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Faith in Public Life: Crossroads of Religion and Politics Lunchtime Discussion with Jennifer Butler

Jennifer Butler is the Executive Director of Faith in Public Life, a strategy center advancing faith in the public square as a positive and unifying force for justice, compassion and the common good.

Following the 2004 election, in which faith was often deployed in service of a narrow and partisan agenda, a diverse group of 40 religious leaders came together to advance a positive alternative: an inclusive and unifying faith movement advancing the common good in the public square. Faith in Public Life (FPL) was founded to fuel this burgeoning faith movement with cutting edge strategies and capacity-building resources. The founders gave FPL a movement-focused mission, rather than organizational or issue-focused one, and the specific mandate to lift up religious voices speaking for justice and the common good, build bridges and facilitate strategic alliances, and find new ways forward on historically divisive issues.

Jennifer Butler’s experience working on global human rights issues at the United Nations and around the world convinced her that faith leaders can play a powerful role leading their communities forward in the face of growing instability and divisiveness. Jennifer left her work at the UN to start Faith in Public Life and provide needed resources for faith leaders and the movement they represent to amplify their impact on public debates.

Some of Jennifer’s favorite pieces of this work are the Q &A sections of our press conferences – seeing the “aha moments” or paradigm shifts in media coverage on religion and politics. She also loves watching the staff in action on rapid response. She says, “it’s like a (nonviolent) episode of “24”.

Jennifer served in the Peace Corps from 1989 to 1991 in a Mayan village in Belize, Central America. A graduate of Princeton Seminary, she holds a Master of Social Work from Rutgers University and Bachelor of Arts from the College of William and Mary.

Audience: Princeton University students and faculty

Location: Robertson Hall, Bowl 015

Date/Time: 12/05/11 at 12:15 pm - 12/05/11 at 1:00 pm

Category: Discussion

Department: Crossroads of Religion and Politics Lecture Series