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UD Speaker Series

UD Speaker Series
The Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, Annual MLK Commemorative Speaker


The Very Reverend Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, dean of the Episcopal Divinity School at Union Theological Seminary and professor of theology, canon theologian at Washington National Cathedral, and author of two books on racial reconciliation and social justice, will deliver the University's Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.

Dean Douglas’ academic work has focused on womanist theology, Black theology, sexuality and the Black church, and racial and social justice. Prior to Union, she served as Professor of Religion at Goucher College where she held the Susan D. Morgan Professorship of Religion and is now Professor Emeritus. Before Goucher, she was Associate Professor of Theology at Howard University School of Divinity (1987-2001) and Assistant Professor of Religion at Edward Waters College (1986-1987).

In addition to preaching in pulpits across the nation and speaking at universities and other institutions around the globe, Dean Douglas is a frequent and vocal presence in today’s print, broadcast, and digital public square, speaking on racial and social justice, among other matters.

She is the author of numerous articles, op-eds, and books, including her most recent book, Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter (2021, Orbis Books). Her other books include the groundbreaking and widely taught Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective (1999), which was the first to address the issue of homophobia within the Black church community; Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015); and The Black Christ (1994 and 25th Anniversary edition 2019).

In December 2022, the University of Louisville and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary announced Douglas as the 2023 winner of the Grawemeyer Award for Resurrection Hope: A Future Where Black Lives Matter; the most significant award in the field of religion.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Dean Douglas was ordained at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in 1983, she was one of the first ten Black women ordained in the Episcopal Church USA. She holds a Master’s Degree in theology and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union Theological Seminary.

This event is free and open to the public. No tickets required, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking is available in B and C lots only. Parking in any other campus lot requires a permit. For special accommodations, please contact the Office of the Provost at 937-229-2245.

UD News Article (Dec. 9, 2022)

Past UD Speaker Series talks on race and justice

Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, 2019 MLK Address Nikole Hannah-Jones, 2018 MLK Address Jelani Cobb, 2017 MLK Address

"Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?"

On Jan. 22, 2019, Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, best-selling author of "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" and president emerita of Spelman College, delivered the University's Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address.

"The Legacy of King: 50 Years Later"

On January 23, 2018, New York Times Magazine staff writer and 2017 MacArthur Genius Fellow Nikole Hannah-Jones gave the University's Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture. Ms. Hannah-Jones is a National Magazine Award-winning journalist writing on modern day civil rights. She has written extensively on the history of racism and inequality, school resegregation and the disarray of hundreds of desegregation orders, and the decades-long failure of the federal government to enforce the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act.

Watch on Warpwire (Requires UD login)

"The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today"

On January 24, 2017, The New Yorker staff writer and professor of Journalism at Columbia Jelani Cobb gave a lecture titled "The Half-Life of Freedom: Race and Justice in America Today" as the University's Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Lecture.

Watch on Warpwire (Requires UD login)

About the Speaker Series

The University of Dayton Speaker Series serves as a catalyst for purposeful and critical discussion of contemporary issues through dynamic public presentations and related programming.  Working with campus and community partners, the UDSS sponsors presenters who:

  • have achieved substantial national or international recognition for expertise in their fields of inquiry or artistic expression;
  • represent, as a series, a diversity of intellectual, cultural, political, and religious perspectives;
  • and engage directly with students, faculty, and staff in ways that support learning and living in community.

Did you miss a talk you wanted to attend? Check our YouTube and Warpwire playlists for available series talks. Not every speaker gives permission to post their full talk, so if the one you want is missing this could be why.

Watch on Warpwire. Anyone with a valied UD username and password can login and view.


University of Dayton Speaker Series

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1302