BUILDING A NATIONAL, MULTI-FAITH NETWORKto engage and train advocates, grassroots organizers and activists in building an interfaith, multi-racial theological experiential network that focuses on racial justice.

Summer Institutes

Two Summer Institutes will be held 2018 and 2019.  Each Institute will have two, six-day sessions for 150-200 participants (undergraduate and graduate students, scholars, activists, clergy, business leaders, politicians, and civil servants.  Trans-institutional in nature, each session focuses on a different topic related to public theology and racial justice.  The sessions may focus on the intersection of racial justice as it relates to the VDS co-curricular programs.

The Summer Institutes are organized and led by associate director and planning committee in consultation with the director. Workshops may be led by faculty, alum advocates, media specialists, activists, community partners, and Collaborative Fellows.

Participants will be recruited through integrated announcement and market strategies with campus partners.

The key goals for the Institutes are:

  • to build a network of scholars, activists, and leaders of all religious traditions
  • to give participants tools, techniques, and information they can take back to their communities to plan their movements within their own context


The Pre-Conference is a one-day gathering that will be held the day before the Leadership Conference in summer 2020.  The Pre-Conference will focus on current academic scholarship and practical strategies being employed to enhance the potential for social change and justice through wedding public theology and social justice. It’s primary aim is to bring together scholars and activists to have a strategic conversation between representatives of both groups and determine the efficacy of building a national network to enhance racial justice.

The format will be organized by the director in consultation with associate director and the Planning Committee.

Leadership Conference

The Leadership Conference will be held in summer 2020.  It will be open to wide range of audiences including corporate, education, and government entities and will be designed to measure the progress of the Collaborative toward creating a public theological narrative around racial justice and imagine the path forward.  Workshops may be led by faculty, alum advocates, media specialists, activists, community partners, and Collaborative Fellows.

Participants from the two previous Summer Institutes will be invited to attend as well as other students, scholars, activists, clergy, and laity from all faiths.  Key members of the advisory committee may be asked to give keynote, lead panel discussion on the state of the public national narrative on race. 

The Conference will inform smaller post-grant workshops around future goals and endeavors.