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Black History Month 2020 Keynote

Feb 11


A February tradition at Seminary of the Southwest, this year’s Black History Month events focus on the theme “Tracing Our Roots.” You are invited to join us as we honor the legacy of African Americans in the U.S. and confront the future of race in the country and the church.




Tuesday, February 11

Black History Month Keynote

Speaker: The Rev. Cheryl Kirk-Duggan, PhD
Crump Visiting Professor and Black Religious Scholars Group Scholar-in-Residence
Seminary of the Southwest

7:00 p.m.  |  Knapp Auditorium

Reception to follow  |  Howell Dining Hall


The Rev. Cheryl A. Kirk-Duggan, Ph.D., Professor of Religion at Shaw University Divinity School [SUDS], Raleigh, NC, is an Ordained Elder in the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. Recipient of the SUDS Outstanding Achievement Award as International Recognized Womanist Scholar, 2016, and author of over twenty books and numerous articles, her most recent publication is Baptized Rage, Transformed Grief: I Got Through, So Can You (Wipf & Stock, 2017).  Known as professor, poet, preacher, priest, prayer partner, prophet, performer, and polyhistor, Kirk-Duggan is an avid athlete who completed her first full marathon (2010), and is a hot yoga teacher.

As an author, speaker and mentor, Cheryl specializes in helping individuals and families make peace with the spectrum of trauma and loss in their lives.   She has taken her own life experiences, plus various research and training experiences in areas of death, grief and loss, and transformed them into an inspiring set of workshops and coaching programs.

Honored and humbled to receive the prestigious Invitation by the Black Religious Scholars Group [BRSG]  in partnership with the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest, Austin, TX, to serve as the Crump Visiting Professor Fall 2019-Spring 2020, Kirk-Duggan looks forward to returning to Longhorn country where she received both of her Master’s Degrees (M.M.; M.Div.). Her three decades of experience in the academy and the church have yielded outstanding research, pedagogical and ministerial experience, and community service signaled by numerous honors and awards.

Kirk-Duggan’s commitment to Womanist thought which intentionally explores how systems oppress, via the categories of gender, class, race, sexual orientation, age, and ability, provides a theoretical and praxis base to support the concerns of the Seminary and the BRSG. The Seminary’s documentation shows a decline in student capacity to interact effectively in multicultural and racial/ethnic contexts outside their own, and seminary students of color do not feel included or welcomed on campus. The global climate of white supremacist patriarchal misogyny long present in the United States provides such an urgency, that the Presiding Prelate of the Episcopal Church, The Most Rev. Michael Curry (who she met, and has corresponded with), calls the Church to focus on evangelism and racial reconciliation. Trained in conflict resolution, with published research and teaching experience in social justice matters, Kirk-Duggan’s gifts and graces provide the skills and disposition to support students and faculty in heightening their capacities to engage racial awareness, inclusion, and reconciliation.

Both agencies believe that a Visiting Professor can assist them in addressing inclusion of race and multicultural issues in the curriculum, and can provide support for students of color. With experience in single gender education, interfaith graduate education with master’s and doctoral students, and at two Historic Black Colleges and Universities, her skill set more than prepares her to help the seminary help themselves create supportive environments and engage in challenging conversations around culture, faith, and diversity. Toward that end, the Visiting Professor’s responsibilities include teaching up to two (2) courses during each academic year, to guest lecture in various other courses, and to provide leadership for faculty and student conversations regarding race, diversity, and reconciliation. The visiting professor will have a faculty mentor as well as regular oversight and support from the Seminary’s Academic Dean.

The socio-cultural, geographic location of Austin, TX affords time with family and friends, and opportunities for research, relaxation, restoration, reflection, to include ventures in acrylic art, dancing, and music making.


This event is free and open to the public.