Rev. Adam Russell Taylor is president of Sojourners and author of A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community. Follow him on Twitter @revadamtaylor.

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. and the senior political director at Sojourners. He has also served as the executive director of Global Justice, an organization that educates and mobilizes students around global human rights and economic justice. He was selected for the 2009/2010 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 Independent Sector Board, the Global Advisory Board of Tearfund UK, 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. 

Adam Russell Taylor is available to speak at your next event. Please review our speaker instructions and guidelines or check out our full list of Sojourners speakers.

Speaking Topics

  • Human rights and global poverty
  • Racial justice
  • Voting rights
  • Climate justice
  • Economic justice
  • Immigration
  • Peace and nonviolence
  • His most recent book, A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community

Speaking Format

  • Virtual and in-person events, also available for preaching


  • Fluent in English

Past Notable Events

  • Tufts University’s Russell Lecture
  • United Church of Christ General Synod Gathering Keynote
  • Children’s Defense Fund Staff Retreat Keynote
  • Parliament of the World Religions
  • Christian Community Development Association Keynote Panel

Posts By This Author

This Is What a Faith-Based, Pro-Family Agenda Really Looks Like

by Adam Russell Taylor 09-21-2023

Photo by Kadyn Pierce on Unsplash

I’m tired of hearing politicians using “family values” as shorthand for a narrow and often misguided agenda. It is time to broaden and reclaim a truly pro-family agenda to protect and strengthen all families.

6 Warning Signs of Christian Nationalism in US Politics

by Adam Russell Taylor 08-24-2023

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hold their hands over their hearts for the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance at the start of at the first Republican candidates' debate of the 2024 U.S. presidential campaign on August 23, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

While there are some extreme politicians like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) who proudly claim the label, it’s unlikely the top Republican presidential candidates will explicitly embrace Christian nationalism by that name. Instead, voters in the 2024 election will need to be on the lookout for how candidates’ behavior and rhetoric aligns with Christian nationalist ideals and anti-democratic beliefs. Or as Jesus put it: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:16).

Have Christians Stopped Caring About Trump's Indictments?

by Adam Russell Taylor 08-17-2023

A Fulton County Sheriff K-9 officer secures the area outside of the Lewis R. Slaton Courthouse after a Grand Jury brought back indictments against former president Donald Trump and 18 of his allies in their attempt to overturn the state's 2020 election results. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

There’s plenty that concerns me about this latest indictment, including 161 specific acts prosecutors say were intended to obstruct the election, ranging from harassment of election officials to the infamous recorded phone call where Trump tells Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” missing votes. But what’s most bothering me aren’t the details of the indictment; I’m worried that most folks in the U.S., including Christians, are barely paying attention. Meanwhile, Trump remains the front-runner in the the Republican primary, despite the indictments.

Invest in the Earth, Not Fossil Fuels

by Adam Russell Taylor 07-26-2023
The church should play a leading role in supporting eco-friendly investing.
An illustration of a woman with red hair in a blue and white-striped shirt, kneeling down to plant a small tree. Its shadow spreads out into a large, fully-grown tree. Looming power plant silos and oil rig towers cast their shadows behind the girl.

Illustration by Guang Lim

A RELATIVELY NEW front in the culture wars is emanating from the realm of finance: the push to increase financial investments that take into account “environmental, social, and governance” considerations. What is known in the finance industry as ESG has grown considerably over the past decade. According to the Global Fossil Fuel Divestment Commitments Database, the amount of wealth divested from fossil fuels worldwide has grown from $52 billion in 2014 to more than $40 trillion last year. But the increased visibility and prominence of ESG investing has triggered a backlash, with at least seven GOP-controlled states enacting anti-ESG policies and 15 others introducing bills to disallow the application of ESG principles in state investments such as pensions.

The anti-ESG push is coming from the usual suspects. Texas is heavily involved, due to the prominence of the fossil fuel industry in the state’s economy. Right-wing groups such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council have also been big promoters of model anti-ESG legislation. West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has formed a coalition with more than 20 of his counterparts to challenge the Securities and Exchange Commission’s ability to implement a climate disclosure rule, a case that could end up at the Supreme Court and hobble the executive branch’s ability to interpret and act on congressional statutes. Apparently, many conservative activists and politicians are only champions of the “free market” when it advances their ideological agendas.

