CHERYL TOWNSEND GILKES (Pronounced “Jillks”) is the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of African-American Studies and Sociology and director of the African American Studies Program at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. She is also assistant pastor for special projects at the Union Baptist Church (Cambridge, Massachusetts).

Dr. Gilkes holds degrees in sociology from Northeastern University (B.A., M.A., Ph.D.) and has pursued graduate theological studies at Boston University’s School of Theology. Her research, teaching, and writing have specially focused on the role of African American women in generating social change and on the diverse roles of black Christian women in the 20th century.  She has lectured and presented papers at colleges, universities, and scholarly conferences in the United States, Canada, Germany, England, and South Africa. She is the author of If It Wasn’t for the Women: Black Women’s Experience and Womanist Culture in Church and Community.


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