2020 Conference

Speakers and Guests

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DeRay McKesson

Civil Rights Activist, Author, Speaker

DeRay McKesson is a civil rights activist focused primarily on issues of innovation, equity, and justice. Born and raised in Baltimore, he graduated from Bowdoin College and holds honorary doctorates from The New School and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

DeRay has advocated for issues related to children, youth, and families since he was a teen. As a leading voice in the Black Lives Matter Movement and a co-founder of Campaign Zero, DeRay has worked to connect individuals with knowledge and tools and provide citizens and policymakers with commonsense policies that ensure equity.

He has been praised by President Obama for his work as a community organizer, has advised officials at all levels of government and internationally, and continues to provide the capacity to activists, organizers, and influencers to make an impact. We are excited to welcome this amazing man of faith and vision to fellowship with us at The Great Communion!

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Dr. Pamela Lightsey

Scholar, Activist, Veteran

Dr. Pamela Lightsey is a scholar, social justice activist, and military veteran, currently serving as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Associate Professor of Constructive Theology at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Prior to that, she served as Associate Dean at Boston University School of Theology.

In 2005, Dr. Lightsey was ordained as an elder in full connection in the United Methodist Church becoming the first out African American queer lesbian clergy in the denomination. As an activist, Dr. Lightsey has worked within the LGBTQ community to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy and to ensure marriage equality. She was on the ground protesting against excessive police force during the first 21 days of unrest in Ferguson and has consistently collaborated with activist-colleagues in the movement for the liberation of Black lives, those addressing violence against Black transwomen, and institutional racism on college campuses.

Dr. Lightsey’s publications include “Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology”; “He Is Black and We are Queer” in Albert Cleage Jr and the Black Madonna and Child; and “Reconciliation” in Prophetic Evangelicals: Envisioning a Just and Peaceable Kingdom.

The Great Communion is an opportunity to gather at the table of God, where all are equal and share in creating space filled with compassion, empathy, and belonging. Dr. Lightsey embodies the vision in every sense.

Join us by registering at qchristian.org/registration, and we’ll see you in Fort Lauderdale!


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Rev. Nicole Garcia

Counselor, Minister, Trans Activist

Nicole M. Garcia (she/her/hers) is an out and proud transgender Latina of faith. Nicole is the Director of Congregational Care at Mount Calvary Lutheran Church in Boulder, CO, and is a Candidate Preparing for Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with a Master of Divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. Nicole has a Master of Arts in Counseling from the University of Colorado Denver and is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado. Nicole is a therapist and clinical supervisor with the Umbrella Collective.

Due to illness, Rev. Garcia was unable to make it to Conference in Chicago, but we’re thrilled to have her back on the schedule for #TheGreatCommunion in 2020! The Great Communion is an opportunity to gather at the table of God, where all are equal and share in creating space filled with compassion, empathy, and belonging. Rev. Garcia embodies this vision in every sense.

Join us by registering at qchristian.org/registration, and we’ll see you in Fort Lauderdale!


More speakers and guests will be announced soon!

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