25 Apr 2022

Saint Augustine’s University Kicks Off Speaker Series with Civil Rights Veteran Rev. Dr. Paul Smith

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) will kick off the first session of the Father Joseph N. Green Speakers Series with Civil Rights Veteran, Minister, Educator, Author, and Diversity Role Model, Reverend Dr. Paul Smith. The in-person event will be on April 26, 2022, at 11 a.m. in the Saint Augustine’s Historic Chapel. Livestream viewing will also take place on the university’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

“I’m grateful that this series is taking place where students can gain from the experience of leaders coming to our campus,” said Mareyah Washington, SAU’s Student Trustee. “I’m excited to have a profound leader like Rev. Dr. Paul Smith coming to speak to us as someone that’s worked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The Father Joseph N. Green Speaker Series is an initiative established at SAU by a generous donation made to the university by Father Green and friends of Father Green, a 1949 graduate, former Chaplain, and a current Trustee. The lecture series takes place in the spring and fall semesters from the historic Saint Augustine’s Chapel. The Chapel is where Father Green worshipped as a student, served as Chaplain, and was proud to have mentored 11 students who became Episcopal Priests.

“This lecture series strategically aligns with our social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. “This series is one of the many examples of Father Green’s life-long commitment to advancing the university’s mission.”

This series aims to bring high-profile speakers to SAU by offering students, faculty, staff, and the broader community insightful perspectives and intellectual enrichment on topics in religion, ethics, science, the arts, and more. In addition, the series will help prepare the students, our next set of leaders, for a complex, diverse, and rapidly changing world.

With Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ambassador Andrew Young as friends and mentors, Dr. Paul Smith entered the ministry in 1960. He soon became a stalwart marcher in the US Civil Rights Movement. Inspired and guided by theologian and mystic Dr. Howard Thurman, Dr. Smith, has made diversity and inclusiveness hallmarks of his life’s work.

Dr. Smith is a minority and diversity consultant outside the church for Macy’s Federated Stores and American Honda Motors. He also serves as negotiator/facilitator in disputes where race is a significant factor. In addition, as Board Chairman of the Ethics Committee at Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital, he worked with doctors and staff to inform and support difficult patient care decisions. Dr. Smith has also conducted racial sensitivity training for the New York Police Dept. and the US Government. He is also the author of Facing Death and Building Beloved Communities.

Click here for more information about Rev. Dr. Paul Smith.

Click here for more information about the Father Joseph N. Green Speaker Series.