Named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in multi-faith movement for justice. She is the Founder and Executive Director of the Faith Matters Network, a Womanist-led organization equipping community organizers, faith leaders, and activists with resources for connection, spiritual sustainability, and accompaniment. Reverend Bailey comes to this work with nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combating intergenerational poverty.
Reverend Bailey is Co-Founder of The People’s Supper. Since January 2017, The People’s Supper has hosted over 1,400 suppers in 121 communities nationwide focusing on bringing people together to engage constructively on issues affecting their communities. Along the way, the project has teamed up with ordinary citizens, schools, workplaces, faith communities, and neighborhood organizations to create space of collective healing over nourishing meals and conversation.
An Ashoka Fellow, Aspen Ideas Scholar, On Being Fellow, and Truman Scholar, Reverend Bailey earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was awarded the Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of theology. A sought after commentator and public speaker on the intersection of religion and public life, Rev. Bailey has spoken on the national and international stage at the inaugural Obama Foundation Summit, Makers, TEDxSkoll, and the White House. Her writing has appeared in Salon, the Huffington Post, Sojourners, On Being, and the Washington Post’s Lily Blog among others.
Reverend Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church—the first historically black Protestant denomination in the world. She enjoys good food, dancing like nobody is watching, and road trip adventures with her husband, psychotherapist and religious studies scholar Ira Helderman. You can keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter at @revjenbailey.