Lives of Commitment 2011

Auburn Honors Women's Leadership from the Pulpit to the Boardroom

On May 6, 2011, Auburn Theological Seminary's held its 15th annual Lives of Commitment Breakfast at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. The event honored and celebrated women across faiths whose bold leadership bridges religious divides, builds community, and pursues justice. Auburn’s Lives of Commitment Breakfast has honored 48 women over the last 15 years, women including Alice Walker, Ruth Messinger, Zainab Salbi and Jane Goodall, whose lives represent a powerful commitment to the common good. The 2011 honorees were:

Kayrita Anderson and Deborah Richardson | @WomensFundingNetwork | @AFutureNotAPast | Through their work at the Women’s Funding Network and in collaboration with member funds, Kayrita and Deborah have sparked a nation-wide campaign called A Future. Not a Past., to end sex trafficking, and to protect and inspire hope in girls who have survived commercial sexual exploitation.

Minerva Carcaño | @UMNS | @Hispanic_UMC | In 2004, Bishop Minerva Carcaño became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the episcopacy of The United Methodist Church. Today, she is one of fifty bishops leading more than eight million members of her denomination. She currently serves as Bishop of the Phoenix Episcopal Area, Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is the official spokesperson for the Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration.

Jensine Larsen | @WorldPulse | Inspired by her years of working as a freelance journalist covering indigenous movements and ethnic cleansing in South America and Southeast Asia, Jensine began publishing World Pulse magazine in 2004. As a young woman who thrived on discussing international affairs, she dreamed of unleashing the creative human potential of women across the globe through the power of media.

Gail T. Reimer | @JWAOnline | Gail Twersky Reimer is Founder and Executive Director of the Jewish Women’s Archive, a pioneering organization dedicated to uncovering, chronicling, and transmitting the rich legacy of Jewish women in North America. In the early 1990s, Reimer conceived and co-edited two pathbreaking anthologies of Jewish women’s writings—Reading Ruth: Women Reclaim a Sacred Story and Beginning Anew: A Woman’s Companion to the High Holy Days.

Chely Wright | @ChelyWright | @RULikeMe | @GLSEN | Chely Wright is the first openly gay female country music star. In 2010, Wright published her memoir Like Me: Confessions of a Heartland Country Singer and released the critically-acclaimed album, Lifted off the Ground. She established the nonprofit organization Like Me, which provides scholarships, assistance, resources, and education to LGBT individuals, their families, and friends; and joined forces with GLSEN as spokesperson for their Safe Space Campaign. 

Auburn thanks our supporters for Lives of Commitment 2011. 

“These are challenging times in which true leadership is crucial, but too often runs amok. At Auburn, we’re changing that,” said Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn. “Our honorees represent the kind of leadership we’re talking about. They are making a difference in people’s lives from Muslim women in the Bronx to Bedouin women in Israel, from the homeless in Harlem to those wrestling with the challenges of living ethically on Wall Street,” she concluded.

At the 2011 Lives of Commitment Breakfast, Auburn also launched its new "Generosity & Generder Justice" initiative, led by Lisa Anderson, Director of Women's Multifaith Education at Auburn.

The Fifteenth Annual Lives of Commitment Co-Chairs are:

Angela Warnick Buchdahl
Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook, Honorary Co-Chair
Barbara B. Dobkin
Katherine L. Dolan
Leah Hunt-Hendrix
Kanyere Eaton
Kathy LeMay
 Mahsa Pelosky
Susan Reed
Fatima Shama
Nancy Schwartz Sternoff
Nicki Newman Tanner
Alexie Torres-Flemming
Melinda Wolfe  

Auburn Theological Seminary is an institute for religious leadership that faces the challenges of our fragmented, complex, and violent time. We envision religion as a catalyst and resource for a new world—one in which difference is celebrated, abundance is shared, and people are hopeful, working for a future that is better than today. Auburn equips bold and resilient leaders—religious and secular, women and men, adults and teens—with the tools and resources they need for our multifaith world. We provide them with education, research, support, and media savvy, so that they can bridge religious divides, build community, pursue justice, and heal the world.