Symposium

Leadership

David N. Hempton

David Hempton PhotoDavid N. Hempton is the Dean of Harvard Divinity School, the Alonzo L. McDonald Family Professor of Evangelical Theological Studies, and the John Lord O’Brian Professor of Divinity. He is an internationally recognized historian of Christianity with particular expertise in populist traditions of evangelicalism in Europe, North America, and beyond. His many award-winning publications include Methodism and Politics in British Society, 1750–1850 (Stanford 1984), Methodism: Empire of the Spirit (Yale 2005), and The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century (Tauris 2011).... Read more about David N. Hempton

H. Bruce McEver

Bruce McEver PhotoThe Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative is being funded by Mr. Bruce McEver, who is the co-founder and chairman of Berkshire Capital Securities LLC, a 2011 graduate of the MTS program at Harvard Divinity School, and a published poet. He partnered with the late Ronald Thiemann to create the Religious Literacy Foundation and was recently honored with a bronze medal at the first Global Business and Interfaith Peace Award ceremony held in Rio de Janeiro before the Paralympic Games in 2016.... Read more about H. Bruce McEver

Diane L. Moore

Diane Moore PhotoDiane L. Moore is the founder and director of the Religious Literacy Project at Harvard Divinity School, a Senior Fellow at the Center for the Study of World Religions, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Middle East Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School. Her work is focused on advancing the public understanding of religion in collaboration professionals from a wide range of fields.  She is the Principal Investigator for both the Religious Literacy an the Professions Initiative and a Luce funded partnership with Oxfam investigating how international humanitarian aid organizations understand religion.... Read more about Diane L. Moore

Stephen Prothero

Stephen Prothero PhotoStephen Prothero is the C. Allyn and Elizabeth V. Russell Professor of Religion at Boston University and the author of the New York Times bestseller Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know—and Doesn’t (Harper 2007). His publications also include God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World and Why Their Differences Matter (Harper 2010) and Why Liberals Win the Culture Wars (Even When They Lose Elections) (Harper 2016). He has been a regular contributor to CNN’s “Belief Blog” and Newsweek/The Washington Post’s blog “On Faith,” and he has also written for The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Politico, and Salon.... Read more about Stephen Prothero

Keynote Speaker

Shaun Casey

Shaun Casey headshotShaun Casey is director of the Berkley Center and a professor of the practice in Georgetown's Walsh School of Foreign Service. He previously was U.S. special representative for religion and global affairs and director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs. He has also held positions at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., the Center for American Progress, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.Casey has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq, as well the role of religion in American presidential politics.... Read more about Shaun Casey

Panelists

Celina Barrios-Millner

Celina Barrios-Millner headshotCelina Barrios-Millner is an experienced Community Organizer, Leader and Trainer. Celina currently leads Immigrant Integration efforts for the City of Boston through a Fellowship funded by the Barr Foundation. In her role she is providing strategic direction to City Departments to ensure that immigrant residents and their needs are at the forefront of policy and program design and that they have a voice in decision-making settings. An immigrant from Venezuela, Celina has devoted herself to building power in disenfranchised communities through civic engagement and community organizing.... Read more about Celina Barrios-Millner

Michelle Boorstein

Michelle Boorstein Photo

Michelle Boorstein has served as The Washington Post’s religion reporter since 2006, overseeing and producing faith-related coverage. Prior to her work at the Post, Boorstein reported for the Associated Press and the Springfield Union-News. Boorstein was a 2016-2017 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has three times been named the Religion Newswriters Association’s “Religion Reporter of the Year" for work by large news organizations. She has been awarded a fellowship through the Templeton Cambridge Journalism Programme in Science and Religion’s program on Islam and Science.

Melissa Borja

Melissa Borja headshotMelissa Borja is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. She researches migration, religion, politics, and race in the United States and the Pacific World, with special attention to how religious beliefs and practices have developed in the context of migration, pluralism, and the modern American state. Her book, Follow the New Way: Hmong Refugee Resettlement and the Practice of American Religious Pluralism (under contract, Harvard University Press) explores the religious dimensions of American refugee care... Read more about Melissa Borja

Joe Curtatone

Joe Curtatone headshotJoseph Curtatone is the Mayor of Somerville. He was first inaugurated in 2004, becoming at age 37 the second-youngest Mayor in Somerville’s history. Now in his seventh term, he is the City’s longest-serving chief executive. Curtatone had previously served for eight years as Alderman-at-Large. A 1984 graduate of Somerville High School, he earned his B.A. from Boston College in 1990, a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994, and a Mid-Career Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2011.... Read more about Joe Curtatone

Kristin Du Mez

Kristin Du Mez headshotKristin Du Mez is a Professor of History at Calvin College. Her research areas include gender and religion in late-19th and 20th-century U.S. history, specifically gender, religion, and foreign policy, and the intersections between Christianity and feminism. Her recent book, A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism, was published by Oxford University Press in May, 2015. The book traces the remarkable life and innovative theology of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), an intrepid social reformer and anti-trafficking activist.... Read more about Kristin Du Mez

Scott Harshbarger

Scott Harshbarger headshotScott Harshbarger is the former Attorney General of Massachusetts (1991-1999) and has also served as a public defender, civil rights attorney, and District Attorney for Middlesex County. He is currently Senior Counsel in Casner & Edwards’ Litigation and Nonprofit departments, where for more than a decade he has specialized in providing strategic counsel for business ethics, corporate investigations and defense, compliance and risk management, corporate and governance, and government regulation.... Read more about Scott Harshbarger

