Speaker: Rev. Dr. Melanie L. Harris
We are grateful to Rev. Dr. Melanie L. Harris for her presentation on “Ecowomanism and the Jackson Mississippi Water Crisis.” In this conversation, Dr. Harris introduces us to Ecowomanism, which models an intersectional approach to the ethical crisis of climate change including attention to environmental racism and sexism as well as the critical role of religion and spirituality in seeking earth justice. Rev. Dr. Harris is a Professor of Black Feminist Thought and Womanist Theology jointly appointed with Wake Forest School of Divinity and the African American Studies program at Wake Forest University. This event was co-sponsored by the Stead Center for Ethics and Values, The Center for the Church and Black Experiences, and The Center for Ecological Regeneration at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary and occured on September 29, 2022.
During the event, Rev. Dr. Harris engaged with Drs. Blount, Eberhart, and Ott, as she provided a brief overview of ecowomanism and described how an ecowomanist framework helps us assess and better understand what is unique surround the current water crisis happening in Jackson, Mississippi in comparison to other climate and systemic issues related to droughts, major storms, or contamination from industries. She addressed the role of ecoautobiographies and ecomemories in the work toward cultivating an earth-honoring faith. Dr. Harris ends the conversation by addressing how faith communities with diverse racial backgrounds, including predominantly white churches, can learn from ecowomanism. You can learn more about ecowomanism through Dr. Harris’s recently published book Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis).
Rev. Dr. Melanie L. Harris is a Professor of Black Feminist Thought and Womanist Theology jointly appointed with Wake Forest School of Divinity and the African American Studies program at Wake Forest University. Dr. Harris is also the Director of the Food, Health, and Ecological Well-Being Program. Her research and scholarship critically examine intersections between race, religion, gender, and environmental ethics. She is the author of many scholarly articles and the leader of national workshops. Her books include Gifts of Virtue: Alice Walker and Womanist Ethics (Palgrave), co-editor of Faith, Feminism, and Scholarship: The Next Generation (Palgrave) as well as, Ecowomanism: Earth Honoring Faiths (Orbis).
The Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values (Stead Center) is an endowed center that draws together seminary resources, graduate professional schools, area religious leaders, and laity to address the compelling ethical issues facing contemporary society. They promote teaching and research on ethics and values by providing a space for conversation and developing resources that enhance moral communities.