executive Director, Council on American-Islamic Relations-Michigan Chapter



The Inclusive America Project’s Interim Director Allison K. Ralph, IAP Fellow Billy Honor, and Commission members will be available for media inquiries upon request. Please email Sheridan Ruiz for inquiries at


In a multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-ethnic nation, can we all live together? The Inclusive America Project at the Aspen Institute believes there is value in those differences. We envision a society where diverse religious communities and the nonreligious fully embrace America’s ideals by engaging and thriving with mutual trust and respect. Launched in 2012, we want to strengthen the understanding of religion’s role in advancing equity and the common good. The Project focuses on bridging the gap between ideas and impact, working to build the capacity of faithbased leaders, increase philanthropic investment, and serve as a national knowledge hub that informs and connects leaders from various fields and faiths. By emphasizing network and community building, the Inclusive America Project is creating and amplifying connections that can break down barriers for generations to come.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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