Speakers

Image

Barbara Brown Taylor

Barbara Brown Taylor is a New York Times best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest. Her first memoir, Leaving Church (2006), won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association. Her last book, Learning to Walk in the Dark (2014), was featured on the cover of TIME magazine. She has served on the faculties of Piedmont College, Columbia Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology at Emory University, McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University, and the Certificate in Theological Studies program at Arrendale State Prison for Women in Alto, Georgia. In 2014 TIME included her on its annual list of Most Influential People; in 2015 she was named Georgia Woman of the Year; in 2016 she received The President’s Medal at the Chautauqua Institution in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Mercer University and is working on her fourteenth book, Holy Envy, coming from HarperOne in April 2019. Her work has been translated into five languages. More can be found at www.barbarabrowntaylor.com/about.

Image

Reverend Dr. Luke Powery

Dr. Powery is the dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. A national leader in the theological study of the art of preaching, Powery regularly delivers sermons at Duke Chapel as well as at churches throughout the U.S. and abroad. He is often a keynote speaker and lecturer at educational institutions, conferences, symposia, and retreats. His teaching and research interests are located at the intersection of preaching, worship, pneumatology, and culture, particularly expressions of the African diaspora. He has written three books: Spirit Speech: Lament and Celebration in Preaching; Dem Dry Bones: Preaching, Death, and Hope; and his latest book Rise Up, Shepherd! Advent Reflections on the Spirituals. He has also co-authored an introductory textbook on preaching, Ways of the Word: Learning to Preach for Your Time and Place, and is currently working on the second in the series of meditations on the Spirituals, this time for the season of Lent. He is also a general editor of a forthcoming nine volume lectionary commentary series for preaching and worship titled, Connections. Powery was ordained by the Progressive National Baptist Convention and has served in an ecumenical capacity in churches throughout Switzerland, Canada, and the U.S. He is a member of the Academy of Homiletics, for which he has served as secretary; the American Academy of Religion; and the Society for the Study of Black Religion. Powery served as a member of the executive lectionary team for The African-American Lectionary and is the recipient of numerous scholastic fellowships and awards. In 2008, the African-American Pulpit named him one of 20 outstanding black ministers under the age of 40 who are helping shape the future direction of the church. More recently, in 2014, he was inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. Collegium of Scholars at Morehouse College for his ethical and spiritual leadership in the academy, church, and broader society. Prior to his appointment at Duke, he served as the Perry and Georgia Engle Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary. He received his B.A. in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Stanford University, his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and his Th.D. from Emmanuel College at the University of Toronto. He is married to Gail Powery, and the couple has two children.

Image

Joan Garry

Joan Garry began her career in 1981 as part of the management team that launched MTV. She followed this successful eight-year tenure with another successful run as an executive at Showtime Networks. Then, in 1997 while either having a midlife crisis or avoiding one, Garry was named the executive director of GLAAD, one of the largest gay rights organizations in the U.S. She joined GLAAD to find an organization in deep financial crisis (18 staff and yes, $360 in the bank), led it out of the depths to a place of prominence focusing on the power of the media to change hearts and minds. From the accurate coverage of the murder of Matthew Shepard to the successful lobbying of The New York Times to include gay and lesbian couples on its wedding pages, Garry’s strategy was clear: keep GLAAD focused on the media because the road to acceptance begins with visibility and understanding. After her eight year run at GLAAD, Garry built on this expertise and became a successful political fundraiser, co-chairing the LGBT Finance Committee for the Obama 2008 Presidential campaign. She has been in a leadership position on a large national board and her family makes significant contributions to causes near and dear. She brings all of this experience to her work as the Principal of Joan Garry Consulting, a boutique firm that helps nonprofits across a wide variety of sectors to untangle strategic knots enabling them to have a clearer path in pursuit of their missions. From executive coaching to strategy engagements to crisis management, Joan works with organizations across a variety of sectors – independent schools, social justice, illness based organizations, LGBT advocacy. She works with large organizations like UNICEF USA and The Union for Reform Judaism to organizations that are anxious to move to the next level. Her blog for board and staff leaders of nonprofits reaches 100,000 unique leaders monthly from over 150 countries and her podcast Nonprofits Are Messy is frequently the #1 nonprofit / government podcast on iTunes. Lastly, she is the founder of The Nonprofit Leadership Lab, a monthly online membership site for board and staff leaders of small nonprofits who can afford neither coaching nor consulting. Through a vast array of content and a community moderated by experts, Joan is reaching over 2,000 board and staff leaders worldwide. Joan teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania where she teaches Nonprofit Communications Strategy and Media and Social Change to undergraduate seniors. Her book, Joan Garry’s Guide To Nonprofit Leadership (John Wiley and Sons) was published in early 2017. Lastly, in the spirit of using her voice for change, Joan was the first female singing member of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus. Joan lives in NJ with her wife of 34 years. Joan and Eileen were plaintiffs in a 1993 landmark NJ court case granting a lesbian couple a second parent adoption. Their three grown children all legally have two mothers (whether they like it or not).