Washington, D.C. – The Sojourners Board of Directors has appointed Rev. Adam Russell Taylor as the new president of Sojourners. This transition is the culmination of a multiyear succession planning process spearheaded by the Board and the organization’s founder, Jim Wallis, and timed to coincide with Sojourners entering its 50th year.
“After one of the most important elections of our time, I am humbled and honored to lead Sojourners at a time when the voice of faith and justice is needed more than ever in our nation’s capital and in our communities,” said Taylor. “I’m excited to build on Jim’s and the organization’s nearly 50 years of inspiring, equipping, and mobilizing Christians to put their faith into action for racial, social, and economic justice and peace.”
Sojourners is on a sustainable path for the future with the clarity of its message, its gifted staff, and strong financial positioning. “We are grateful to five decades of Jim Wallis’ leadership, developing Sojourners into one of the most remarkable vehicles in modern religious journalism, building a powerful, widely influential voice in public life, and connecting faith to justice around the most critical issues of our times,” said Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michelson, chair of the Sojourners Board. “Sojourners will continue to inspire hope and strengthen a faith-based movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world. I have full confidence that Sojourners will thrive under the promising leadership of Rev. Taylor.”
As president, Taylor will build on the legacy of founder Jim Wallis, who has been a major force in the social justice landscape – from Vietnam to the nuclear arms race, from wars in Central America to the Iraq War, from fighting to upend apartheid in South Africa to putting poverty on the national agenda and protecting the poor by making clear that “budgets are moral documents,” and from making immigration rights a matter of faith to naming and consistently opposing systemic racism and to challenging white supremacy in politics and the church as a test of faith, as well as mentoring faith leaders across the globe.
“We created Sojourners, first as a community and then as an organization, to be a movement home where people of faith could learn to put their faith into action for social justice. I am appreciative of all the people who have joined this journey, and I am proud of the strong foundation we have built at Sojourners for the next generation of Christian voices. For 20 of our 50 years, Adam Taylor has been involved with and connected to Sojourners—and I am so glad he is coming home,” said Wallis. Wallis is a New York Times bestselling author, widely recognized public theologian, renowned speaker, professor, and regular national and international commentator on ethics and public life.
The board also appointed Wallis Founder and Ambassador. Wallis will continue working with Sojourners through the end June 2021 – balancing a mix of writing, convening, and fundraising. In addition to his continuing work with Sojourners, at the invitation of Georgetown University President John DeGioia, Wallis will join Georgetown in July 2021. Wallis will serve as a full-time faculty member and will found a new center focused on the intersection of faith, public life, and the common good. “I’m excited to continue my vocation in a new way through this incredible opportunity at Georgetown,” said Wallis.
Taylor first joined Sojourners in 2001 as a Board member, and he became senior political director in 2004. He served as Board chair for four years prior to returning to the staff in 2018 as the executive director. During his tenure as Sojourners’ executive director, Taylor oversaw the launch of SojoAction, a mobilizing platform dedicated to equipping and mobilizing faith leaders, activists, and their communities with the organizing and spiritual resources to engage in sustainable justice movements. He recently co-led the Lawyers and Collars/Turnout Sunday program, which in partnership with Skinner Leadership Institute mobilized more than 1,000 clergy and faith leaders to serve as voter-protection poll chaplains in nine states. Taylor has also worked to strengthen Sojourners’ international engagement and partnership-building efforts.
“Rev. Adam Taylor brings a depth of commitment from the roots of his Christian faith and a breadth of national and international experience to this role that is truly unique,” said Rev. Dr. Alexia Salvatierra, vice-chair of the Sojourners Board. “We are so grateful that he has agreed to serve at this time of critical transition in Sojourners and in the world.”
Taylor previously led the Faith Initiative at the World Bank Group and served as the Vice President in charge of Advocacy at World Vision U.S. He has also served as executive director of Global Justice, an organization that educates and mobilizes students around global human rights and economic justice. He was selected for the 2009/10 class of White House Fellows and served in the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs and Public Engagement. Taylor is a graduate of Emory University, the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology. Taylor also serves on the Global Advisory Board of Tearfund U.K. and is a member of the inaugural class of the Aspen Institute Civil Society Fellowship.
Taylor is ordained in the American Baptist Church and the Progressive National Baptist Convention and serves in ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va. He lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and two young sons.
He is the author of Mobilizing Hope: Faith-Inspired Activism for a Post-Civil Rights Generation. He has been quoted in several media outlets including NPR, HuffPost, and Religion News Service.
“This moment in our country demands that we go all-in on our strategies to fuse the power of faith and the power of mobilizing,” Taylor said. “I believe that faith communities committed to justice can be game changers in bridging many of the deep divides in our nation and together co-creating a radically more just and inclusive multiracial democracy that builds beloved community.”
Read a transition letter by Jim Wallis and Rev. Adam Russell Taylor here.
Follow Rev. Adam Russell Taylor on Twitter @revadamtaylor
Follow Sojourners on Twitter @Sojourners and @SojoAction
Follow Jim Wallis on Twitter @JimWallis