Deirdre Jonese Austin is a 2019 graduate of Georgetown University where she majored in Culture & Politics with a focus in Religion and Social Justice, minored in African-American Studies, and completed a certificate in Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. She is a Master of Divinity candidate at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. She is also a licensed Baptist minister on the track to be ordained. Jonese’s research interest include the Black Church and the intersections of religion, race, politics, and social justice. You can learn more about her and also read her blog posts at

Posts By This Author

‘Red Lip Theology’ Lets Black Christian Women Be Ourselves

by Deirdre Jonese Austin 01-18-2022

In her new book, theologian Candice Marie Benbow takes readers on a journey through some pivotal and transformational moments in her life, highlighting the conversations she had with her mother, the theology informing her, and the sources — such as literature and hip-hop — that have shaped who she is. Red Lip Theology: For Church Girls Who’ve Considered Tithing to the Beauty Supply Store When Sunday Morning Isn’t Enough is an invitation to reflect on the moments, the people, and the religious institutions that have contributed to making us who we are.

Who Remains for the Families of the Slain?

by Deirdre Jonese Austin 01-13-2020

This is what slow death looks like for the families of victims of police brutality.

The Long Road to Decriminalizing Blackness

by Deirdre Jonese Austin 06-04-2019
'When They See Us' and the Central Park Five

From Netflix's 'When They See Us'

I watched Ava DuVernay’s Netflix series When They See Us and found myself angered by the people and systems that had a role in the incarceration of five innocent boys. The Central Park Five, Raymond Santana, Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Saalam, and Korey Wise, were wrongfully convicted and later exonerated of a variety of charges related to the rape and assault of a white female jogger in 1989. While the series itself honors the stories of the Central Park Five, in choosing to title the series When They See Us, DuVernay invites us into a broader conversation on the criminalization and mass incarceration of young boys and girls of color, and challenges us to define our own role within this system.