Erica James

Erica James headshotErica Caple James is an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and Urban Studies at MIT. She received an A.B. from Princeton University (1992), an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School (1995), and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University (Social Anthropology 1998, 2003). Her scholarly interests include: violence, human rights, and transitional justice; professional ethics; medical and psychiatric anthropology; anthropology of the senses; regional focus on Haiti and the African Diaspora; food and water insecurity and global health; and race, infrastructure, and historic preservation.... Read more about Erica James

Jack Jenkins

Jack Jenkins headshotJack Jenkins is the Senior Religion Reporter for ThinkProgress, covering religion and politics. Aside from ThinkProgress, his stories and analysis have been published in the Washington Post, Atlantic, Huffington Post, National Catholic Reporter, Religion & Politics, and others. His work has also been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, MSNBC, and others. He is a graduate of Presbyterian College and earned his M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School in 2012.... Read more about Jack Jenkins

Abdou Kattih

Abdou Kattih headshotAbdou Kattih holds a Pharm.D in pharmacy. He has work in retail management for almost 20 years and has several awards in that field. He has served as a board member and director of several organizations, and he is currently the president of the Murfreesboro Muslim Youth. He has done extensive community work over the years with the general public as well as refugees. 

Nadeem Mazen

Nadeem Mazen headshotNadeem Mazen is a current member of the Cambridge City Council and an engineer, social entrepreneur, activist, and community organizer. He is an educator and social justice advocate who believes that elected officials should act as public servants, first and foremost—and that was the principle driving his two terms as a city...

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Juanita Molina

Juanita Molina headshotJuanita Molina currently serves as the Executive Director for Border Action Network and Humane Borders, which were founded to provide humanitarian aid and advocate for immigrant rights. As director of these organizations, she collaborates with border groups to prevent migrant deaths in the Arizona desert, oversees an initiative that tracks migrant patterns, and directs efforts to provide and maintain water stations in the desert. At Border Action Network, she leads the efforts to monitor the Arizona Legislature as well as measures at the County level that affect human rights.... Read more about Juanita Molina

Patricia Montes

Patricia Montes HeadshotPatricia is the Executive Director of Centro Presente. She arrived in the US from her native Honduras in 2003. Upon arriving to the Boston area, she joined Perfiles, a local Spanish-language periodical, working as a reporter to cover stories of importance to the Latino community. Through journalism, she came into contact with Centro Presente, and immediately identified with its mission. She signed up as a member and soon thereafter joined Centro Presente’s Board of Directors in 2004, becoming Board President in 2005. Later she joined the staff as a community organizer.... Read more about Patricia Montes

Christopher Montoya

Chris MontoyaChristopher Montoya is a retired Border Patrol agent who worked as a field agent in the Tucson Sector for 21 years. He is currently a M.A. candidate in Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. His research focuses on how congressional testimony by Customs and Border Protection officials influences the Border Threat Narrative.... Read more about Christopher Montoya

Marjean Perhot

Marjean Perhot headshotMarjean Perhot is the Director of Refugee and Immigration Services for Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Boston. She has more than 20 years professional experience in working with immigrants and refugees in Boston and Cleveland. She is responsible for community interpreter services, a social enterprise, immigration legal services and refugee resettlement in her current role. Perhot provides education and outreach throughout Massachusetts and at national conferences as well as media interviews on refugee and immigrant issues.... Read more about Marjean Perhot

Kathleen O'Keefe Reed

Kathleen Reed HeadshotRev. Kathleen O’Keefe Reed has served as lead-pastor of University Lutheran Church since March 2013. She is the Lutheran Chaplain at Harvard and the current president of the Harvard Chaplains. A Chicago-area native, Pastor Reed studied at Boston University’s College of Communications and has an M.Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg. Her ministerial experience includes parish ministry in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont; eight years as an assistant to the bishop of the New England Synod; and five years directing development at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg.... Read more about Kathleen O'Keefe Reed

Kim Snyder

Kim A Snyder Photo by Stefano GiovanniKim Snyder is the award-winning director of the documentary film Welcome to Shelbyville, which tells the story of a group of Somali refugees’ experience in a small town in Middle Tennessee. The film was nationally broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens. In 2007, Kim co-...

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Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan headshotAmy Sullivan is a Chicago-based journalist who has covered religion and politics as an editor at TIME, Yahoo, and The Washington Monthly. She contributes opinion and news analysis to outlets including NPR, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Her critically-acclaimed book, The Party Faithful: How and Why Democrats Are Closing the God Gap, was published by Scribner in 2008. Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School (MTS '99). 

Daniel Valdez

Daniel Valdez headshotDaniel Valdez is a Senior Regional Manager with Welcoming America, an award-winning organization that is helping local communities welcome newcomers and create vibrant communities for all. Previously, he led community-level advocacy efforts around awareness, education, and strategies to eradicate poverty in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He is passionate about using his talents and experience to advance the mission of organizations working on systemic changes in an effort to make the world a better place for all.... Read more about Daniel Valdez

Religious Literacy and the Profession Initiative Staff

Lauren R. Kerby

Kerby headshotLauren R. Kerby is the RLP’s education specialist and an instructor in the Religious Studies and Education Certificate program at Harvard Extension School. She is responsible for overall design and implementation of the Religious Literacy and Education Initiative, and for programs within the Religious Literacy and the Professions Initiative.... Read more about Lauren R. Kerby

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman

Sarabinh Levy-Brightman photoSarabinh Levy-Brightman coordinates and does research for the Religious Literacy in the Professions Initiative.  Her academic background lies in the study of religion and she holds a Master’s degree from The University of Chicago Divinity School and an MDiv from HDS as well as a Bachelor’s degree in History and Religion from Vassar College.  For many years Sarabinh taught in high school humanities departments, both in English and in History.... Read more about Sarabinh Levy-Brightman