This six-city conversation series, sponsored by the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C. in association with the Pew Research Center, explores the dynamic ways black millennials engage with religion and spirituality today.
Presented in conjunction with “How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Music in Los Angeles,” the panelists include CAAM History Curator Tyree Boyd-Pates, Los Angeles Times reporter Tre’vell Anderson, writer and theologian Candice M. Benbow, Senior Pastor of Greater Zion Church Family in Compton Rev. Michael J. Fisher, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Patrisse Cullors, retired NFL strong safety Husain Abdullah, celebrity disc jockey DJ B-Hen, radio and television personality Devi Brown, senior researcher at Pew Research Center Besheer Mohamed, USC/UCLA Fellow Ryon Cobb, and singer/songwriter Mereba. Moderated by Teddy R. Reeves, museum specialist of religion at NMAAHC.
According to the 2015 Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center, American millennials or those born between the years 1981 and 1996, are less religious than older Americans. The study affirms that millennials are less likely to ascribe to traditional forms of religious observance but remain religious in their own right. The rise of the “spiritual but not religious” designation has in deed led to a decline of millennial participation in mainline religious traditions with many questioning the relevance, mission, and overall purpose of organized religion in the 21st century.
Millennials are finding and creating new spaces to have different kinds of conversations that are not offered in traditional religious contexts.
gOD-Talk: A Black Millennials and Faith Conversation
Millennials are finding and creating new spaces to have different kinds of conversations that are not offered in traditional religious contexts. gOD-Talk is a groundbreaking project spearheaded by the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Center for the Study of African American Religious Life in association with Pew Research Center which seeks to:
- Uncover how millennials interact with religion and the transformative nature of community, the internet, and space.
- Amplify leading millennial voices including activists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, athletes, academicians, religious leaders, and politicians by creating a space for their experiences to be shared and documented.
- Create an opportunity for religious organizations and leaders, researchers, and engaged citizens to better understand the dynamic ways Black millennials engage with religion.
By using a lower case “g” for the word “gOD’ we are highlighting the ways in which this project will “transgress” traditional boundaries and literal designations of that which is considered scared.
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