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CANCELLED: a conversation with civil rights activist and public theologian Ruby Nell Sales and Dayo Adeoye, a University of Chicago graduate and aspiring legal theologian.

What can theology say to a society obsessed with technology? Ruby Sales will discuss this question in conversation with UChicago faculty and students. Ms. Sales will speak about what it means to be human in a digital age, an age when human bodies—especially those of black and brown people—are seen as increasingly disposable. The conversation will touch on matters of faith, freedom, and authenticity, asking what each of these terms means in an era dominated by technocrats. It will explore the changing nature of social movements amid a surge in astroturfing. And it will ask: What does “grace” look like now, and how can we seek it out?  

About the Speakers:

Ruby Nell Sales looks at her decades-long work as Public Theologian, Historian, Activist, Social Critic, and Educator as a calling rather than a career. Her activism started in her teenage years and continued to develop throughout her time in college, graduate school, and subsequent work in the Church. After divinity school, she founded and still directs a national nonprofit organization, the SpiritHouse Project, which works to confront injustice using a unique holistic approach.

She is broadly cited in academic and popular circles and is regularly called upon by various media organizations to contribute to the continued conversation and action around racial justice, including a 2019 TED Talk that has been viewed almost 2 million times. She has also received numerous awards and honors for her work, including being selected as one of the 50 African Americans from the Civil Rights Movement to be spotlighted in the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Sales also continues to teach and preach at colleges, universities, churches, and cathedrals around the United States. 

Dayo Adeoye (she/her) is an aspiring attorney and legal theologian born and raised in the Midwest. She is currently a Master of Arts candidate at Union Theological Seminary and an incoming J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School. Dayo specializes in Interreligious Engagement and Social Ethics, with an emphasis on the intersections between religion and the American criminal legal system, and foreign policy. Dayo also holds B.A.s in Religious Studies and Law, Letters, and Society with a minor in Human Rights from the University of Chicago. Dayo is passionate about ending mass incarceration and has worked alongside many anti-incarceration organizations in Illinois, including the Office of the Lt. Governor of IL Julianna Stratton, The Pozen Center for Human Rights Lab, and the Prison+Neighborhood Arts and Education Project. Dayo currently serves as a 2023 Beyond the Bars Fellow at the Columbia University Center for Justice.

This event is produced in partnership with the Martin Marty Center, University of Chicago Divinity School.