March 7, 2022

7 pm in McCue Auditorium, Liberal Arts Building


Reverend Yolanda Pierce, PhD

Dean of Howard University Divinity School

Rev. Dr. Yolanda Pierce is Professor and Dean of the Howard University School of Divinity in Washington, DC. She is the first woman to be appointed as Dean in the Divinity School’s 150-year history. In 2016, Pierce served as the Founding Director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). Previously, she served as the Founding Director of the Center for Black Church Studies and Associate Professor of Religion and Literature at Princeton Theological Seminary. Pierce holds degrees from Cornell University and Princeton University.

Pierce’s research specialties include African American Religious History; Womanist Theology; African American Literature; and Race and Religion. A widely-published author, her work focuses on the historical and contemporary significance of the African American religious tradition. Pierce has written over 50 critical essays and articles in academic and trade journals which consider the relationship between religious faith, race, and gender in the American context. You can find her work in a wide variety of publications, including: Time Magazine; Christian Century; Theology Today; and Christianity & Literature.

The lecture is sponsored by the Department of African and African-American Studies, Brockport Student Government, and the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

About the Lecture

The purpose of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture is to bring a scholarly examination of some aspect of the African-American experience to Brockport and the surrounding community. Typically, the subject relates to King’s vision of the “beloved community,” in which all persons must be able to live harmoniously, brotherly, and sisterly. In our contemporary global village, this concept of the beloved community must necessarily be extended to include cultural, psycho-social, and intellectual diversities.

To this effect, the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Lecture series has invited to the Brockport campus activists, academicians, and public and private intellectuals to critically examine the meanings of the beloved community from their own eclectic backgrounds and proclivities.