Recordings of the 2021 Virtual Bishop Ruben L. Speaks Endowed Memorial Lecture Series

Friday, October 8th, 2021 Recording:

Saturday, October 9th, 2021 Recording:

Information About the Speaker and Speaks Lecture Series

Melanie L. Harris, Ph.D. will be the speaker for the 2021 Virtual Bishop Ruben L. Speaks Endowed Memorial Lecture Series on Friday, October 8th 2021 at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 9th, 2021 at 11:00 a.m, Eastern Time.


Dr. Melanie L. Harris is Director of Food, Health and Ecological Program and Professor of Black Feminist and Womanist Theology at Wake Forest School of Divinity in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A former Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for AddRan College of Liberal Arts and the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at TCU Dr. Harris has served a variety of institutions in higher education. She is a graduate of the Harvard Leadership Program and a former American Council of Education Fellow. Dr. Harris’ research focuses on Inclusive Excellence, access and equity in higher education and ethical leadership. Her scholarship critically examines intersections between race, religion, gender and environmental ethics. She is the author of many scholarly articles and books including Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave), Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis) and co-editor of Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave) as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Dr. Harris is a former broadcast journalist who worked as a news producer for ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates. A community leader whose passion for education is linked to a commitment to social justice, she has also served as an educational consultant with the Ford Foundation, the Forum for Theological Exploration, and the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, Lilly Endowment Inc. She has served on the executive board of the Society for the Study of Black Religion and the Board of Directors of KERA-TV/Radio, the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Christian Ethics. Dr. Harris has been awarded several prestigious awards and academic fellowships including the AddRan Administration Fellowship and GreenFaith Fellowship. Dr. Harris earned her PhD and M.A. degrees from Union Theological Seminary in The City of New York, an M. Div. from Iliff School of Theology and a B.A. from Spelman College.

Speaks Lecture Series

The Ruben L. Speaks Endowed Memorial Lecture Series is named in honor of the late Bishop Ruben Lee Speaks, a gifted African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church leader acknowledged on numerous occasions for his leadership and creative engagement in ministry. Speaks received the Chancellor’s Award from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Brooklyn Advisory Committee of the New York Urban League.

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