Students Steve Miller and Jacqueline Williams, with Professor Asante Todd, at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Austin, Texas.
Demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, by flickr user Jamelle Bouie.
Above from left to right; Lil Mikey and Eddie Bocanegra speak at the 2014 HESED Lecture.

Settles Lectures &
HESED Lecture Preview

When a grand jury declined to bring charges against Darren Wilson in the shooting death of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), issued a statement calling on "the whole church to reflect seriously about the communities and the racial climate we have created in this country." As people of faith and conscious have engaged in just such reflection, questions have been raised: What role do church leaders play as many Americans call for social justice in the face of racial inequality? How does the task of building safe neighborhoods and just communities intersect with issues of racial profiling, immigration, and mass incarceration? How may we choose to be used as a positive instrument in the heart of a contemporary civil rights crisis?

This month the Settles Lectures and HESED Lecture Series at Austin Seminary will tackle these questions and more as the church strives to live more fully into God's requirement that we do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God.

Settles Lectures

Use Me Instead: Clergy, Religion, and the new Civil Rights Movement

Dr. Anthea Butler is associate professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Graduate Chair of Religious Studies. She holds a PhD from Vanderibilt University in Religion, a Masters in Religion from Vanderbilt, and a Masters in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. A historian of American and African American Religion, Professor Butler’s research and writing spans Religion and Politics, Religion and Gender, African American Religion, Sexuality, and Religion and Popular culture. 

You're invited on March 26, 2015, at 7 p.m. to attend a lecture by Dr. Butler and to take part in our panel discussion on March 27, 2015, at 11 a.m. with Dr. Butler, Dr. Joseph C. Parker Jr., senior pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, and Senior Chaplain Rick Randall of the Austin Police Department. Both events are free.

Click here for more information and to register.

HESED Lecture

The purpose of the HESED lectureship is to promote awareness and church involvement in the area of social justice, thus enabling ‘hesed,’ which is Hebrew for justice, lovingkindness, and mercy. This initiative is supported by the African American Student Group (AASG) and the Hispanic Student Association (HSA) of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

This year's HESED Lecture Series will focus on Building Safe Neigborhoods by looking at the areas of Commerce, Law enforcement/Legal services, Health, and Education and how they are related to issues of immigration, racial profiling, and mass incarceration. The event will offer breakout sessions led by experts in respected areas, to bring awareness to and to mobilize area pastors and current (and former) students to become active participants in bringing justice and mercy.  The series will feature an opening keynote lecture from Virginia Raymond (Austin, Texas), who will be the Friday evening speaker, and Dr. Frederick Douglass Haynes III (Dallas, Texas), who will end this year's lecture series as the luncheon keynote speaker. 

Click here for more information and to register.