DignityUSA is thrilled to announce that Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey will deliver the Keynote Address titled, “Table Manners for Hungry Radicals,” at the July 6-9, 2017 conference. Dr. Lightsey is the only openly queer lesbian African-American ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, and is associate dean and professor of contextual theology and practice at the Boston University School of Theology. She is a veteran who teaches about just war theory, as well as teaching courses on LGBTQI Theology.
“Dr. Lightsey’s conviction that theology and activism are deeply linked makes her a perfect keynoter for DignityUSA as we address the theme of A Place at the Table,” said Philip White, Boston conference co-chair. “She has worked in Ferguson, Missouri and in Orlando following the Pulse shooting, and will surely enrich our gathering by sharing her reflections on those experiences with us.”
Interviewed about her goals in working with students, Dr. Lightsey said, “I want them to be able to articulate theologically what impact queers of faith may have upon the church and society.” She believes students must examine their own assumptions, realizing that no one, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, “gets away without being influenced by these societal constructions” of stereotypes.
In describing her on-the-ground work, Dr. Lightsey says, "(The) call to Biblical Obedience is not and cannot be solely for the purpose of LGBTQI rights. It must address oppression wherever its tenacious tentacles grip the lives of God's people and Earth itself. This is why we must all work together and use our voices against oppression."
Dr. Lightsey is the author of Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology, which reviewers call “a timely publication” that “challenges readers to move beyond theory and to acknowledge the full humanity of all persons and is a must-read for any who self-identifies as Christian.''
Dr. Lightsey’s address will be given the morning of Friday, July 7, 2017 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, the site of most conference activities. Look for more information about conference speakers and activities in the weeks ahead!