Faith and Faustian Bargains: Compromise, Complicity, and Courage in Leadership

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The Annual Greeley Lecture for Peace and Social Justice took place February 27, 2019, at the HDS Center for the Study of World Religions. (Learn more: https://cswr.hds.harvard.edu/) Race and religion are among the best predictors of how Americans choose a president. Race and religion are also bases for political compromises that call into question our moral credibility on issues ranging from voting rights to police brutality. How do we demonstrate courage when we decline or choose to compromise? Cornell William Brooks is Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Social Justice at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is also Director of The William Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice at the School’s Center for Public Leadership, and a visiting scholar at Harvard Divinity School. Brooks is the former president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), a civil rights attorney, and an ordained minister. Todne Thomas is a socio-cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of African American Religions at Harvard Divinity School. Her current research examines the familial and spiritual experiences of black evangelicals and the neoliberal displacement of black sacred space.

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