When Should Christians Break the Law? Ask Jesus, Not Trump

by Adam Russell Taylor 06-29-2023
A closeup of two men yelling at each other. One is wearing a red hat, the other is in a black and white striped prison suit.

A supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump and an anti-Trump demonstrator argue outside the courthouse where former President Donald Trump appeared for his arraignment on June 13, 2023. REUTERS/Marco Bello TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

But while we disobey unjust laws to obey the moral laws we have been given by God, there’s a flip side: When human laws do serve the common good or restrain evil, we should obey them.

The Moral and Religious Argument for Affirmative Action

by Adam Russell Taylor 06-22-2023

Harvard Law School graduates react after receiving their degrees during Harvard University’s 372nd Commencement Exercises in Cambridge, Mass. on May 25, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

I’m proud to say that I benefitted from affirmative action. These policies, sometimes called “race conscious admission policies,” allow colleges and universities to address unequal access to educational opportunities by taking different aspects of a student’s background, including race, into account among other admission factors. But even with affirmative action in place, in 1994 I joined fewer than 25 other Black men in a freshman class of over 1,000 students at Emory University.

Christians Should Denounce Anti-Trans Laws, Not Write Them

by Adam Russell Taylor 06-01-2023
Demonstrators attend a rally for queer and transgender youth rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Demonstrators attend a rally for queer and transgender youth rally near the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 31, 2023, calling for autonomy following recent legislation and threats of violence directed towards transgender people. (Photo by Bryan Olin Dozier/NurPhoto)

I know some Christians do not fully share my theological convictions about gender and sexuality, but on issues of human dignity and civil rights, the church should be firmly united: Transgender and nonbinary siblings are God’s children made in God’s very image and likeness. Prohibiting lifesaving medical care, tolerating discrimination, or denying someone the ability to use their name is wrong; you cannot deny people those rights because you disagree with their beliefs about gender or sexuality. Christians should be standing in the breach in defense of the full humanity, dignity, and rights of their trans siblings.

The Biden Administration Must Do More for Immigrants

by Adam Russell Taylor 05-30-2023
When will the government treat this with the urgency it demands?
An illustration of the Statue of Liberty's torch, completely colored in red. The torch is ripping through a tear in the background, which depicts an aerial view of land plots in a dark blue tint.

Illustration by Candice Evers

WHEN WE LOOK at the record numbers of migrants who are seeking refuge and asylum in the U.S. and the deplorable ways they have often been treated, it’s easy to lose faith. The U.S. immigration system seems so hopelessly broken, and hateful rhetoric and bad faith are so abundant among our politicians, that it can often feel as if there’s nothing we can do to fix it. Yet, if we take seriously both the Hebrew scripture command to welcome the stranger and Jesus’ call to treat migrant people as we would treat him (Matthew 25), then we cannot let ourselves succumb to despair or resignation. People who have been forced to leave dangerous conditions in their home countries to seek asylum are depending on us to not give up fighting for a fairer and more humane immigration and asylum system. Sadly, Congress has lacked sufficient political will to pass the sweeping overhaul of our immigration laws that is so sorely needed.

Jesus Wants Dignity for Migrants. U.S. Policy? Not So Much.

by Adam Russell Taylor 05-18-2023
Shadows fall over migrants who are crossing a river. Their reflections appear in the surface.

Migrants seeking asylum cross the Rio Bravo river to return to Mexico from the U.S. after members of the U.S. Texas National Guard extended razor wire to inhibit migrant crossing on May 13. REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

Let’s be clear: Neither Title 42 nor Biden’s new policies meet the biblical standard of “welcoming the stranger,” which for us includes thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border seeking refuge from violence and extreme poverty. 

Honor All Mothers by Asking Congress for These Protections

by Adam Russell Taylor 05-11-2023

Photo by Barbara Verge via Unsplash.

