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Presenters of A People So Bold: the Justice UU University Track

Who are the presenters for the Justice Track?

The Rev. Robert Hardies is senior minister of All Souls Church, Unitarian, in Washington, DC: an historic, diverse congregation in the heart of the nation’s capital. In Washington, Rev. Hardies is also a leader in the Washington Interfaith Network, a coalition of 40 congregations building power to create social change in the city. 

Nationally, Rev. Hardies is a member of the advisory board of the Network of Spiritual Progressives, founded by Rabbi Michael Lerner and Cornell West to counter the power of the religious right. 

Among his scholarly pursuits, Rev. Hardies edited Blessing the World: What Can Save Us Now (Skinner House, 2006), a collection of essays by the feminist theologian, Rebecca Parker. He is an adjunct faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary.

Before coming to All Souls, Rev. Hardies served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Oregon and California. He is a graduate of Cornell University and Starr King School for the Ministry, the Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, CA.

Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell has been the Senior Minister at the First Unitarian Church of Portland for 17 years. In addition, Dr. Sewell has Master's degrees in English literature, social work, and divinity, plus a Ph.D. in Theology and Literature from the Graduate Theological Union and the University of California at Berkeley, CA. She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Meadville Lombard Seminary.

She is the editor of two celebrated books of women's poetry: the award-winning Cries of the Spirit, 1991 (one of Library Journal's "best books of the year") and a companion volume Claiming the Spirit Within, a Sourcebook of Women's Poetry, 1996. Her other books include Wanting Wholeness, Being Broken, Resurrecting Grace: Remembering Catholic Childhoods, Breaking Free: Women of Spirit at Midlife and Beyond. Her most recent publication is A Little Book on Forgiveness.

Rev. Kate Lore has been directing the Social Justice program at First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR, for the past 10 years. She received her Masters of Divinity from Meadville/Lombard School of Theology in June of 2007 and was ordained by the Portland congregation in October of 2007. Kate brings 16 years of church leadership into her ministry and specializes in community organizing, leadership development, conflict resolution and creative networking. Kate operates on the premise that as members of a spiritual community, we have a moral obligation to act for change that heals the rifts that divide us and that harm our planet. She seeks to inspire, educate and mobilize our members to confront systems of discrimination and oppression that foster hatred, division and injustice. She believes each of us must bring our very best selves into this sacred work, for in so doing, we build community, deepen our spiritual lives and awaken from the illusion that we are separate.

Paul B. Rasor, J.D., Ph.D. is Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Virginia Wesleyan College. He received his Ph.D. in the study of religion (theology) from Harvard in 1999 and his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1972. He also holds an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School (1994) and B.Mus. from the University of Michigan School of Music (1968). He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. Paul’s academic career includes 14 years as a full-time law professor, as well as 10 years teaching in theology and religious studies. He has published widely in both law and theology; his latest book is Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology in the 21st Century (Boston: Skinner House, 2005). Paul is a classical and a jazz trombonist, and has played with several symphony orchestras as well as small jazz combos.

Dr. Sharon Welch is Provost and Professor of Religion and Society at Meadville Lombard Theological School (Unitarian Universalist), Chicago, IL. She has held positions as Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Adjunct Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri from 1991-2007. She was assistant and then associate professor of Theology and Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School from 1982 to 1991. She received her doctorate from Vanderbilt University in 1982. While at the University of Missouri, Welch was a Senior Fellow in the Center for Religion, the Professions, and the Public, a project leader of the Ford sponsored Difficult Dialogues Program and co-chair of the MU Committee for the Scholarship of Multicultural Teaching and Learning. Welch is currently a member of the International Steering Committee of Global Action to Prevent War.

Welch is the author of five books, her most recent being Real Peace, Real Security: The Challenges of Global Citizenship (Fortress, 2008). She is also the author of After Empire: The Art and Ethos of Enduring Peace (Fortress, 2004), and A Feminist Ethic of Risk (Fortress, 2000). Dr. Welch is the recipient of numerous awards, many of which recognize her excellence in teaching. Among these are the Internationalizing the Curriculum Course Development Award (2002) and the College of Education, High Flyer Teaching Award (several years). She also received the Annual Gustavus Myers Award: Honorable Mention for her 1999 book, Sweet Dreams in America: Making Ethics and Spirituality Work (Routledge). She was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology by Starr King School of the Ministry in May 2007.

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Last updated on Thursday, April 5, 2012.

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