The Theology of Lockdown: Violence, Punishment and the Incarceration of Black Women and Girls


The Theology of Lockdown: Violence, Punishment and the Incarceration of Black Women and Girls

Liz Alexander, Founder of She Dreams of Freedom Consultant Group

and Rev. Don M. Thomas, President/Founder of Righteousness First Social Solutions, LLC


The Theology of Lockdown: Violence, Punishment and the Incarceration of Black Women and Girls

In Conversation With Rev. Nikia Smith Robertt, Min. Rachelle Green & Dr. Sarah Farmer

In Partnership With: and Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference

Rev. Nikia Smith Robert is a scholar, activist and preacher, Nikia Smith Robert is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy degree at Claremont School of Theology. Her research focuses on theo-political intersections of race, gender, and class as it pertains to Black women and the carceral state.  She is also passionate about social justice and is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  Nikia’s most recent journal article is published in the Harvard Divinity School Graduate Journal and is titled, “Penitence, Plantation and the Penitentiary: A Liberation Theology for Lockdown America. In addition to research, activism and ministry, she is a proud native New Yorker and currently resides in California with her loving husband and three children. For inquiries (public speaking, preaching, lecturing, etc.) Nikia can be contacted at:

Facebook: Reverend Daughter

Dr. Sarah Farmer is the Associate Research Scholar for Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing at The Center for Faith and Culture at Yale Divinity School. Sarah’s research explores the operationalization of hope in marginalized populations and the role of art in pedagogies that advance personal and social transformation. For the last ten years, she has worked with Dr. Anne Wimberly on the Youth Hope-Builders Academy. She has also co-directed a certificate in theological studies program at Arrendale Women’s Prison. Sarah received her M.Div. and Ph.D from Emory University. Her dissertation was titled “Hope in Confinement: Moving Toward a Pedagogy of Restorative Hope.

Min. Rachelle R. Green is the Director of the Theological Studies Program at Arrendale Prison for Women and the Associate Director of the Theological Education Between the Times.   As an instructor in a state prison for women and as a resident in the University Chaplain’s Office focusing on inter-religious learning, she concentrates on liberation theologies and pedagogies. Rachelle’s areas of research stem from a compelling sense of urgency and responsibility to teach and write practical theology that focuses intently on the lives of marginalized women, particularly those who are and have been imprisoned. She utilizes a feminist and womanist theology and ethics, liberation pedagogies, and strategies of caring for marginalized populations, to construct a womanist practical theology that facilitates teaching and caring for women in prison and beyond. Rachelle is currently a PhD Candidate in Religious Education and Practical Theology; Emory University Graduate Division of Religion. she received an MA in Practical Theology from Regent University and an MDiv from Candler School of Theology.

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