NANCY FRAUSTO'S BIO
The Reverend Nancy Frausto, born in Zacatecas Mexico immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 7. She is the first and only DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) beneficiary priest in the Episcopal Church. In the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles’, she is the first Latina leader to have grown up in a Spanish Speaking Episcopal Church who has gone on to pursue ordination. Nancy is the recipient of the Episcopal Church Foundation and Beatitudes Society Fellowship. In 2014 she was named one of the Future 50 Interfaith Leaders in Los Angeles to watch by the Interreligious Council of Southern California. Nancy completed her Diploma in Theology from Bloy House, the Episcopal Seminary at Claremont School of Theology and was the recipient of the Thomas Crammer Scholarship for Distinguished Achievement in Liturgical Scholarship and the Preaching Excellence Award. Online magazine relevant.com named her one of their 12 effective Women Preachers. In the spring of 2018 CBS network featured her work on their documentary Race, Religion & Resistance. Nancy ’s love and passion for social justice come from her own story and that of the people she serves.
REV. SANDHYA JHA'S BIO
Sandhya Jha serves as founder and director of the Oakland Peace Center, a collective of 40 organizations creating access, equity and dignity for all in Oakland and the Bay Area. Raised in an interracial and multi-faith family and witness to the sometimes subtle (and sometimes obvious) ways that racism and xenophobia show up in our society, it is not surprising that Sandhya’s career has been marked by work to effect public policy change (working in the office of Congressman Thomas C. Sawyer from Akron, Ohio), religious liberty and an alternative voice to the religious right (at The Interfaith Alliance) and around the issues of housing for all (at East Bay Housing Organizations) as well as her work to build what Dr. Martin Luther King called Beloved Community (at the Oakland Peace Center).
She serves as an anti-racism/anti-oppression trainer with Reconciliation Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She is a faith-rooted organizer with the Emerging Leaders Program at the Leadership Institute at Allen Temple. Sandhya’s newest book, Transforming Communities: How People Like You are Healing Their Neighborhoods, focuses on concrete ways that regular people are creating change community-by-community in an era where positive change can feel impossible.
CAMERON PARTRIDGE'S BIO
Cameron Partridge is an Episcopal priest, theologian, spouse, dad, and openly transgender man. Originally from the Bay Area, he was ordained in Massachusetts in 2004/5 and served in a variety of positions there – parish, campus ministry, teaching in college and divinity school contexts -- until 2016 when he returned to San Francisco with his family to begin his current position as rector of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church. He loves stories, reading, hiking, and has a deep appreciation for the absurd.
LAURA TURNER'S BIO
Laura Turner is a freelance journalist who writes about religion, politics, and anxiety--all the things you're not supposed to talk about in polite company--for outlets like The Atlantic and Buzzfeed, and has had columns at Religion News Service and Catapult. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction writing and is currently working on a book about the cultural history of anxiety. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Zack, and their son, Chance.
YOLANDA NORTON'S BIO
Rev. Yolanda M. Norton is currently the Assistant Professor of Old Testament and H. Eugene Farlough Chair of Black Church Studies at San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS).
Her current research focuses on womanist biblical interpretation, work that prioritizes the implications of reading the text alongside Black women. Her work interrogates how various portrayals of women in the Hebrew Bible impact the vilification and/or oppression of women of color who encounter the Bible today.
Professor Norton has published chapters in I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader, Global Perspectives in the Old Testament, and Liturgical Press’ new feminist commentary on the Psalms (Books 2-3).
Furthermore, she teaches courses on the book of Ruth, Beyoncé and the Hebrew Bible, and Methods of Exegesis, and does extensive work on experiential and contextual learning.
Rev. Norton is in the final stages of her Ph.D. work at Vanderbilt University and holds a Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degree from Wesley Theological Seminary as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Syracuse University.
Norton has been featured in Essence, Ebony, the New York Times, and a host of other print and media platforms for her creative worship design and innovative preaching.
