Dorsey Blake

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Dorsey Blake


Reverend Dorsey Blake ...was associate professor of Spirituality and Prophetic Justice, is pastor of the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco, which was founded by the Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman as the nation’s first interracial, interfaith congregation. Blake taught at Starr King for over nine years.[1]

Rev. Dr. Dorsey Ordell Blake, Visiting Associate Professor of Pastoral Leadership and Social Transformation, was officially installed as Presiding Minister of The Church for The Fellowship of All Peoples in October, 1994. During Dr. Blake’s installation service, Mrs. Sue Bailey Thurman presented Dr. Howard Thurman’s robe — which had not been worn since his death – to Dr. Blake as a symbol of her trust in his leading the congregation “so that there will be no past greater than our future.”

Dr. Blake served as Dean of Faculty and Visiting Professor of Spirituality and Prophetic Justice at Starr King School for the Ministry for six years. He continued to serve on the Core Faculty until his resignation January of this year, 2015. He has recently been appointed Visiting Associate Professor of Pastoral Leadership and Social Transformation at Pacific School of Religion.

Prior to joining the faculty at Starr King, Dr. Blake served as Founding Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and later as Vice President for Community Learning at the University of Creation Spirituality. In addition to responsibilities for curriculum, student and faculty development, he helped to initiate the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration initially held at Taylor Memorial United Methodist Church that annually draws over 1,000 people.

Rev. Blake served as the Director of the Center for Urban-Black Studies at the Graduate Theological Union and Core Faculty Member at the GTU; Co-Director, United Campus Ministry, The Ohio University, Athens; and, Program Director of the Howard Thurman Educational Trust, San Francisco. He was also the first full-time Black male professor at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, 1972-77 where he taught in the Religious Studies Department and designed a major in Black Studies.

Dr. Blake has conducted seminars and workshops locally and nationally. He is the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the first Martin Luther King Award for his work with International Students while at The Ohio University where he established the International Students Emergency Fund; The Negro Spirituals Heritage Keepers Award, Friends of Negro Spirituals, 2008; the Faculty, Staff Support Award, Afro-American Association, The University of Alabama, 1977, 1976, 1973, 1972 ( the only times the award was presented); and the Distinguished Alum Award from Pacific School of Religion, 2007. He received academic grants from the Fund for Theological Education and the Danforth Foundation.

He has extensive field ministry experience with interfaith groups addressing justice and peace issues, including the California People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, The Interfaith Alliance for Prison Reform, Genesis and The San Francisco Interfaith Council. He served as a member of the steering committee of Religious Witness with Homeless People and has been in the forefront of peace and justice activities, speaking to small audiences and rallies that have drawn over 200,000 people. In May – June, 2000, he traveled to Morocco with an interfaith delegation of Muslims, Jews, and Christians in a quest to promote interfaith respect and cooperation. In October 2010 he met His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and served on an interfaith panel responding to his teachings. Currently, he serves as Board Chair for IDA, a social networking platform that seeks to empower women and communities of color most affected by today’s economic crisis[2]

CoC National Conference endorser

In 1992 Rev. Dorsey Blake, director Center for Urban Black Studies, Oakland, California, endorsed the Committees of Correspondence national conference Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s held at Berkeley California July 17-19.[3]

Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s

The Conference on Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the 90s was the Committees of Correspondence's first national conference held in Berkeley, California July 17-19, 1992.[4]

Workshops that were held at the conference on Saturday, July 18 included:[5]

Religion Religion and the churches as a force for radical social change

Unitarian Universalist Scholars and Friends Discussion

Unitarian Universalist Scholars and Friends Discussion

Saturday, November 19, 2011, 6:30-9:00 pm

Continental Ballroom 2, Hilton Union Square

Theme: “Celebrating Embodied and Transformative Worship and Ritual”:

“Our annual conversation will explore ritual practices that build multi-religious, justice-loving beloved communities. Unitarian Universalists have long struggled to transcend both the cultural and class privileges of our forebears and our inherited skepticism about ritual and the body. In this event we will celebrate the new possibilities that open up when we join these two struggles together. A diverse group of panelists will share both specific case studies and general principles drawn from the fields of theology and ritual studies. Our emphasis will be on what is now working well within and beyond Unitarian Universalist communities, as well as on ritual strategies for turning failures into opportunities for growth. Panelists include Dorsey Blake, Clyde Grubbs, Emily Mace, and Robert McCauley. Myriam Renaud will moderate and Nancy Palmer Jones will respond. Sponsored by Starr King School for the Ministry, Meadville Lombard Theological School, Harvard Divinity School, Beacon Press, and UUA Panel on Theological Education.”[6]

References

  1. [1]
  2. http://www.psr.edu/portfolio/rev-dr-dorsey-blake/PSR bio, December 2015]
  3. CCDS Background
  4. Conference program
  5. Proceedings of the Committees of Correspondence Conference: Perspectives for Democracy and Socialism in the '90s booklet, printed by CoC in NY, Sept. 1992 (Price: $4)
  6. [2]