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Race, Religion, and the Modern World

November 18 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST

Religion and race are often thought of as separate entities, but the intersection of the two has catalyzed significant world events and influenced religious freedom. Throughout history, religious freedom has been exclusively guaranteed to the prevailing majority and has been used to oppress minority groups, creating an unequal and toxic power dynamic.

Both race and religious identity work with one another to either limit or liberate certain groups. Historically we look to slavery and how race played a role in religious freedom in America. Globally, we look to world history and international politics to see how race intersected and defined the role of religious freedom.

Join us as we examine past and present dynamics between racial and religious minorities that have sparked tension and inspired communities to mobilize for the common good. We will be accompanied by a panel of academics and experts who will walk us through emerging trends, historical examples, and an analysis of current tensions related to race, religion, and power.

We are honored to be joined by Dr. Katherine Marshall, Dr. James Sidbury, and Ms. Rachel Laser:

Dr. Katherine Marshall 

Katherine Marshall is a senior fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, where she leads the center’s work on religion and global development, and a professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service. She helped to create and now serves as the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue. She is also vice president of the G20 Interfaith Association. Marshall, who worked at the World Bank from 1971 to 2006, has nearly five decades of experience on a wide range of development issues in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East, particularly those facing the world’s poorest countries. She led the World Bank’s faith and ethics initiative between 2000 and 2006.

Dr. James Sidbury 

James Sidbury received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University in 1991 and taught at the University of Texas at Austin from 1991 until 2011. He is a historian of race and slavery in the English-speaking Atlantic world from the seventeenth to the nineteenth century with a special interest in the ways that non-elite peoples conceived of their histories and, through their histories, their collective identities. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Atlantic History, Early North American History, and the history of race and slavery in the United States and the Caribbean.

Ms. Rachel Laser 

Rachel Laser is a lawyer, advocate, and strategist who has dedicated her career to making our country more inclusive. She has a proven track record of uniting both faith and secular leaders and advocacy organizations to make tangible progress on some of the most important issues of our time.


November 18
11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST
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The Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom or Belief is being virtually hosted by the Government of Poland. Official events are hosted by Poland. All side events are independently produced by the organizers of each event and are not endorsed by any government, the IRF Roundtable, or 21Wilberforce