Reimagine has been hosting candlelight vigils throughout the pandemic in order to break down taboos and hold space for all that we've lost. Tonight’s vigil, co-hosted with Auburn, serves as the closing ceremony for Reimagine’s season of Grief, Growth and Justice. Over the course of the spring season, Reimagine has been leaning into the ways in which acts of service and justice work can fuel transformation and self-knowledge. The Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan Simpson, president of Auburn Seminary, will be in conversation with pastor, healthcare activist, and Reimagine board member Corey Kennard to share their experiences of spiritual growth and how action and advocacy can repair ourselves, our communities, and our world. The musical guest is multi-instrumentalist and composer treya lam, an active member of the Resistance Revival Chorus.
The Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson
The Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson became the president of Auburn Seminary on October 1, 2021. Auburn is a leadership development and research institute that equips bold and resilient leaders of faith and moral courage to build communities, bridge divides, pursue justice, and heal the world. Founded more than 200 years ago by Presbyterians in upstate New York, Auburn is committed to right relationship with a truly multifaith, multiracial movement for justice.
Rev. Jordan-Simpson embraced her call to ministry and service early in life. She preached her first sermon at the age of 17 at House of Prayer Episcopal Church in Newark, NJ, and was ordained by The Concord Baptist Church of Christ, a historic freedom faith congregation in Brooklyn, NY. Her ministry has been grounded in the call to community. Her leadership of New York’s nonprofit organizations have addressed the sacred issues representative of her congregation’s convictions.
She is a graduate of Fisk University (BA); Union Theological Seminary (M.Div), and Drew Theological Seminary (D.Min). She is the President of the Board of American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York and serves on the Board of Directors of FPWA.
Rev. Jordan Simpson and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Gary V. Simpson, live in Brooklyn and are the proud parents of three amazing adult children.
Corey L. Kennard
Corey L. Kennard is Pastor of Amplify Christian Church and also serves as an activist in the field of healthcare. His holistic approach (body, mind, and spirit) serves as the foundation for his desire to see all human beings treated with dignity, honor, and respect in all facets of life. He began his active work in ministry as well as the business sector over 25 years ago. Corey earned a Master’s Degree from Ashland Theological Seminary and carries out his passion for people as a daring and devoted agent of change. In addition to serving as a Pastor and healthcare activist, Pastor Corey is a Spiritual Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Board Member of Reimagine.
Corey has been involved in the field of healthcare for over 20 years with over 15 years of experience in the areas of Palliative Care and Hospice. He is a Certified Patient Experience Professional (CPXP) and currently serves as the Director of Patient Experience at one of Detroit’s largest hospitals. His work in healthcare has also included leading a spiritual care team, and serving as a Faculty Lead for Duke University’s Institute on Care at the End Of Life (ICEOL) national training program called, “APPEAL.” In this role, he was instrumental in co-creating a national teaching module for understanding spirituality at the end of life for African-Americans.
treya lam is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who’s joyously complex identity informs but does not define their work, whether solo or when collaborating with a variety of multidisciplinary ensembles. Their strident voice, politically charged songwriting and fluency on guitar, piano and looped viola recalls Nina Simone and Andrew Bird. treya’s debut Good News was created by womxn and genderqueer collaborators and released via Kaki King’s label. Smithsonian Magazine states lam’s work “perfectly captures the mixture of love, loss and hope”. lam is currently developing otherland - an audiovisual chamber-folk album on healing in the wake of grief and loss, radical self acceptance and the relationship between individual and collective healing.
lam is a OneBeat fellow, NYCLU Artist Ambassador and active member of the Resistance Revival Chorus. