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 2 hours ago
What do you see when you look at this picture?In essence, that is the question St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch asked the grand jury to determine in his case against Officer Darren...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 3 weeks 5 days ago
One of the greatest sermons I ever heard on the subject of communion was offered by the head pastor of a Christian Missionary Alliance church in Princeton, N.J., back in the late 1980s. This pastor...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 3 weeks 6 days ago
Black-ish, the new ABC sitcom created by Kenya Barris, really is one of the funniest shows on TV this season. I laughed my head off watching a marathon run of the first four episodes On Demand. Now...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 5 weeks 4 hours ago
I attended Catholic school for one year as a child. My second-grade year in Philadelphia’s St. Athanasius left me with a strong sense of the mystery of the church. The most mysterious space there was...
Posted by Lisa Sharon Harper 10 weeks 3 days ago
I walked across the school yard and through the ominous painted doors of St. Athanasius Elementary School for the first time. My mother and I had walked hand in hand the long city block from home to...

Articles by Lisa Sharon Harper

Many of us are more comfortable on the plateau of rage or the plain of apathy. 

Do you have faith the size of a mustard seed? That's all we need.

Can a vote outlaw equal protection under the law? The Court seems to think so.

The civil right of equal opportunity never ensured the human right of equal access.

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