Amazing Grace: Searching, Researching, and Singing for Justice

June 2024

9:00 a.m. | Assembly Room, with coffee and breakfast snacks

In this five-week series through June, we will learn from activists and historians as they seek justice and point the way toward a better future for us all. We will listen and learn with advocates for a humane criminal justice system and an expert on Princeton’s fraught history with race. A scholar on church hymn composition will close the series with song and the history of Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Thank you to the Mass Incarceration Task Force for organizing this month’s leadership.

Download Flyer (pdf)

Audio recordings will be posted below each class description.

June 2 | Sean Washington

Wrongful Conviction to Exoneration: My Journey for Justice

Wrongfully convicted of multiple homicides, Sean Washington served twenty-five years before his eventual release. Come hear about his experiences in prison and the work Sean has done and continues to do since his release to help incarcerated people and their families.

Unfortunately the audio for this class was not captured.

Sean Washington, born and raised in Camden, NJ, dropped out of school to work and help support his family. Earning his GED while in prison and studying to be a paralegal helped develop the skills to prove his innocence. He was also a tutor helping other prisoners complete their high school educations. Since his release in 2020, he has worked as a paralegal, served as a youth mentor, spoken at legislative hearings, and advocates for prison reform. His mission is “to make a difference in this world and leave it in a better place.”

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June 9 | Charlene D. Walker

Fiercely Advocating for Social Justice

Advocating and mobilizing in New Jersey isn’t enough to truly transform the harmful conditions too many families face. Come learn how relational faith based powerbuilding is the key to building beloved community and living into who we are as people of faith. We’ll take the first steps toward our own internal revolution and begin answering the question of who we need to become.

Charlene D. Walker, Executive Director of Faith in New Jersey, is a New Jersey native and a powerful woman of faith with a consistent record of fiercely advocating for racial, immigrant, economic, and social justice. She challenges leaders and institutions to better unite our social movements and to work towards dismantling systems of hate and oppression.

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June 16 | Donte Hatcher, Sr.

Rising from the Ashes: A Journey of Redemption, Advocacy, and Education

Come hear the life story of Donte Hatcher, Sr., founder of Knowledge is the New Currency, a non-profit that assists at-risk youth. Learn about his deeply personal journey through incarceration and his transformation through education and his research to reform the system that once held him captive.

Donte Hatcher, Sr. holds a degree in psychology and advocates for mental health awareness. He founded a non-profit organization called Knowledge Is the New Currency which empowers justice-impacted individuals and at-risk youth through education, mentorship, and community support. He is currently researching ways to reform the mass incarceration system.

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June 23 | Shirley Ann Satterfield

The Other Side of King’s Highway

Hear from lifelong Princeton resident, teacher, historical guide and advocate, Shirley Satterfield as she discusses our town’s segregated history through the lens of her life, her ancestors and descendants, including justice denied and achieved throughout her career.

Shirley Ann Satterfield, the fourth of six generations of the VanZandt Moore May family in Princeton, was educated in the Princeton Schools during the segregated years and graduated from Princeton High School. While a student at Bennett College for Women (Greensboro, NC), Shirley participated in the 1960 sit-ins with the Greensboro Four, students from A&T University. She earned her Master’s Degree in Guidance/Personnel Services from Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). She taught English and history for many years and was a guidance counselor in Hightstown and Princeton High Schools.

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June 30 | Paul Rorem

Lift Every Voice and Sing

James Weldon Johnson and his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, wrote this anthem in 1900 and also devoted their talents to preserving the tradition of the “spirituals.” Now known as the “Black National Anthem,” join us to learn about its place in the history of the Black Church and its impact on the global church’s quest for social justice.

Paul E. Rorem, Princeton Theological Seminary’s Benjamin B. Warfield Professor of Medieval Church History Emeritus, earned an MDiv from Luther Theological Seminary, an STM from The Lutheran Theological Seminary, and a PhD from Princeton Seminary. An ordained Lutheran minister, he is interested in medieval church history and Pseudo-Dionysius. His courses covered the confessions and influence of St. Augustine, the Christian mystical tradition, medieval Christianity, and the spiritual and theological legacy of the Pseudo-Dionysian writings. He is editor of Lutheran Quarterly and Lutheran Quarterly Books.

His new book, Singing Church History: Introducing the Christian Story through Hymn Texts, published in May 2024, is available for purchase in the church office through June for the discounted “author event” price of $18 (retail $34). Contact Lauren Yeh (email) in the church office.

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