The Bible is unequivocal that we are to “honor” and even “revere” our mothers (Exodus 20:12 and Leviticus 19:3). While it’s a commitment that needs more attention than one Sunday each year, Mother’s Day provides a special day in which we should go out of our way to honor our mothers with words and acts of gratitude and love.

God Save Us From Christian Empire

by Adam Russell Taylor 05-04-2023
The coronation of King Charles III reminds us of a perpetual temptation for the church.
King Charles III is shown in decorated military regalia in front of uniformed British soldiers.

 King Charles III inspects the 200th Sovereign's parade at Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on April 14, 2023 in Camberley, England. Dan Kitwood/Pool via REUTERS

In a ceremony that CNN describes as “a symbolic coming together of the monarchy, church, and state for a religious ritual,” King Charles III will vow to uphold the law and the Church of England. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the global Anglican Communion, will then anoint Charles with oil and place a heavy crown on his head. The crowds surrounding Westminster Abbey will chant, “God save the king.”

The Theory of Change That Sustains Sojourners

by Adam Russell Taylor 04-13-2023

Members of the early Sojourners community.

Half a century later, a lot has changed, but we remain committed to inspiring Christians across every tradition to put their faith into action for justice and peace and strengthening faith-inspired movements for change.

No, Trump's Indictment Isn't Like Holy Week

by Adam Russell Taylor 04-06-2023
A courtroom sketch shows former President Donald Trump in court for an arraignment in New York City on April 4.

A courtroom sketch shows former President Donald Trump in court for an arraignment in New York City on April 4. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

On Maundy Thursday of Holy Week, we remember how Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover meal, transforming it into what we now celebrate as communion. The word “maundy” originates in the Latin mandatum, in reference to the mandate Jesus gives his disciples that night: “A new commandment I give unto you that you love one another” (John 13:34). Just before the meal, Jesus engages in an act of loving service and humility: washing the disciple’s feet.

This selfless act contrasts sharply with the shameful spectacle that has dominated recent news: the indictment and arraignment of former President Donald Trump.

Does the United States Disregard the Health of Its Children?

by Adam Russell Taylor 03-16-2023
The church could be a game changer in ensuring that every child in the U.S. is able to get the best start in life.
An illustration of a child with red-brown skin and dressed in white socks and a white shirt with teal pants  sitting on a rug while playing with a ring stacker toy; a yellow ring sits on its head like a halo.

Illustration by Pete Ryan

ENSURING THAT EVERY child can realize their full potential is a civic and faith imperative. Yet millions of children in the United States are having their futures sabotaged due to a lack of care, stimulation, and nutrition between birth and age 3. These three years, often referred to as the period of early child development, or ECD, are the most fragile and formative because most of a child’s brain is developed during this period. During the first few years of life, a child’s brain forms more than a million neural pathways every second and grows to 90 percent of the size of an adult’s brain by age 6. As a result, this period can determine whether a child realizes their full potential. The things young children learn, the experiences they have (and the amount of damaging stress to the brain they suffer), and the love and care (or lack thereof) they receive can all have an outsized impact on their lifelong mental, emotional, and physical health.

During my time working at World Vision and the World Bank, I became passionate about the crisis of ECD in low- and middle-income countries, a cause that remains urgent. However, I have become increasingly convicted about the imperative to also address the child development crisis in the U.S. Tragically, the U.S. is not doing well by its youngest generation, especially when compared to similarly wealthy nations. More than 9 million children in the U.S. face food insecurity, which hampers their healthy brain development, and in the last year, 1 in 7 children experienced child abuse or neglect. Without affordable child care, millions of children become at risk for “adverse childhood experiences” that could lead to debilitating impacts on their health and well-being.

Finding God's Rest in a Season of ‘Blah'

by Adam Russell Taylor 03-16-2023

Every year, in the final months of winter before the warmth and longer daylight of spring fully take hold, my spirit needs renewal, sometimes even revival. For others, this season can be characterized by a general sense of malaise or just feeling blah. Daylight saving time never helps. And for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, this season also falls during the solemn season of Lent.

