The Table

Along with individual speakers, we have assembled three robust panels for the WOW 2015 Conference on the themes:

  • “Break the Silence” – male priests who speak out for women’s equality in the Church, including a priest in good standing who will “break his silence” on the panel;
  • “Survivor Justice” – a panel focused on the abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, from the perspective of women — a lesser heard discussion on an issue often dominated by the experiences of men.
  • “Equal in Faith” – an interfaith panel featuring feminist of faith across traditions working for gender justice in religion.  This panel will be an extended discussion on the evening of Saturday, September 19th, moderated by NPR’s Maureen Fielder, host of Interfaith Voices. 

This brief spotlight on the speakers of the Equal in Faith panel should be considered the smallest sampling of these women’s accomplishments and of their profound impact they continue to have on gender justice in religion.

So while recently Buzzfeed featured an article of “Badass Feminists of Faith You Should Know,” (including WOW speaker, Kate Kelly) we have a few more to add to the list…

Rees_32255cChristina Rees: well known writer, broadcaster, and public speaker. She is a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and chair of Women and the Church (WATCH) from its founding until 2010, which recently won their campaign for women bishops.

Guardian: Women Bishops, this is about the Church’s attitude to all women

WATCH Congratulates Christina Rees CBE on Queen’s Birthday Honour

Rabbi Rebecca Alpert:

Rebecca T. Alpert is Senior Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Religion at PicAlpertTemple University. She attended Barnard College before receiving her Ph.D. in religion at Temple University and her rabbinical training at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. She is the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition and Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism as well as several edited volumes and numerous articles.

Her specialization is religion in America, and with a focus on sexuality and race. She has recently taught courses on religion in American public life; Jews, America and sports, and sexuality in world religions. Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball, was published by Oxford University Press in June 2011. Religion and Sports: An Introduction and Case Studies will be available from Columbia University Press in May 2015.

LGBT Religious Archives, Oral History Project with Rebecca Alpert

asra_nomaniAsra Nomani: feminist activist and former reporter for the Wall Street Journal for fifteen years, is the author of Standing Alone: An American Woman’s Struggle for the Soul of Islam, and Tantrika: Traveling the Road of Divine Love. She is also the author of numerous articles, including the “Islamic Bill of Rights for Women in the Mosque,” Nomani’s story is surveyed in the documentary, The Mosque in Morgantown.

“Her Rosa Parks-style activism has won change…” – The New York Times

Mother Jones: “Asra Nomani: A Muslim Women’s Fight to Pray”

Patricia Fresen: South African writer and Roman Catholic theologian. Dr. Fresen was excommunicated and expelled from her Dominican order following her ordination with Roman Catholic Womenpriests.


Kate KellyKate Kelly: Mormon feminist and human rights lawyer who was excommunicated for starting the LDS Ordain Women Movement.

The wealth of news coverage and support around Kate and the Ordain Women LDS movement is extensive. If you haven’t followed the story, I encourage you to spend time on their website and social media to get a fuller sense of the passion and emotions of the movement. 

My defense against the charge of apostasy

“What you’re asking me to do is to live inauthentically, and that’s not something I’m willing to do.”

Reasonably Catholic: Her call to ordain women continues despite her excommunication by the Mormon Church

Feminism and Religion: Faith Doesn’t Need Walls

“One thing I’ve learned through this journey is that men do not control my happiness or my connection to God”


If you have not yet registered for WOW 2015, please consider this a personal invitation. You are invited to join the hundreds of other leaders in the worldwide movement for women’s full equality in our church. Gather in solidarity, strength, and celebration to mark how far our movement has come, and enliven our spirits for the journey ahead. This will be a landmark event, that will help guide our movement forward for the future.