Civil Rights at a Crossroads

Igniting activism for racial and economic justice

In the face of deep conflict and polarization, as basic freedoms and rights are under attack, no one can stand on the sidelines anymore. Our country and our civil rights are at a crossroads, much as they were during the lifetime of our founder, Sargent Shriver.

Join the Shriver Center on Poverty Law and the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute for our new event series, Civil Rights at a Crossroads: Igniting Activism for Racial and Economic Justice, starting in 2023. We’ll explore the parallels between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the fight for racial justice today.

Leading with Our Values, Learning from the Past

February 15, 2023 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm CT

Laws and policies that create and perpetuate poverty and racial injustice are written into the fabric of our nation. Many of these laws and policies are grounded in community-held values and beliefs, including religious beliefs. The first event in our series will focus on the role of faith-based institutions in spurring activism for racial and economic justice.

How can faith-based leadership be a galvanizing force for social change in a diverse society? Join us on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at 11 am – 12 pm CT, for a conversation with faith leaders and activists about the connection between spiritual values and civic life.



Dr. Rami Nashashibi

Dr. Rami Nashashibi is a MacArthur Fellow, a Doctor of Sociology from the University of Chicago, and the founder and Executive Director of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN). As a community leader building bridges across racial, religious, and socioeconomic divides to confront the challenges of poverty and disinvestment in urban communities, Nashashibi has successfully unified a diverse set of constituencies around a shared focus of social justice.

Dr. Jamie Price

As founding executive director of the Sargent Shriver Peace Institute, Jamie Price worked to train and educate aspiring public servants to think, engage, and strategize using Sargent Shriver’s example. Price’s recent book, Spiritualizing Politics without Politicizing Religion: The Example of Sargent Shriver, highlights the spiritual component of Sargent Shriver’s efforts to improve institutional structures and solve social problems.

Rabbi Toba Spitzer

Rabbi Toba Spitzer has served Congregation Dorshei Tzedek in Newton, Massachusetts, since she was ordained in 1997 at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. She served as the President of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association from 2007–09, becoming the first LGBTQ+ person to head a national rabbinic organization. She also served as President of the Massachusetts Board of Rabbis from 2017–19. Rabbi Spitzer has been involved for many years in American Jewish efforts to help foster a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as work in the U.S. for economic and social justice. She has served on the board of T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights and was a founding member of the Advisory Board of J Street. Her acclaimed book God Is Here: Reimagining the Divine, was published by St Martin’s Press in March 2022.

Audra Wilson

Audra Wilson is the President & CEO of the Shriver Center. Wilson has been a champion for racial and economic justice for more than 20 years as a public interest lawyer and teacher, policy shaper, community mobilizer, and experienced executive manager. Wilson began her career as a Welfare Advocacy Staff Attorney at the Shriver Center, and has worked with then-state-Senator Barack Obama, at Northwestern University School of Law, as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Robin Kelly, and as Executive Director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois. Throughout her career, Wilson has focused on the voices and experiences of communities of color and communities most impacted by injustice.

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