This is a featured interview with Rev. Jennifer Bailey. Jennifer was one of my leaders/teachers at the Wild Goose Festival in July. Jennifer is ordained in the AME Church. Do you recall the recent gunman who recently sat through a Bible study and then opened fire on his hosts? That was an AME church and we’ll hear about Jennifer’s proximity to that tragedy.
As a white, male host I’d like you to hear what happens when my story, my perception collides with Rev. Jennifer Bailey’s story. Hear about the KKK, her great grandfather registering black voters in the south, the bounty on his head, and Jennifer marching across the bridge into Selma this past March. It was a beautiful day when a young, African American, clergywoman wearing her clergy collar marched across that bridge. Equality isn’t waiting for Jennifer on either side of any bridge in the United States but comprehending the differences in our stories is itself progress. Where do these stories lead? I suppose that is up to each of us to determine.
Jennifer’s Bio from the Faith Matter’s website reads as follows:
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.
A Truman Scholar and Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, 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 Sojournersand 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.
Rev. Bailey giving the benediction at the Selma March 50th Anniversary Commemorative Service (CSPAN)