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The Rev. Dr. Jaqui Lewis

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis uses her gifts as author, activist, preacher, and public theologian toward creating an antiracist, just, gun violence-free, fully welcoming, gender-affirming society in which everyone has enough.


Jacqui holds an M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary and an M.Phil and Ph.D. in Psychology and Religion from Drew University.  She’s been serving as Senior Minister and Public Theologian at Middle Church for 20 years.


Jacqui produces an annual justice conference with Middle Church. Freedom Rising: The Fierce Urgency of Now is scheduled for April 2025.

The author of several books and articles, Jacqui’s most recent book, Fierce Love was published in 2021.

Article: What, to the White American, is the 19th of June?,  White Too Long by Robert P. Jones

A healing antidote to our divisive culture, full of evocative storytelling, spiritual wisdom, and nine essential daily practices—by the first female, Black senior minister at the historic Collegiate Churches of New York


“Fierce Love teaches us that with spiritual faith we can transcend the darkest moments and come through stronger.”

—Gabrielle Bernstein, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Universe Has Your Back


We are living in a world divided. Race and ethnicity, caste and color, gender and sexuality, class and education, religion and political party have all become demographic labels that reduce our differences to simplistic categories in which “we” are vehemently against “them.” But Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis’s own experience—of being the first female and first Black minister in her church’s history, of being in an interracial marriage, and of making peace with childhood abuse—illustrates that our human capacity for empathy and forgiveness is the key to reversing these ugly trends.

Inspired by the tenets of ubuntu—the Zulu philosophy that we are each impacted by the circumstances that impact those around us, and that the world won’t get better until we all get better—Fierce Love lays out the nine daily practices for breaking through tribalism and engineering the change we seek. From downsizing our emotional baggage to speaking truth to power to fueling our activism with joy, it demonstrates the power of small, morally courageous steps to heal our own lives, our posse, and our larger communities. Sharing stories that trace her personal reckoning with racism as well as the arc of her journey to an inclusive and service-driven faith, Dr. Lewis shows that kindness, compassion, and inclusive thinking are muscles that can be exercised and strengthened. With the goal of mending our inextricable human connection, Fierce Love is a manifesto for all generations: a bighearted, healing antidote to our rancorous culture.

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