The Common Good

Lisa Sharon Harper

Senior Director of Mobilizing

Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners’ senior director of mobilizing, was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice—an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. In that capacity, she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, a citywide collaborative effort of faith leaders committed to leveraging the power of their constituencies and their moral authority in partnership with communities bearing the weight of environmental injustice. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South Bronx Conversations for Change, a dialogue-to-change project between police and the community.

She has written extensively on tax reform, comprehensive immigration reform, health-care reform, poverty, racial justice, and transformational civic engagement for publications and blogs including The National Civic Review, God’s Politics blog, The Huffington Post, Urban Faith, Prism, and Slant33.

Harper’s faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people across the U.S. and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith.

Her first book, Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat, offers a power-packed look at the roots of evangelical faith, how evangelicals strayed so far from those roots, and what is bringing them back.

Her second book, Left, Right & Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics, was co-written with D.C. Innes (an evangelical Republican who is also a Tea-Partier). Harper and Innes explore their philosophies of government and business, as well as six major issues that the next generation of evangelicals must wrestle with to be faithful witnesses in the public square.

Harper co-founded and co-directed the Envision 2008: The Gospel, Politics, and the Future conference on the campus of Princeton University (June 2008) and co-chaired the Envision 2011: Caring for the Community of Creation: Environmental Justice, Climate Change, and Prophetic Witness symposium in New York City (June 2011). She was the recipient of Sojourners’ inaugural Organizers Award and the Harlem “Sisters of Wisdom” Award. She was celebrated on Rick Warren’s website purposedriven.com as one of the inaugural “Take Action Heroes,” and was recently named fifth among the “13 Religious Women to Watch in 2012” by the Center for American Progress.

She earned her master’s in human rights from Columbia University in New York City. Harper serves on the board of directors of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good and is a member of Metro Hope Church in New York City, an Evangelical Covenant Church.

Blog Posts by Lisa Sharon Harper

Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 1 week 3 days ago
I was traveling to Culpeper, Va., on the #Fast4Families bus tour to speak to a group of workers assembled at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. As we looked out the window we were struck that every 50 feet...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 3 weeks 5 days ago
There is a moment in John Steinbeck’s classic, East of Eden, when readers witness the transformation of a stereotype into a human being.Set in Salinas Valley, Calif., around the turn of the 20th...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 5 weeks 1 day ago
And as I worshiped I realized creation wasn’t singing with me. I had entered into creation’s ongoing worship of God!But Scripture speaks of another utterance of nature — a groaning. (Romans 8:19-22)...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 9 weeks 1 day ago
With the exception of “WWJD” bracelets, there are few times when outward physical appearance reveals Jesus followers in the public square. Other religions often require their faithful to move through...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 13 weeks 1 day ago
SNAP began in 1964 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Food Stamp Act as part of his unconditional “War on Poverty.” In his remarks upon signing, Johnson said: “I believe the Food Stamp Act...

Articles by Lisa Sharon Harper

Counter to the stereotypes, a new study shows that African-American men are exceptional fathers.

We didn't eat for 22 days, but we did feast.

The people of a land are given spiritual authority and responsibility to steward the land.

Reflections on stopping gun violence, a year after the massacre in Newtown.

More than 80 bills to restrict voter access were introduced in 2013.