Lisa Sharon Harper

Lisa Sharon Harper is author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…Or Democrat (The New Press), co-founder and Executive Director of NY Faith & Justice, President of National Faith & Justice Network, and a Board Member for New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Ms. Harper is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre’s MFA Playwriting class of 1995. Her thesis play, An’ Push da Wind Down, won the 1996 Kennedy Center / American College Theatre Festival “Michael Kanin National Student Playwriting Award” and is published through Samuel French, Inc. An’ Push da Wind Down explores Ms. Harper’s own Cherokee/Chickasaw and African-American heritage.

Having worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship as an Arts Specialist and as the Greater Los Angeles Director of Racial Reconciliation, Ms. Harper helped develop the Ethnic Reconciliation tool “Race Matters” and co-wrote the “Race Matters” Handbook. She conducted ethnic reconciliation training conferences, wrote analyses of and consulted with IVCF campus movements throughout Southern California. She also conducted staff training in ethnic reconciliation through InterVarsity’s National Institute of Staff Education and Training (NISET) and spoke for students throughout the U.S.

Ms. Harper earned her masters degree in Human Rights, with a concentration in Religion & the Media, from Columbia University in New York City in 2006. She is a featured op-ed writer for the God’s Politics blog and BeliefNet’s Progressive Revival blog. She is an editor-at-large for the prolific magazine Sojourners, and a contributor for Urban Faith and Conspire magazines.

Ms. Harper co-founded and co-directed the Envision: The Gospel, Politics, and the Future conference on the campus of Princeton University in June 2008. She is also co-founder and executive director of NY Faith & Justice, a movement of churches, organizations and individuals dedicated to following Christ, uniting the church and ending poverty in New York through spiritual formation, education, and direct advocacy. NY Faith & Justice is at the hub of a new ecumenical movement in New York City to address issues of environmental injustice and violence in black and brown communities.

Ms. Harper’s work and her Shalom Talk Series has been a catalyst for ethnic reconciliation and systemic justice across the country. She was the recipient of Sojourners’ inaugural Organizers Award and the Harlem “Sisters of Wisdom”Award. She was recently celebrated on Rick Warren’s website Purposedriven.com as one of the site’s inaugural seven “Take Action Heroes.”

Ms. Harper serves on the board of the New Evangelicals Partnership for the Common Good and is author of Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…Or Democrat (The New Press), a power-packed look at the roots of evangelical faith, how evangelicals strayed so far from those roots, and what is bringing them back.