The Bishop Herbert Thompson, Jr. Chapter of the Union of Black Episcopalians, the Diocese of Southern Ohio and Christ Church Cathedral will present our 35th Annual Symposium and Ecumenical Worship Service celebrating the life and ministry of the Rev. Absalom Jones and the Rev. Richard Allen on Saturday, February 13, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Due to the ongoing pandemic, this annual event will be presented virtually via Zoom.


Moderated by Cincinnnati City Councilwoman Jan-Michele Kearney, this free symposium will feature three highly regarded presenters speaking on our theme “The Impact of Racial Inequities to Environmental Justice in America”,  followed by an Ecumenical worship service. Registration is required.


Adam Clark, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology @Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Adam Clark, Associate Professor of Theology at Xavier University, is committed to the idea that theological education in the twenty first century must function as a counter-story. One that equips students to read against the grain of the dominant culture and inspires them to live into the Ignatian dictum of going forth “to set the world on fire.” To this end, Dr. Clark is intentional about pedagogical practices that raise critical consciousness by going beneath surface meanings, unmasking conventional wisdoms and reimagining the good. During his tenure at Xavier, Dr. Clark has received several distinctions in teaching including Teacher of the Year Nomination by the Alpha Sigma Nu International Honor Society and The Faculty Support Award by the Black Student Association. His courses on Black Theology, Jesus and Power, Faith and Justice and Religion and Hip Hop contribute to the Jesuit practice of educating students in the service of faith and the promotion of justice. He currently serves as co-chair of Black Theology Group at the American Academy of Religion, actively publishes in the area of black theology and black religion and participates in social justice groups at Xavier and in the Cincinnati area.

Renee Mahaffey Harris

President/CEO @The Center for Closing the Health Gap, Cincinnati, OH
Renee Mahaffey Harris is President/CEO of The Center for Closing the Health Gap whose mission is to lead the efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities through advocacy, education, and community outreach. Harris recently launched the community-based Black Women’s Health Movement, which is a part of the Ohio collaboration with the national organization Black Women’s Health Imperative. She serves as a member of the Governor Mike DeWine’s COVID-19 Minority Strike Force and the National Council on Black Health-Subcommittee, and is president of Ohio African American Health Disparities Coalition.

Delia R. Heck, Ph.D.

Prof. of Environmental Science, Chair Natural Science Division, Prog. Coordinator Environmental Science & Environmental Studies @Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA
Dr. Heck earned her BS in Regional Development from the University of Arizona and her Masters and PhD in Economic Geography from the University of Washington. Dr. Heck has been teaching at Ferrum College for 21 years. She currently teaches courses in Environmental Sustainability, Geographic Information Systems, Natural Resource Policy and Economics, One Health and Physical Geography. Dr. Heck’s research interests include environmental racism, eco-justice & climate justice, energy policy & economics and water quality. She is the Director of the Smith Mountain Lake Water Quality Monitoring Program. Dr. Heck has spent time facilitating solar energy projects in rural Haitian villages to promote sustainable economic development, social justice and environmental stewardship. She serves on The Episcopal Church’s Taskforce for Care of Creation and Environmental Racism, leading work on the use of The Episcopal Asset Map for community engagement to address environmental justice issues.


Rev. Mika P. Cooper

Wayman A.M.E. Church
Mika P. Cooper was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She comes from a large immediate and extended family that includes one brother, four sisters and close to twenty nieces and nephews. She is married to the Rev. Gerald A. Cooper, Pastor of Wayman A.M.E. Church in Dayton, Ohio. They are the grateful parents of two daughters, Nia Patrice & Mariah Nicole.

Rev. Mila is an ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and serves in ministry with her husband at Wayman. Before relocating to Dayton, she served as the Co-Pastor of St. James A.M.E. Church in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to this appointment Rev. Mila served as the Pastor of Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Church in Maple Heights, Ohio for five years. Rev. Mila is passionate about women’s ministry, youth ministry and community outreach.

She is the Founder and C.E.O. of 4 The Kingdom Ministries, a ministry dedicated to demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ in tangible ways including representing the Kingdom of God through service to others, equipping women for ministry and empowering women to utilize their God-given gifts. A major initiative is the Women’s Empowerment Experience that brings renowned preachers and teachers to minister to women of all ages.

Rev. Mila earned the Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies and the Master of Arts degree in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Management from the Cleveland State Levin College of Urban Affairs, and the Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary.

Currently Rev. Mila is the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion and Executive Director of the Coretta Scott King Center at Antioch College. Serious about serving God’s people beyond the church, Rev. Mila is committed to community service, advocacy and addressing social injustice. She teaches and preaches locally and throughout the country and has numerous service trips throughout the United States and three international service trips to southern Africa.