Advisory council

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder
Senior Pastor, City of Refuge United Church of Christ
Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rev. Dr. Yvette A. Flunder is an unapologetic disciple and proponent of the radically inclusive love of Jesus Christ. A third-generation preacher with roots in the Church of God in Christ, Bishop Flunder, Senior Pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ and ordained in both the United Church in Christ and the Metropolitan Community Churches, has successfully united the message of the gospel with social justice ministry and action for over 30 years.

Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey
Boston University School of Theology
Associate Dean for Community Life & Lifelong Learning

Rev. Dr. Lightsey is a scholar, social justice activist, author, and military veteran whose academic and research interests include classical and contemporary just war theory, Womanist theology, Queer theory and theology, and African American religious history and theologies. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Pamela has been a member of the Pan Methodist Commission for the last two quadrennials and currently co-chairs the American Academy of Religion’s Womanist Approaches to Religion and Society Group.

Dr. Josef Sorett
Columbia University Department of Religion
Founding Director, Center on African American Religion, Sexual Politics & Social Justice

As an interdisciplinary scholar of religion and race in the Americas, Josef employs primarily historical and literary approaches to the study of religion in black communities and cultures in the United States. He has a special interest in how ideas about religion inform broader conversations about culture and society, and how such ideas emerge and take shape in (discursive and physical) spaces typically assumed to be outside the provenance of “religion.”

Rev. Candy Holmes
Program Officer for People of African Descent (PAD)
Metropolitan Community Churches

Rev. Candy Holmes lifts up a liberation theology that unites her Baptist, Pentecostal, and Interfaith roots. Rev. Holmes’ ecumenical vision and social justice-seeking ministry boldly proclaims “God’s love includes everyone.” Though part of Rev. Holmes’ ministry includes being a social justice leader in such areas as marriage equality and fairness in the workplace, her truest passion involves creating empowering and healing programming around interweaving our spirituality and sexuality. A sought-after speaker and thought leader, she serves on various councils and think tanks.

 Rev. Dr. Derrick W. McQueen

Associate Director of Community Partnerships, Center for African American Religion Sexual Politics and Social Justice

A sought-after preacher, community activist, social worker, and actor/singer, Derrick McQueen’s interests include practical theology; integrating current academic theologies and Empire critical biblical studies into congregational and community life; classical dramatic structures and their influence on Christianity; early Christian community models of social justice and their modern applications on issues such as poverty, sexuality, race and gender.

Darnell Moore

A nationally-recognized speaker and diversity consultant/trainer who has lectured and advocated broadly on LGBTQ concerns; race, gender, and sexuality; gender equity; Black masculinities; positive youth development; and other social justice issues, Darnell L. Moore has worked in the fields of education and youth development for more than a decade. He co-founded the Queer Newark Oral History Initiative and YOU Belong, a social good company that launched the first ever LGBTQ youth summer camp in the U.S. pairing professional athletes (i.e. NFL and NBA) with LGBTQ youth.  Photo credit: Erik Carter


Naomi Washington Leapheart copyNaomi Washington Leapheart

A daughter of Detroit a minister, educator, organizer, and organizational consultant. Naomi is the Faith Work Director for the National LGBTQ Task Force, the country’s oldest national LGBTQ justice and equality group. She also is a member of the adjunct faculty of the Theology and Religious Studies department at Villanova University. She earned her Master of Divinity degree from Lancaster Theological Seminary.

Naomi’s work and scholarship has received great recognition within the community, her United Church of Christ denomination and also inclusion in the volume, “From Generation to Generation: A Commemorative Collection of African American Millennial Sermons from the Festival of Preachers 2010-2015,” a rare and unique compilation of what the nation’s most promising young African-American ministers are thinking and proclaiming about the Christian faith (Chalice Press, 2015).

Naomi shares her life with her partner in love and ministry, Kentina, a chaplain and religious educator. Together, they are raising a curious, energetic, future Oscar-winning tween, Sophia.