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Expert on history of African American women is 2005 Edwards lecturer

Feb 06, 2005

Expert on the history of African American women as experienced through vocation and work in America to speak at public lecture

The Rev. Dr. Joan M. Martin will address the legacy of race, class, and gender oppression, and the legacy of resistance and empowerment in light of African American women’s lives as workers in historical and contemporary contexts in a public lecture entitled, “No Matter What they Say or Do, We Draw from a Different Well.” Martin is the guest speaker for the 2005 Edwards and Woman of Color Lecture in Peace and Justice at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

The event is scheduled for February 23 at 7 p.m. on the Seminary campus in Gardencourt.

The annual Edwards Lecture is endowed to honor local activist and former Seminary professor George Edwards and his wife, Jean Edwards. Each year, experts in the field are invited to address issues of social justice and peacemaking. This year’s event is jointly sponsored with the Cultural Diversity Committee, Women’s Center, and the Gender in Ministry Committee at Louisville Seminary, and it is free of charge.

“Vocation and work in the lives of African American women have been crucial dimensions of Black women’s moral agency over the history and generations of the Black experience in America,” says Martin who is the William W. Rankin Associate Professor of Christian Social Ethics at The Episcopal Divinity School (EDS) in Cambridge, Mass.

As an activist scholar, she has made a significant contribution to recent institutional antiracism efforts at EDS and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States and Canada, the accrediting body for seminaries, divinity schools, and graduate schools of religion.

Martin’s leadership extends beyond EDS. She has served on the American Academy of Religion’s (AAR) Women and Religion Steering Committee and as the section’s co-chairwoman for three years. She is a member of the AAR’s Womanist Group and a board member for New England-Maritime Region of the AAR.

Ordained in the United Presbyterian Church in 1976, Martin served as a campus minister at Temple University for ten years, a community activist in Philadelphia, an ecumenical executive for the National Council of Churches in the areas of racism and sexism in church and society in the 1970s and early 1980s, and as a parish pastor in Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia, Pa.

Frequently sought as preacher and speaker for numerous gatherings and conferences, Martin was the first African American woman preacher for The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting in July 2004.

Martin earned degrees from Elmhurst College (BA); Princeton Theological Seminary (MDiv); and Temple University (MA; PhD, with distinction and a graduate certificate in women’s studies). Her publications include several articles on theological ethics and education, and she is the author of More than Toil and Chains: The Work Ethic of Enslaved Christian Women (Westminster Press, 2000).

In addition to the evening lecture, Dr. Martin will meet with Louisville Seminary students at a class appearance on February 24. That afternoon, she will be part of an open conversation in the Seminary Women’s Center from 12:30-1:30 p.m., meet with local religious leaders regarding worker justice, and speak at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville at 7 p.m.

Free registration for this event is available online at “Events” or by calling Lifelong Learning at Louisville Seminary, 502.895.3411, ext. 429.
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