Detroit’s legacy of progressive religious leaders to be discussed at UM-Dearborn Wednesday, March 7

March 1, 2007



DEARBORN / March 1, 2007---“Progressive Pastors and Politics: A Detroit Legacy” is on the agenda for a discussion by the Rev. Charles Adams and Prof. Angela Dillard to be held at the University of Michigan-Dearborn Wednesday, March 7.

The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 3 p.m. in Room 1030 in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Building.

Adams has been pastor of Detroit’s Hartford Memorial Baptist Church since 1969 and is widely recognized as one of the most influential religious leaders in southeastern Michigan. He has been active in a variety of religious, social and political organizations, including serving as the president of the Detroit chapter of the NAACP and as president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention.

President Bill Clinton invited Adams to accompany him to Jordan for the signing of the peace accord between Jordan and Israel, and he was named by Ebony magazine as one of the country’s most influential black leaders. Adams was named alumnus of the year by the Harvard University Divinity School and he has received 10 honorary degrees.

Dillard, associate professor of Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan, is the author of Faith in the City: Preaching Radical Social Change in Detroit, to be published by the University of Michigan Press in May

In her book, Dillard explores the ways religion and politics merged in Detroit’s African American community from the 1930s to the 1960s, and examines the ways religious leaders supported and sustained progressive social movements.

“While other religions have mixed politics and creed, Faith in the City suggests that this fusion was--and is--particularly vital to African-American clergy and the Black freedom struggle,” according to a statement from the book’s publisher.

Dillard also is the author of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner Now? Multicultural Conservatism in America, published in 2001 by the New York University Press.

The March 7 presentation at UM-Dearborn is part of the campus’s Difficult Dialogues Initiative, an effort funded by the Ford Foundation to promote pluralism on America’s campuses.

“The goal of this project is to develop the ability of the university to help students understand and articulate a variety of perspectives in historical and intellectual context, and understand that the differences in these perspectives matter,” according to Claude F. Jacobs, associate professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at UM-Dearborn.

The program is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, African and African American Studies, and the Center for the Study of Religion and Society.


The University of Michigan-Dearborn does not necessarily endorse speakers' views.



CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: 313-593-5518
The Office of University Relations
Room 1040, Administration Building
University of Michigan-Dearborn