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Dickinson College to Host Virtual Discussion on Race, Religion and Sexuality

Portrait of Jay Williams sitting in a church pew.

The Rev. Dr. Jay Williams

The Wesley Lecture

Pastor and scholar Jay Williams will deliver this year’s annual Wesley Lecture as a virtual talk presented by Dickinson’s Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues. “Black Queer Christian Lives Matter: Race, Religion and Sexuality—an Intersectional Conversation” will take place Thursday, Feb. 25, at noon in a public YouTube livestream

Williams will discuss the deep roots of liberation theology and the Christian church’s difficult and important history of racism and anti-LGBTQIA+ actions. His previous work explores the meaning of “Spirit” in black cultural discourse at the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality, including how spirit-talk has been a marginalizing language of power. Williams is an ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, and has served congregations in New York City, Boston and San Francisco. He holds a master of divinity from Union Theological Seminary and a doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

The Wesley Lecture grew out of the historical relationship between Dickinson College and the Methodist Church, which has its roots in the 19th century. The lectures highlight contemporary conversations and controversies in faith communities and in higher education about the importance and role of community, commitment and service for the education of the citizen-scholar.

This lecture is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and the Center for Spirituality & Social Justice and co-sponsored by the Office of LGBTQ Services, the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity and the Department of Religion.


Published February 19, 2021