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Faith And The Fight For Racial Justice

John Minchillo/AP
For some, faith plays a key role in their dedication to fighting for racial justice.

Historically, faith and religion have played a significant role in major social justice movements, including the 1960s fight for civil rights. Decades later, the Black Lives Matter movement is at its strongest and religious communities continue to participate, even as movement leadership takes on a more secular, grassroots form.

On this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer is joined by religious leaders and scholars from across the state for a look at the role faith plays in the quest for racial justice.


  • Richard Turner, professor of African American religious history, University of Iowa
  • Rev. Mary Robinson, pastor of All Nations Community Church, Waterloo 
  • Jaaphar Abdul Hamed, Imam, Muslim Community Organization of Des Moines   
  • Connie Ryan, executive director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa  
Katelyn Harrop is a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River