The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Harvey is an award-winning author, educator and public speaker. Her work focuses on ethics and race, gender, sexuality, activism, spirituality and politics—with particular attention to how religion shows up in these dimensions of our shared social life. Her greatest passion and longtime work, however, persistently and pointedly return to racial justice and white anti-racism.
Jen publishes in numerous academic and public outlets. Her essay Are We Raising Racists? spent nearly a week on the New York Times “ten most read pieces” list. She has written for CNN, Huffington Post, Sojourners on-line, The Conversation and countless other venues.
Dr. Harvey’s most recent books Raising White Kids and Dear White Christians take a decidedly practical turn. They bring Jen’s experience as an anti-racist activist and educator to bear on conversations about how white communities can more deeply support racial justice work being led by communities of color. She is also the author of Whiteness and Morality: Pursuing Racial Justice through Reparations and Sovereignty and a co-editor of Disrupting White Supremacy: White People on What We Need To Do.
Since Raising White Kids was published Jen has been interviewed by dozens of journalists and radio personalities. As our nation grapples with how to challenge and change white socialization to support anti-racist development in children and youth, Jen draws on her experience as both a seasoned activist and a parent to offer concrete and accessible models for doing so. Her work is rooted in evidence-based developmental theory, but also a relentless vision of a more just future in which all of us can flourish.
She is a highly sought after public speaker (and occasional preacher) who travels the country speaking and leading workshops. Jen can be found engaging folks in a variety of venues—among religious groups, in educational institutions or non-profits organizations, with activists and organizers—as communities wrest with real questions about the challenges to be faced and the frameworks necessary to create robust, sustainable, multi-racial solidarity for justice.
Dr. Harvey serves as professor of religion and Faculty Director of the Crew Scholars Program—an academic excellence and leadership development program for students of color—at Drake University. She graduated from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Phd in Christian Social Ethics in 2004 and a Master of Divinity degree in 1998 and is ordained in the American Baptist Churches (USA).
She currently lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her generous partner, hilarious children and two very large and very, very beautiful dogs.