Negotiating Peace in Ukraine Isn’t Surrender. It’s Christian

by Adam Russell Taylor 02-16-2023
A woman wrapped in a Ukrainian flag looks at pairs of shoes arranged in rows.

In Prague, a woman looks at shoes symbolising war crimes committed against Ukrainian civilians to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Photo: REUTERS/David W Cerny TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

As the war in Ukraine enters its second year, Ukrainian citizens are hurting and exhausted. Meanwhile, Russia is mounting a new counter-offensive and Ukraine is restocking weapons from its allies, including the U.S. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed and wounded, both Ukrainian and Russian, yet the war grinds on without an end in sight.

How Do We Pray After More Police Violence?

by Adam Russell Taylor 02-02-2023
A person wearing a black suit carries a paper program with a photo and name of Tyre Nichols.

An attendee holds a program while exiting a Feb. 1 memorial service for Tyre Nichols who died after being beaten by Memphis Police officers. REUTERS/Ronda Churchill 

Sometimes our nation and world are so full of injustice, loss, and pain that words fail us and our spirit can find no rest. We don’t even know what to say, how to pray, and where to begin to set right the many things that are so overwhelmingly wrong. The vicious murder of Tyre Nichols feels like one of those moments.

Our Excessive Military Budget Builds U.S. Empire, Not God’s Kingdom

by Adam Russell Taylor 01-19-2023

U.S. military vehicles at the U.S. military base being established at the Mielec Airport in Poland on Feb. 12, 2022. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto)

As followers of Jesus, bringing “good news to the poor” and promoting peace should be at the center of our worldview and vocation. In our advocacy work at Sojourners, we constantly find ourselves trying to convince our country’s decision-makers to prioritize government spending that provides a lifeline to people experiencing poverty. Unfortunately, we have often found that securing adequate resources to help people lift themselves out of poverty is a constant uphill battle. While I believe in the importance of fiscal responsibility, when members of Congress become concerned about the national deficit, the programs that wind up on the chopping block are usually the programs that offer a safety net to those who are most vulnerable — while military spending continues unchecked.

We Still Need Moral Accountability for Jan. 6

by Adam Russell Taylor 01-05-2023
A person wearing a green puffy coat holds a lit candle and sign that says "demand democracy"

People gather for the January 6th Day of Remembrance and Action event in front of the Capitol on January 6, 2022, the first anniversary of the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.Credit: Jasper Colt-USA TODAY

In the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6, 2021, I naively believed that the violent attempt to overturn the 2020 election outcome would serve as a breaking point for the nation and the Republican Party. Despite the party’s anti-democratic slide, including so many embracing the lie that the 2020 election was stolen, I thought the collective horror of the day — felt across the political spectrum — would awaken everyone to the danger that former President Donald Trump and his enablers posed to our democracy. Of course, we now know that isn't what happened.

The Sacred Duty of Parenting Children in Truth

by Adam Russell Taylor 12-26-2022
Parenting in times of political crisis.
An illustration of a father reading a book to his son. Other books are spread across a table in the background with a girl looking at an open book.

Illustration by Candice Evers

BLACK HISTORY MONTH traces back to Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, which established the second week of February to be “Negro History Week” as a counterbalance to the erasure of Black contributions to U.S. history. Black educators and students at Kent State University created the first Black History Month celebration in 1970, and President Gerald Ford recognized it in 1976, the year I was born. While Black history deserves attention every month, the past few years have provided plenty of evidence for why this month of particular emphasis is still needed. God reminds us in many ways of the dangers of forgetting our history, including the command, “Remember your history, your long and rich history” (Isaiah 46:9, MSG).

As the father of two young Black boys, I spend a lot of time thinking about the role of education in shaping our nation’s future. What our kids learn about the nation and the world from their parents, teachers, and peers profoundly shapes their worldview. That in turn deeply affects the direction our society takes as today’s children become tomorrow’s leaders, activists, and voters. It’s no wonder that education has served as a political battleground at many times throughout our nation’s history — from the Scopes trial over the teaching of evolution to the battles over racial integration in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education.