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‘Religion and Social Justice’ Focus of Nov. 19 Gator Grit Speaker Series


By Mike Emery

Social justice has taken on a deeper meaning in 2020.

This year, more and more people have felt a sense of urgency to respond to the racial and socioeconomic disparities affecting their communities. Add the ongoing pandemic to the mix, and the need for an engaged citizenry has intensified.

But where does religion fit into the scope of social justice? Can there be a balance between activism and one’s faith?

University of Houston-Downtown Interim President Antonio D. TIllis, Ph.D. and Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, Senior Pastor at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church will address this very topic during the next edition of the Gator Grit Speaker Series.

The fireside chat, “Religion and Social Justice,” will be conducted virtually at noon, Nov. 19 on Zoom. Attendees are encouraged to register in advance of this event.

The event, Tillis said, will explore the role of religion in social and human justice movements. The conversation will focus on topics such as the historical continuum regarding the role of the Black church, liberation theology, and ecumenicalism in the ongoing fight for human rights.

Dr. Cosby is a renowned preacher, teacher, and activist, equipping his students and congregation with sound biblical teaching around the globe. Assuming the role of Senior Pastor at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church sixteen years ago, Cosby has extended his service to both the Houston community and to global populations.

At the church, he helped start the Wheeler Avenue Christian Academy and open a transitional housing facility for homeless single mothers. Likewise, he has participated in numerous outreach efforts throughout Houston, Louisiana, Haiti, and in South Africa.

“I look forward to welcoming Dr. Cosby to our University’s premiere lecture series,” Tillis said. “Dr. Cosby is a gifted scholar and theologian. He advocates for the empowerment of all humanity through his teachings and challenges listeners to reflect on their power to transform the world in which we live. Given the current situation of our nation and world, I believe this conversation will prove to be most enlightening for our University Community and beyond.”


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.