presented by Dr. Juan Floyd-Thomas, associate professor of African American history, Vanderbilt Divinity School, and Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair and associate professor of ethics and society, Vanderbilt Divinity School 

Kairos: a propitious moment for decision or action

Join Dr. Juan Floyd-Thomas and Dr. Stacey Floyd-Thomas for a teach-in, presented in conjunction with the Frist Art Museum’s exhibition Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick, from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

The events of this past year have mandated physical separation for a sense of security most commonly known as “social distance.” In light of this, we now extend an invitation at this pivotal moment for reflective, communal actions to reckon with the past in hopes of recognizing a better, brighter future anew. In this one-hour conversation, we will consider the work of Kara Walker within its unique historical and cultural context, from intergenerational, intercultural, interdisciplinary, and interreligious perspectives in which we reimagine our community.   

Juan M. Floyd-Thomas is associate professor of African American religious history at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion. He is the author of The Origins of Black Humanism: Reverend Ethelred Brown and the Unitarian Church (2008) and Liberating Black Church History: Making It Plain (2014), as well as co-author of Black Church Studies: An Introduction (2007) and The Altars Where We Worship: The Religious Significance of Popular Culture in the United States (2016), and co-editor of Religion in the Age of Obama (2018). He also serves as the executive director of the Society of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion (SRER). As co-founder of the Black Religious Scholars Group (BRSG) and vice president of research at Strategic Ethical Expert Solutions (SEES), he has co-facilitated numerous diversification workshops and led national and international immersion experiences for professional sensitization around cultural memory and contextual crises for churches, NGOs, and academics alike. 

Stacey M. Floyd-Thomas is the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Chair and associate professor of ethics and society at Vanderbilt University. She holds a PhD in ethics, an MBA in organizational behavior, and master’s degrees in comparative religion and theological studies. She is also a DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) trainer, management consultant, ordained Baptist pastoral counselor, and executive coach. She has worked closely with organizations such as BRSG, SRER, SEES, the Society of Christian Ethics (SCE), and the American Academy of Religion (AAR). As a womanist ethicist, her research and activism are dedicated to examining the effects that institutions have on marginalized groups and their efforts to define their own identities. Her seven books and ongoing research probe the “why crisis” of people’s faith in the face of moral dilemmas, and how historical trauma fosters religious, cultural, and moral meaning for the present, with particular attention to Black women’s body politics. 

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