Pride in the Pews: In Conversation with Don Abram on Mar. 6

Don Abram (Pride in the Pews)

Don Abram, the visionary founder of Pride in the Pews, will be the next speaker in the Dialogue Vanderbilt faith leader series. His conversation with Vanderbilt Divinity School Dean Yolanda Pierce is scheduled for 5 p.m. March 6 at the John Seigenthaler Center 

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Pride in the Pews is an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ people in religious communities. Abram, who has a master of divinity from Harvard, founded it in 2021 with a $40,000 grant with the mission of bridging the gap between the Black Church and the LGBTQ+ community through storytelling, political education and civic engagement. 

The event is hosted by the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, which focuses, among its seven thematic pillars, on the role of religion in a divided time as part of its efforts to reframe conversation around controversial topics using research and evidence-based reasoning. Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff can register to attend the event in person. Alumni, Nashville community members and anyone interested in watching the conversation can register for the livestream. Registration is required for in-person attendance.

TheDialogue Vanderbiltinitiative offers programs for students, faculty and the public that promote civil discourse and better understanding in today’s politically polarized society. The conversation with Abram will be a deep dive into the intersections of faith, identity and advocacy, spotlighting his pioneering work with Pride in the Pews. 

This event was made possible by a generous donation from Jennifer and Abe Friedman in the new series the Vanderbilt Forum on Unity & Democracy. Previously in the series, Rabbi David Wolpe visited Vanderbilt on Jan. 18 to discuss his life’s work in faith and community building. On Feb. 19, Maha Elgenaidi, founder and executive director of Islamic Networks Group, joined Pierce to discuss the complex history of the conflict in the Middle East and her work combating Islamophobia. 

About Dean Yolanda Pierce 

Dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School and Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair, Pierce was appointed the founding director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Pierce is the creator and curator of Touching the Sacred, an exhibit on material religion and the Black church. Pierce’s newest book is In My Grandmother’s House: Black Women, Faith and the Stories We Inherit. Her most recent essays are in The Christian Century, where she is a contributing columnist.