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Faith and the Death Penalty
October 10, 2021 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join the North Carolina Coalition for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NCCADP) for an online conversation about faith with those most impacted by our capital punishment system. Panelists include George Wilkerson, who is living on North Carolina’s death row; Andre Smith, who teaches Buddhism to men in prison and lost his son to homicide; and Rev. Sharon Risher, who lost her mother and two cousins in the shooting at Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove, noted writer and leader in the Red Letter Christian movement and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will moderate the panel.
The North Carolina Council of Churches is a sponsor of this event.
Jonathan Wilson Hartgrove is an author and Associate Minister at the historically black St. Johns Missionary Baptist Church. He is an evangelical Christian who believes that Jesus calls us to be merciful, build the beloved community, and meet the needs of the poor. Jonathan is a leader in the Red Letter Christian movement and the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. He speaks often about Christianity and faith in public life to churches and conferences across the denominational spectrum and has given lectures at dozens of universities and seminaries. Jonathan and his wife Leah founded the Rutba House, a Christian hospitality house in Durham, and Jonathan directs the School for Conversion, which works to break down social divisions. For more information about Jonathan and his work, visit https://jonathanwilsonhartgrove.com/
Andre Smith is an activist and a teacher of meditation and anger management. Through the Kadampa Center in Raleigh, NC, he has worked with incarcerated people for more than a decade, and through Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, he advocated for enactment of the NC Racial Justice Act. In 2007, he lost his son, Daniel, to murder.
George Wilkerson is an award-winning writer, artist and poet currently incarcerated on North Carolina’s Death Row. In addition to being editor for Compassion, a newsletter for people on Death Row, his work has appeared in multiple philanthropic platforms and exhibitions, including Hidden Voices, The Upper Room, The Marshall Project, Windows on Death Row, the Corrections Accountability Project, and LifeLines Collective. His forthcoming poetry collection, INTERFACE, is coming out through BleakHouse Publishing in spring 2022.
Reverend Sharon Risher is an ordained Minister, Author, Advocate. She serves on the Board for Death Penalty Action, Interfaith Leader for Everytown, Member of Red-letter Christians. Rev. Risher is the author of “For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness after the Charleston Massacre”, in which she writes about her experience following the murders of her mother and two cousins. To learn more about Rev. Risher, visit https://www.