Rev. Jennifer Bailey, Founder and Executive Director
Named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in multi-faith movement for justice. She is the Founding Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network, a new interfaith community equipping faith leaders to challenge structural inequality in their communities. Jennifer comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty.
An Ashoka Fellow, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, On Being Fellow and Truman Scholar, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was awarded the Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of theology. She writes regularly for a number of publications including On Being, Sojourners, and the Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
Margaret Ernst, Faith Engagement Fellow, The People's Supper
Margaret Ernst is a faith-rooted organizer who anchors her work in relationship, imagination, and the unique stories, places, and histories that form us. She has experience bringing faith communities together for economic, racial, and immigrant justice in Nashville and Philadelphia, including with the PICO Network-affiliated group POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild), the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia, Showing Up for Racial Justice Nashville, and Nashville Community Defense. In the process of seeking ordination through the United Church of Christ, Margaret finds her ministry in the sacred work of supporting others to become leaders and create the communities they dream of. She holds a special commitment to equipping fellow white people to take action against racism in ways that are accountable to communities of color and grounded in personal work to disrupt white supremacy from within. Hailing originally from the Northeast, Margaret is now living in and learning from the South as she pursues a Master's of Divinity at Vanderbilt Divinity School. She keeps singing and laughing at all costs.
Robyn Henderson-Espinoza, PhD, Director of Public Theology Initiatives
Knowing intimately that the borderlands are a place of learning and growth, Robyn draws on their identity and heritage as a queer Latin@ in everything that they do. From doubt to divine and everywhere in between, their call as an activist-theologian demands the vision to disrupt hegemony and colonialist structures of multi-layered oppression. As an anti-oppression, anti-racist, non-binary Trans*gressive Latin@, Robyn takes seriously their call as an activist theologian and ethicist to bridge together theories and practices that result in communities responding to pressing social concerns. Robyn sees this work as a life-orienting vocation, deeply committed to translating theory to practice, and embedded in re-imagining our moral horizon to one which privileges a politics of radical difference. Their second book will be published by Augsburg/Fortress Press and is currently titled Activist Theology: Recognizing the Prophetic Edge in the Streets.
Support and follow their work at www.irobyn.com.
Dr. Robyn is on sabbatical from Faith Matters Network March 15th-September, 2018. For questions about Public Theology Initiatives please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Micky ScottBey Jones, Director, Healing Justice Initiatives
Micky ScottBey Jones is a womanist contemplative activist, healer, nonviolent direct action organizer and consultant who facilitates conferences, workshops, pilgrimages, retreats and online conversations. She writes & speaks on a variety of topics including healing justice, communal self-care, contemplative activism, intersectionality and theology from the margins. Micky has an M.A. in Intercultural Studies and is an Associate Fellow of Racial Justice with Evangelicals for Social Action. Micky was named one of the Black Christian leaders changing the world in Huffington Post. You can interact with her work and collaborations at www.mickyscottbeyjones.com.
Nicholas Hayes, Senior Consultant, Transformational Storytelling
Since his first exposure to faith-based community organizing in 2009, Nicholas Hayes, MDiv, has found in it a powerful set of practices to bridge personal and social transformation. Whether as a young adult organizer through Life Together (Boston's Episcopal Service Corps), a trainer and coach for Marshall Ganz's Leading Change Network, a leader in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, or the national Faith Community Organizer at New Economy Coalition, Nicholas has brought spirituality and social justice organizing together in diverse ways throughout his career. He has led and facilitated trainings in narrative and organizing for diverse nonprofits, religious institutions, professional groups, and government organizations.
After spending a year as a Teaching and Research Fellow for Marshall Ganz at the Harvard Kennedy School, in September, 2016 Nicholas began a PhD program in Theological Ethics at Boston College to ground his work in further study. He is currently a postulant to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church.