Press Release: Let Freedom Ring

The Religious Education Association’s Annual Meeting draws on local Atlanta leadership, many with national reputations in music and ministry, to explore interfaith and intercultural resources for religious education.

Dr. Yolanda Smith, Yale professor and conference chair, announced a rich schedule to the REA Board of Directors during their annual spring retreat. Dr. Smith noted the conference, titled Let Freedom Ring, will include such nationally known pastors as Reverend Dr. Dwight D. Andrews of the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Atlanta. Andrews serves both as senior minister but also Associate Professor of Music at Emory University. In addition, Dr. Andrews has taught at Rice and Harvard Universities. In 1996 Andrews was named the first Quincy Jones Visiting Professor of African American Music at Harvard. Dr. Smith announced additional presentations by Reverend Frank Brown, President of Concerned Black Clergy of Atlanta, and Dr. Anne Wimberly, Executive Director of Youth Hope-Builders Academy at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Smith anticipates other notable Atlanta ministers and dignitaries will provide presentations during the conference.

The conference, scheduled November 2-4, incorporates tours and meetings at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Sheraton Atlanta, and First Congregational Church. Conference participants will collaborate creatively around issues of justice and youth in congregational leadership, including presentations by the Fund for Theological Education’s Greenhouses of Hope initiative and creation of a Justice & Peace Story Quilt. Faith Ringgold, Distinguished Professor of Art at the University of California, San Diego, originated this genre of art. Ringgold initiated the 9-11 Peace Story Quilt project with the InterRelations Collaborative and Dr. Grace Yun of the University of Connecticut, Stamford.  The REA conference promises to live up to its theme, Let Freedom Ring! Religious Education at the Intersection of Social Justice, Liberation, and Civil/Human Rights. Smith and past president Mary Hess note the timeliness of the conference in light of the upcoming national election.

The Religious Education Association, an Association of Professors, Practitioners, and Researchers in Religious Education, gathers international educators and leaders from various faiths and cultures. Founded in 1903, the REA is the oldest professional society dedicated to research and professional development for educators and practitioners in the field of religious education. For additional information see the conference website

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