New Rochelle, NY (April 23, 2012) Rev. Dr. Derrick Harkins, National Director of Faith Outreach, Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Senior Pastor, The Nineteenth Street Baptist Church will be the keynote speaker at the Jack Rudin and John G. Driscoll Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Iona College on Monday, April 23. Dr. Harkins will speak on “Faith, Values and the Public Square.” The lecture will take place at Iona College’s Christopher J. Murphy Auditorium in Murphy Center at 3:30 pm. This event is free and open to the community.
Dr. Harkins has most recently spoken out regarding the Trayvon Martin case. Saying last month: “I have never felt as sad and angry as I have been over these last few days…This is an assault on one of our most precious jewels and I said during the service that in America no one should be able to indict, prosecute and execute someone for the crime of being a young black man.”
The program is hosted by Iona’s School of Arts and Science and serves as one of the annual highlights for a community of scholar-teachers devoted to academic excellence for its students. The School of Arts and Science seeks, through the academic departments that comprise it, to provide all students with an educational foundation that is both traditional and contemporary. It also offers courses of study that provide academic challenge, intellectual depth, and appropriate pre-professional or career training.
About Dr. Harkins:
Prior to joining Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in 1997, Dr. Harkins was the Senior Minster of the New Hope Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. He served as President of the Greater Dallas Community of Churches and was a founding board member of both The Dallas Leadership Foundation and the Morals and Values Project. He continues to be active in various religious and civic organizations, and has been a consistent advocate for greater awareness in the local and global battle against HIV/AIDS.
Dr. Harkins’ ministerial career began at the Historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York where he was the Assistant Minister. He frequently represented the church to local and national media on issues ranging from racially motivated violence to unfair billboard advertising. He served as a consultant for the 1989 Academy Award nominated documentary on the life of Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Pastor Harkins has been privileged to preach in pulpits across the globe, ranging from the Park Street Church in Boston to a Pentecostal congregation in Rwanda.
Under Dr. Harkins’ leadership the ministries of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, DC have expanded to include the homeless of Washington as well as the poorest of Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Formerly a Vice President with the North American Baptist Fellowship of the Baptist World Alliance, Dr. Harkins is the recipient of a number of honors and commendations and continues to be engaged in various religious and civic organizations. An active voice in the debate for comprehensive immigration reform, as well as healthcare reform, he has appeared regularly in a number of media outlets, including CNN, MSNBB, and NPR. Along with writing for the Sojourner’s blog “God’s Politics,” he serves as member of the Board of Directors for World Relief, Faith in Public Life, and Sojourners. Dr. Harkins is also a member of Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and was a contributing author for The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama (Judson Press).