Candler’s Black Church Studies Program will welcome Keri L. Day as distinguished guest speaker for the annual Anna Julia Cooper Lecture on March 21. Day will speak on “Rethinking Asuza: If It Wasn’t for the Women.” The lecture will take place from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in Room 252 of Candler’s Rita Anne Rollins Building. A free boxed lunch will be provided for all those who register by March 13 at 5:00 p.m.
Day is associate professor of constructive theology and African American religion at Princeton Theological Seminary. She earned her MA in religion and ethics from Yale Divinity School and her PhD in religion from Vanderbilt University. Her teaching and research interests include womanist/feminist theologies, social critical theory, cultural studies, economics, and Afro-Pentecostalism.
The author of Unfinished Business: Black Women, The Black Church, and the Struggle to Thrive in America (Orbis, 2012) and Religious Resistance to Neoliberalism: Womanist and Black Feminist Perspectives (Macmillan, 2015), Day was recognized by NBC News in 2017 as one of six black women at the center of gravity in theological education in America.
Alongside her scholarship, Day also engages public policy leaders. In 2011, she served as keynote speaker at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in Springfield, Illinois, highlighting the importance of interfaith dialogue within local communities. She was part of the 2012 delegation of scholars who participated in the White House Religious Scholars Briefing in Washington, D.C. to discuss issues related to economic policy, religious freedom, and peace building efforts around the world. She has been a guest political commentator on National Public Radio, Huffington Post Live, and local stations on issues related to faith and politics. Day has also written for the Dallas Morning News’ Faith and Politics Blog, The Feminist Wire, and The Huffington Post.
This annual lecture of Candler’s Black Church Studies Program is named for Anna Julia Cooper, one of the most influential black scholars of the 19th and 20th centuries. Born into slavery in 1858, Cooper graduated from Oberlin College and the Sorbonne, becoming the fourth African American woman in the U.S. to earn a PhD. She served as a public school teacher and principal in Washington, D.C. for more than 30 years, and remained a prominent educator, activist, and author until her death at age 105.
Photo courtesy of Princeton Theological Seminary.