Rev. Traci Blackmon, David Campbell, Rev. Serene Jones, Rabbi Rolando Matalon and Iman Eldin Susa

Traci BlackmonAmericans today are deeply divided. Religion has played a crucial role in promoting conflict and polarization, yet religious communities are an essential part of bridging current social and political divides. This panel of religious leaders and experts explored ways that religious communities might become spaces that bridge divides, rather than make them deeper — bridge building that is located in a larger sense of civic engagement and community. The panel was inspired by a report published by the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship convened by the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, “Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century.”

This event titled “Congregations Building Bridges: Renewing Civic Engagement as Our Common Purpose” was moderated by Marie Griffith, John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities and director, Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, and sponsored by the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics; American Academy of Arts& Sciences; Union Theological Seminary.

Panelists included: