Contemplating Now

Episode 6: Heart work | A conversation with Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows

"Understanding how racism really, really works, and seeing it as not just a social justice issue but a theological imperative, means that we have to talk about it and work on it all the time.”

In 2016, Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows was elected the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, making her the first Black woman to be elected diocesan bishop. She holds a B.A. in architecture with a minor in urban studies from Smith College, an M.A. in historic preservation planning from Cornell University, and an M.Div. from Church Divinity School of the Pacific (CDSP). Before coming to Indianapolis, she served in the Dioceses of Newark, Central New York, and Chicago. Her expertise includes historic preservation of religious buildings, stewardship and development, race and class reconciliation, and spiritual direction. 

In an interview with Sally Hicks earlier this year, she said, “I just think racial justice is the work that has to be done 24 hours a day, all the time, every place.”  In this conversation, Bishop Jennifer and I discuss contemplation, mysticism, and activism. We discuss the need to intellectualize less and remember that the work of social injustice is also heart work that requires us to “feel the feelings" and "get to work to make the world better.”