From Ferguson to New York to Germany, Lisa has been leading trainings and helping mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good, with a focus on racial justice. Prior to joining Sojourners, Lisa 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.

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.

Asked why she does what she does, Lisa Sharon Harper’s answer is clear: “So that the church might be worthy of the moniker ‘Bride of Christ’.” Through preaching, writing, training, network development, and public witness Ms. Harper engages the church in the work of justice and peacemaking. For example: Ms. Harper helped build the Evangelical Immigration Table from 2011-2013. She fasted for 21 days as a core faster with the 2013 immigration reform Fast for Families, trained and catalyzed evangelicals in St. Louis to engage the 2014 push for justice in Ferguson and did the same in Baltimore in 2015. Harper was recognized in 2015 as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by the Huffington Post.

She earned her master’s in human rights from Columbia University in New York City and is currently in the process of ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church. She is also author of The Very Good Gospel and is president and founder of Freedom Road, L.L.C., a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap. 

 

Posts By This Author

Immigration Activism: 'Take Our Small Actions and Multiply Them'

by Lisa Sharon Harper 05-24-2010

Last Monday I got arrested.

From Fear to Fact: U.S. Citizen Arrested for 'Driving While Latino' in Arizona

by Lisa Sharon Harper 04-29-2010

Certain moments in our nation's history have consistently opened the door for the least civil voices to enact evil through civil policy: think the institution of race-based U.S. slavery, the Indian removals, Jim Crow laws, legalized segregation, the federal protection of lynching mobs, and, don't forget, the Japanese internment camps, among others.

An Open Letter to the Emergent Church Movement

by Lisa Sharon Harper 04-20-2010

Poem: The Lorraine Motel

by Lisa Sharon Harper 01-19-2010

as i walk toward the balcony where my hero fell, i feel strangely drawn in enwrapped by invisible hands of comfort and welcome. hands that welcome the peacemakers of the world "come and witness the place where a fellow peacemaker fell and inherited the kin-dom of god."

Audio: Confronting the Rage That Killed Derrion Albert

by Lisa Sharon Harper 10-19-2009
Lisa Sharon Harper was interviewed recently by E

What Does Big Government Have to do with Jesus?

by Lisa Sharon Harper 10-13-2009
"I'm here to stand up for Jesus," said the anti-health reform protester to a CNN correspondent. "Government is getting too big."

Stand for Freedom in Iran: 'Enough is Enough!'

by Lisa Sharon Harper 09-25-2009
The following is a message delivered at the "Stand for Freedom in Iran" rally that took place yesterday at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across from the United Nations.

Government-Run Health Plans and the 'American Way of Life'

by Lisa Sharon Harper 09-18-2009
Tea-totaling party animals are crying the mantra of the Ghosts of Conservatives-past, "Blankety blank blank will change our American way of life!" Now all the president's men and women -- especiall

Breath: A Poem for Transformational Action

by Lisa Sharon Harper 08-18-2009
I recently wrote and performed a spoken-word poem for the Transformational Development (TD) Conference at Eastern University, co-sponsored by Eastern and Food for the Hungry.

Just One Day ... for Lynne

by Lisa Sharon Harper 06-30-2009
I stepped up to the automatic sliding doors, but they didn't open. I knocked. The guard recognized me, waved, and the South Bronx-based special care facility opened arms of welcome.

How Advocacy Works

by Lisa Sharon Harper 02-24-2009
Advocating for the poor is crucial in this time of recession, but maybe you're a little nervous about actually walking into your member of Congress' office, even after the great training you ca

An Inauguration Pilgrimage: Dreams From My Mother

by Lisa Sharon Harper 01-21-2009

We waited for 30 minutes. Standing, awkward, we looked up at the board. When I arrived at Penn Station the board said train #167, enroute to Washington D.C., "25 mins late"... Five minutes later, "30 mins late." The terminal filled up, more people standing -- waiting ... and wondering if the others hovering with backpacks and napsacks and yoga mats were all waiting for the same thing.

A Poem in Honor of National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

by Lisa Sharon Harper 01-12-2009
Sunday, January 11 was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. I wrote this poem, And to the Little Ones, in honor of the day.

Mary's Song: A Poem

by Lisa Sharon Harper 12-17-2008

Dark times
Regime change.
"How are we gonna make it?"
"How are we gonna live?"
Tomorrow?

 

Fear for breakfast
Trembling for brunch
Despair for dinner.

Black and White Evangelical Voters: A Teachable Moment

by Lisa Sharon Harper 11-06-2008
In the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday, November 5, Wolf Blitzer listed "The Losers" in Tuesday's historic election on CNN.

American First, Christian Second?

by Lisa Sharon Harper 10-14-2008
Recently, I watched an ongoing New York Times online report by Jennifer Steinhauer and Ben Werschkul called http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_story=5aac1546381f300674da8a59dea0933c