Charis and the Auburn Avenue Research Center welcome Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown in conversation with Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes for a discussion of What Makes You Come Alive: A Spiritual Walk with Howard Thurman. "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."--Howard Thurman. Decades after their deaths, sages like Howard Thurman offer spiritual kinship and guidance for our contemporary life. Thurman's spirituality enlivened an entire movement, and it can awaken us to intimacy with God and to authentic action today. This event is in partnership with Agnes Scott College.
This event takes place at the Auburn Avenue Research Library (101 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30303) and is free and open to the public. No ticket or reservation is required to attend. Books will be available for purchase from Charis Books and More. Masks are encouraged but not required. The event will be simulcast on the Auburn Ave Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/AuburnAvenueResearchLibrary/) for community members who do not wish to attend live.
Known as the godfather of the civil rights movement, Howard Thurman served as a spiritual adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders and activists in the 1960s. Thurman championed silence, contemplation, common unity, and nonviolence as powerful dimensions of social change. But Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown didn't learn about him during her years of spiritual-direction training. Only when a friend heard of her longing to encounter the work of Black contemplatives did she finally learn about Thurman, his mystical spirituality, and his liberating ethic.
In What Makes You Come Alive, Brown beckons readers into their own apprenticeship with Thurman. Brown walks with us through Thurman's inimitable life and commitments as he summons us into centering down, encountering the natural world, paying attention to sacred synchronicity, unleashing inner authority, and recognizing the genius of the religion of Jesus. We learn from Thurman's resilience in the psychologically terrorizing climate of the Jim Crow South, his encounters with Quakers and with Mahatma Gandhi, and his sense of being guided by the Spirit. Each chapter illuminates an aspect of Thurman's work and includes reflection questions and spiritual practices.
Lerita Coleman Brown, PhD, Professor Emerita of Psychology, Agnes Scott College, is a spiritual director/companion, writer, retreat leader, and speaker. She earned her BA from UC Santa Cruz and PhD from Harvard University. Lerita completed the Spiritual Guidance Program at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation and promotes contemplative spirituality, the living wisdom of Howard Thurman, and uncovering the peace and joy in one’s heart on her website, leritacolemanbrown.com and other social media platforms. She appears in the documentaries, Back Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story, and The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song. Her book, When the Heart Speaks, Listen—Discovering Inner Wisdom was published in 2019. Her newest book, What Makes You Come Alive: A Spiritual Walk with Howard Thurman will be released in February. Lerita is a most grateful heart (28 years) and kidney (17 years) transplant recipient and survivor of several other medical ordeals.
Dr. Chanequa Walker-Barnes is a clinical psychologist, public theologian, and ecumenical minister whose work focuses upon healing the legacies of racial and gender oppression. A professor of practical theology and pastoral care at Columbia Theological Seminary, Dr. Chanequa is the author of I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation, Too Heavy a Yoke: Black Women and the Burden of Strength, as well as nearly two dozen journal articles and book chapters in theology and psychology.
""Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.""--Howard Thurman
When Lerita Coleman, a 41-year-old single, African-American psychology professor, learns she has only 18 months to live without a heart transplant, anxiety overwhelmed her. The daunting challenge of medical procedures, medications and the unknowns of losing an organ that symbolized her core being haunted her.
Black women are strong. At least that's what everyone says and how they are constantly depicted. But what, exactly, does this strength entail? And what price do Black women pay for it? In this book, the author, a psychologist and pastoral theologian, examines the burdensome yoke that the ideology of the Strong Black Woman places upon African American women.