Celebrating Our Wisdom Keeper Honorees

Faith Matters Network is excited to be honoring some incredible women leaders and trailblazers at our weekend event Transforming Faith: Celebrating the Power of Rooted Wisdom on August 16th & 17th in Nashville, TN. At our Gala & Wisdom Keepers Awards Ceremony on Saturday evening, we will be honoring four Wisdom Keeper Awardees and extraordinary individuals who are more than just accomplished leaders. They are true Wisdom Keepers— embodying the spirit of interfaith understanding and community empowerment that drives our mission. Read their full bios below and get your tickets in advance for our upcoming anniversary celebration!

Valarie Kaur

Founder, Revolutionary Love Project

Valarie Kaur is a civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, and founder of the Revolutionary Love Project. Valarie became an activist when a Sikh father and family friend was the first person murdered in hate violence in the aftermath of 9/11. Since then, Valarie has led visionary campaigns to tell untold stories and change policy on issues ranging from hate crimes to digital freedom. Her work ignited a national movement to reclaim love as a force for justice. Today, the Revolutionary Love Project is seeding networked communities of practice across the country to build the beloved community. A daughter of Punjabi Sikh farmers in California, Valarie lifts up her vision for America in her acclaimed TED Talk and #1 LA Times Bestseller See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love. In Fall 2022, Valarie was honored at the White House in the first-ever Uniters Ceremony, recognizing her as a prophetic leader whose work is healing America.

Valarie’s new book Sage Warrior will be released this September and is now available for pre-order at sagewarrior.us

Emilie Townes

Dean Emerita at Vanderbilt University Divinity School

Dr. Emilie M. Townes, an American Baptist clergywoman, is a native of Durham, North Carolina. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School and a Ph.D. in Religion in Society and Personality from Northwestern University. Dr. Townes is the Dean and University Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society (Divinity) and University Distinguished Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies (College of Arts and Science) at Vanderbilt University, becoming the first African American to serve as Dean of the Divinity School in 2013. She is the former Andrew W. Mellon Professor of African American Religion and Theology at Yale University Divinity School and in the fall of 2005, she was the first African American woman elected to the presidential line of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and served as president in 2008. She was the first African American and first woman to serve as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Yale Divinity School. She is the former Carolyn Williams Beaird Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Social Ethics at Saint Paul School of Theology. Editor of two collection of essays, A Troubling in My Soul: Womanist Perspectives on Evil and Suffering and Embracing the Spirit: Womanist Perspectives on Hope, Salvation, and Transformation; she has also authored Womanist Ethics, Womanist Hope, In a Blaze of Glory: Womanist Spirituality as Social Witness, Breaking the Fine Rain of Death: African American Health Issues and a Womanist Ethic of Care, and her groundbreaking book, Womanist Ethics and the Cultural Production of Evil. She is co-editor with Stephanie Y. Mitchem of the Faith, Health, and Healing in African American Life and co-editor with the late Katie Geneva Cannon and Angela Sims for the Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader done with was published in November 2011. Her most recent co-editorship is with Stacey Floyd-Thomas, Alison Gise Johnson, and Angela Sims for Walking Through the Valley: Essays: Womanist Explorations in the Spirit of Katie Geneva Cannon (2022). Townes was elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. She was the first Black woman to serve as president of the American Academy of Religion in 2008 and served a four-year term as president of the Society for the Study of Black Religion from 2012 to 2016. In 2022, Townes was elected to the presidential line of the Society of Christian Ethics. Her presidential year will be 2024-2025. At that time, she will be the first Black woman to hold this office.

Krista Tippett

Founder & President, On Being

Krista Tippett is a Peabody-award winning broadcaster, National Humanities Medalist, and New York Times bestselling author. She created and hosts On Being, which has won the highest honors in broadcast, Internet and podcasting. She leads The On Being Project, which produces a second successful podcast, Poetry Unbound, and is evolving to meet the callings of the post-2020 world. Emergent in 2024 is the Lab for the Art of Living, alongside gatherings and “quiet conversations” to accompany the generative people and possibilities within this tender, tumultuous time to be alive. Krista grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, attended Brown University, worked as a young journalist and diplomat in Cold War Berlin, and later received a Master of Divinity from Yale. Her books are Speaking of Faith, Einstein’s God and, most recently, Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.

Cara Page

Founder of Changing Frequencies

Cara Page is a Black Queer Feminist cultural/memory worker, curator & producer. For the past 30+ years, she has organized with Black, Indigenous and People of Color, Queer/Trans/Lesbian/Gay/Bi/Intersex/Gender Non-Conforming liberation movements in the US & Global South at the intersections of racial, gender & economic justice, reproductive justice, healing justice and transformative justice. She is founder of Changing Frequencies; an abolitionist organizing project that designs cultural memory work to amplify and honor communal stories towards healing and transformative futures. She is also co-founder of the Healing Histories Project and co-founder of the Kindred Southern Healing Justice Collective. Cara is co-editor alongside Erica Woodland of, “Healing Justice Lineages: Dreaming at the Crossroads of Liberation, Collective Care & Safety” (Available now at North Atlantic Books). To learn more about the book and tour go to healingjusticelineages.com— or follow Cara on Instagram @changingfrequencies.