Conference on Black Saints Coming Up This October

Black, White, and Mormon: A Conference on the Evolving Status of Black Saints within the Mormon Fold

October 8–9, 2015

In December 2013, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued a new essay on Race and the Priesthood on its Gospel Topics page at  The statement was the strongest to date in distancing the LDS Church from its prior teachings on the status of black people within Mormon theology.  This conference seeks to offer a multi-disciplinary assessment of that status across time and space.  It seeks to explore the historical evolution of race based priesthood and temple bans, the historical roots of segregation in America and how it impacts Mormonism, the expansion of Mormonism into inner-city locations in the United States as well as the impact of race on Mormonism’s international reach. It will also consider the intersections between race and Mormon women, notions of social justice within Mormonism, the implications of race upon educational opportunities at LDS universities, and a discussion of how race plays out at the ward level. In short, this conference will talk about race and Mormonism as it seeks greater understanding and higher purpose.

All location and time details are included in the links embedded in this post.

Thursday Schedule

The conference will commence with the plenary session address and Sterling McMurrin Lecture on Religion and Culture, by Lester E. Bush. Dr. Bush wrote and researched the landmark academic treatment of Mormonism’s priesthood restriction, “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: A Historical Overview.” His McMurrin address is entitled, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine 42 Years Later.”

Friday Schedule

Commemoration: A Tribute To Those Who Died


Bob Goldberg, Professor of History: “It will Take More than Removing a Flag for the Nation to Mend”

Tamu Smith: Remembering Those Who Died

Race and the Inner City – 8:30-10am

Moderator: Paul Reeve

Panelists: Dr. Thomas Sugrue, Dr. Ram Cnaan, Dr. Jacob Rugh

Race and Mormon Women – 10:15 – 11:45am

Moderator: Paulette Payne

Panelists: Janan Graham-Russell, Catherine M. Stokes, LaShawn Williams-Schultz,Tamu Smith

Race and the International Church – Noon – 1:30 (Registration Required)

Lunch Lecture: Elder Joseph W. Sitati, of the First Quorum of Seventy in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will speak on Race and the International Church from noon to 1:30pm in the Tanner Dining Room at the University of Utah Alumni House. Register here (update: registration for lunch is CLOSED)!

Race at BYU – 2:00 – 3:30pm

Moderator: Dalyn Montgomery

Panelists: Maybellene, McCoy, Margaret Blair Young, Darius Gray, Leslie Hadfield, Luis Belchior

Race at the Ward – 3:45 – 5:15 PM

Panelists: Dalyn Montgomery, Jermaine Sullivan, Janan Graham-Russell, Peter Johnson, Ingrid Shepherd

Closing Session – Celebrating Race

Concert at the LDS Institute of Religion

This will a wonderful conference. Please share this information with anyone who would be interested, like the Facebook Page, and join the event page on Facebook.

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