TABATHA L. JONES JOLIVET'S BIO
Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet, Ph.D. is a daughter, mother, sister, educator, author, minister, and organizer. She currently serves as an assistant professor of higher education at Azusa Pacific University in the School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences, where she teaches doctoral-level courses on diversity and social justice, critical issues, and the nature of research inquiry. As a community- engaged scholar, she applies intersectional Womanist lenses to the study of critical and sociocultural issues in higher education. Together with her research team of doctoral students, she examines the role of campus activism in shaping the public good and liberatory change. She also studies spirituality and liberatory praxis, inclusive and socially-just organizational change, and the prevention and reduction of sex and gender-based violence. For the last twenty years, she has held numerous leadership positions, including the most recent role of associate vice president of student affairs at Pepperdine University. She is an organizer in Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles and serves as the research team lead. Dr. Tabatha grew up in Churches of Christ as the daughter of a preschool teacher and preacher. Together with her parents, she co-leads a house church ministry. She is co-author of White Jesus: The Architecture of Racism in Religion and Education (Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., forthcoming fall 2018).
She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, and a M.S. degree in Ministry and Theology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
JUDE HARMON'S BIO
Jude’s spiritual journey took him through Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Pentecostal forms of Christianity, before finding a home in the Episcopal Church. Like everyone else his age with a pulse, encountering these churches and their teachings left more questions than answers. Being the gay son of two disabled parents fueled those questions with a burning urgency to understand God, justice, suffering, the Bible and Christian origins. But after eight years of intensive study at Haverford and Harvard, he realized the answers lay not primarily in the deconstruction of texts, but in a renewed encounter with the Living God. After surviving the Haiti earthquake, he experienced that healing encounter while pursuing a second masters in Systematic Theology at VTS. In his current role as Director of Innovative Ministry at Grace Cathedral, Jude encourages people to engage the big questions as he works to reframe our collective understanding of Jesus and the revolution He began. When Jude’s not breaking the internet with Beyoncé or Sister Act Mass, he’s busy with Yoga on the Labyrinth, Candlelight Labyrinth Walks, and The Vine, a new progressive, contemporary Christian community. He also has such a bad short-term memory his friends call him “Dory.” Learn more at www.judeaaronharmon.com.
LANECIA ROUSE TINSLEY'S BIO
Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is a multidisciplinary artist who specializes in abstract expressionism. Her portfolio also includes a range of work in photography, painting, teaching, writing, and speaking. She is the owner and creator of LAR Art Studio and works primarily out of Studio D, Hardy & Nance Studios in Houston, TX.
In addition to her work through LAR Art Studio, Lanecia contracts with Holy Family HTX as an Artist-In-Residence; works with projectCURATE as Co-Spiritual Director and Consultant for the Arts; and is Co-founder/Co-Creative Director of ImagiNoir Group, an international alliance and think-tank of black activists, artists, writers, scholars and educators.
Lanecia is a graduate of Duke University Divinity School (MDiv) and a graduate of Wofford College (BA in Sociology).
DEBORAH MOUTON'S BIO
Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton is a mother, wife, educator, and the current, and first Black, Poet Laureate of Houston, Texas. This seven-time National Poetry Slam Competitor and Head Coach of the Houston VIP Poetry Slam Team has been ranked the #2 Best Female Performance Poet in the World. Her work has appeared in Black Girl Magic (Haymarket Books) and Houston Noir (Akashic Books), and I AM STRENGTH (Blind Faith Books) to name a few. Her work has also been highlighted on such platforms as BBC, Houston Public Media, ABC, Blavity, Tedx, and Upworthy.
Her collaborations with The Houston Ballet, The Houston Rockets, and the Houston Grand Opera have opened new doors for performance poetry. Her work has been highlighted and studied in the Netherlands, Canada, Germany, and Britain. She had the pleasure of performing and leading a workshop at the Leipzig in Autumn literary festival in 2018, where she bridged the gap between the slam and formal publishing communities.
As the Executive Director of VIP Arts Houston, she seeks to build more bridges that amplify the voices of artists in and around the nation. Her love for community transcends the classroom and the stage making her a mentor to many and a notable force to be felt.