Scholar in Residence


Soulful Justice:

Racial Identity Development as Lovingkindness


A Transformative Community Weekend



Christena Cleveland, PhD


Author, Social Psychologist, Theologian

and Director of the

Center for Justice and Renewal


Friday August 16 7-9 pm

2647 Government St, BR, LA 70806 


Saturday August 17 10 am-5 pm

Location: BREC Milton J. Womack Park  

 6201 Florida Blvd, BR, LA 70806 


My passion is integration.

I integrate justice and reconciliation,

hope and lament,

social psychology and theology,

research and practice,

pro-blackness and pro-humanity,

truth and love,

and contemplation and action.


In pursuit of a new reality

in which all people have an empowered seat at the table,

and there is no longer us and them

– but simply us.

- Christena Cleveland


At the intersection of social justice and spirituality, we find wellsprings of hope and sustenance. Although facing inequity and injustice may take us to some dark places, Christena Cleveland will offer us a sense that we are holding hands with the Divine.


·  the trauma that affects all of us as a result of cultural and institutional racism

·  new understandings of the social realities that maintain injustice while also stimulating the soul’s enormous capacity to transform those realities 

·  a courageous practice of justice that is sustained by love and not fear.

As spiritual beings, we yearn to practice lovingkindness, but to practice authentically, we must understand the ways we have been shaped by our racially-stratified society. Integrating social science research and spirituality, Dr. Cleveland invites people of all races to assess our racial identity development and identify the pathways to greater connection to self and others. Awaken to a courageous practice of justice that is sustained by love and not fear, a oneness that affirms the particularity of individual experiences as well as the common humanity of us all.

Teachings from diverse spiritual traditions such as Mindfulness, Centering Practice, Native American prayer, Christianity, Buddhism and other spiritual paths will illuminate our journey. Together, we will face our truths with new awareness.


Facilitated by Christena Cleveland, Ph.D. Christena has held faculty positions at several institutions of higher education — most recently at Duke University’s Divinity School, where she led a research team investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress. She is the author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart.

Friday, there will be a significant introduction to race and society which will frame the conversations on Saturday. You are encouraged by our speaker to attend both the Friday night and Saturday sessions in order to get the most out of the seminar.


Friday Keynote and Saturday Workshop including Lunch:

Our Community Partners Generosity make this seminar available at no fee to create an inclusive forum for learning.



Your Optional Donation of $20 supports this program
and programs like this that further learning
in the area of race, healing, oneness and reconciliation.

This reduced fee is made possible thanks to our generous Community Partners:

Office of the Mayor, ReCAST Baton Rouge
Spirit & Justice
The Junior League of Baton Rouge
Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge

YWCA of Baton Rouge
The Red Shoes

Cordell and Ava Haymon Fund

Registration Required

Two videos to watch Dr. Christena Cleveland 

give voice to soulful justice.