2013 OUTSpoken Series features the Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder
Nationally known faith leader and social activist Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder will explore race, sexuality, religion and politics in her lecture, “Re-colonizing: Using the Fight for Gay Rights to Divide the Black Community,” on Tuesday, October 22, at 7 p.m. in Cone University Center, McKnight Hall, on UNC Charlotte’s main campus.
Best known as the founder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ, a thriving inner-city congregation in San Francisco, Bishop Flunder is the featured speaker for the 2013 OUTSpoken Speaker Series at UNC Charlotte. This annual event was created to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues, and it aims to positively influence the campus climate to make it a more accepting and affirming place for LGBTQ students, faculty, staff and community.
“Given Bishop Flunder’s strong ties to Charlotte and her national – even international – reputation as an engaging speaker and tireless advocate for the most vulnerable members of our society, she was a natural choice when we were looking for an OUTSpoken speaker who could help the community think about religion and sexuality in new ways,” said Kent Brintnall, associate professor of religious studies and UNC Charlotte faculty representative for OUTSpoken.
Sharing a message of social engagement and action, Flunder established the Ark of Refuge, a non-profit which provides housing, direct services, education and training for those affected by HIV/AIDS in the Bay Area, throughout the United States, and in three countries in Africa. The Ark operates several residential and direct-care facilities for people with HIV/AIDS. It also provides substance abuse intervention programs, transitional housing for homeless youth, mentorship programs and a computer lab for community youth.
A native San Franciscan, Flunder began her career as a pastor for Oakland-based Love Center and a singer with Walter Hawkins and the Family. In more recent years, she has authored Where the Edge Gather: A Theology and Homiletic of Radical Inclusion, and been consecrated presiding bishop of The Fellowship, a multi-denominational fellowship of 110 primarily African-American Christian leaders and laity around the world.
She is a trustee and adjunct professor at Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA, serves as a board member of the National Sexuality Resource Center, and works with the Religion Council of the Human Rights Campaign. She has recorded several gospel albums, including There’s Power, We Won’t Be Silent Anymore, and How Sweet the Sound, the last with the Grammy-award winning ensemble Chanticleer. City of Refuge’s Transcendence Gospel Choir, composed solely of transgender members, was the subject of the 2006 documentary, The Believers.
Flunder’s lecture is free and open to the public. It will be followed by a reception and book signing. Audience members will need to pay for parking. Information on parking is available at pats.uncc.edu.
The Chancellor’s Diversity Challenge Fund, the Alliance for Full Acceptance, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the Women’s & Gender Studies Program, the Multicultural Resource Center, the Counseling Center, the Department of Religious Studies, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, and the TownePlace Suites Marriott are cosponsoring this seventh annual OUTSpoken speaker series. For more information, contact Kelly Finley, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Kent Brintnall, email@example.com.
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