Susan K. Smith in conversation with Bill Moyers

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Location Hall of Philosophy

Gate pass required. Purchase at our Main Gate Welcome Center, (716) 357-6250

Rev. Dr. Susan K. Smith is founder and leader of the private non-profit organization, Crazy Faith Ministries, which aims to unpack and teach the concept of faith in a way which empowers people and enables them to reach far beyond what they believe themselves able to do. She is the author of five books: Carla and Annie; From Calvary to Victory; Forgive WHO?; Crazy Faith: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (second printing); and The Book of Jeremiah: The Life and Ministry of Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. As a member of a panel of theologians, scholars, and writers who comment on issues pertinent to religion, her work has also appeared weekly in The Washington Post. She also has her own blog, “Candid Observations,” which concentrates on the intersection of race, politics, and religion.

A former reporter, Rev. Smith worked for newspapers in Baltimore and Texas before entering seminary. She also served as an associate producer for WJZ News; as an on-air news reporter for WEAA, the radio station affiliated with Morgan State University in Baltimore; as a talk show host for “Columbus Today;” and as an on-air political commentator for a news magazine television program also produced in Columbus.

Formerly the senior pastor of Advent United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Smith served as associate minister at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, studying under the Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A Wright, Jr.  She served at Trinity for three years before accepting the call to be pastor at Advent UCC.

Rev. Smith is a past co-president of BREAD, (Building Responsibility, Equity and Dignity), a multi-racial, multi-ethnic social justice organization comprised of over 50 different religious denominations in the city of Columbus. Under her leadership, that organization was recently instrumental in getting the Ohio Legislature to sign into law a measure which prevents pay day lenders from charging its clients exorbitant interest rates. She was recently invited to be a participant in the Oxford Roundtable, at Oxford University in England, where she presented a paper on the tension in America between the United States Constitution and the Holy Bible.

A 1986 graduate of Yale Divinity School, where she earned her M.Div., she received her BA in English Literature from Occidental College and her D. Min. from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, studying under the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Proctor. She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Inc., a social justice ministry which seeks to empower churches and ministers in urban settings to deal with the problems they face through training, resource development and acquisition, and changing of public policy.   She was recently inducted into the Martin Luther King Jr. College of Ministers and Laity.

A broadcast journalist for more than four decades, Bill Moyers has been recognized as one of the unique voices of our times, one that resonates with multiple generations. With his wife and creative partner, Judith Davidson Moyers, Bill Moyers has produced such groundbreaking public affairs series as NOW with Bill Moyers (2002-2005), Bill Moyers Journal (2007-2010) and Moyers & Company (2011-2015). Since the company’s founding in 1986, other notable productions have included the landmark 1988 series, Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, as well as Healing and the MindThe Language of LifeGenesisOn Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying, Moyers on Addiction: Close to HomeAmerica’s First RiverBecoming American: The Chinese ExperienceFaith & Reason, and Moyers on America.

Moyers began his journalism career at age 16 as a cub reporter for his hometown daily newspaper in Marshall, Texas. He was a founding organizer and deputy director of the Peace Corps and special assistant to President Lyndon B. Johnson. Moyers served as Johnson’s press secretary from 1965 to 1967.

As publisher of Newsday from 1967 to 1970, Moyers brought aboard writers including Pete Hamill, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Saul Bellow, and led the paper to two Pulitzer Prizes. In 1976, he was the senior correspondent for the distinguished documentary series CBS Reports and later a senior news analyst for The CBS Evening News.

For his work, Bill Moyers has received more than 30 Emmys, two prestigious Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia University Awards, nine Peabodys, and three George Polk Awards. In the first year it was bestowed, Moyers received the prestigious Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the American Film Institute. A Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he also received the Career Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association and has been honored by the Television Critics Association for outstanding career achievement.

Moyers was elected to the Television Hall of Fame in 1995. A year later he received the Charles Frankel Prize (now the National Humanities Medal) from the National Endowment for the Humanities “for outstanding contributions to American cultural life.” In 2005, he received the PEN USA Courageous Advocacy Award for his passionate, outspoken commitment to freedom of speech and his dedication to journalistic integrity. He has also been honored with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Museum of Broadcast Communications calls Moyers, “One of the few broadcast journalists who might be said to approach the stature of Edward R. Murrow. If Murrow founded broadcast journalism, Moyers significantly extended its traditions.”

Moyers’ books include such bestsellers as Listening to AmericaThe Power of MythHealing and the MindThe Language of LifeMoyers on America: A Journalist and His Times, and Moyers on Democracy. His most recent book, Bill Moyers Journal: The Conversation Continues, was published in May 2011. He currently serves as president of the Schumann Media Center, a non-profit organization that supports independent journalism.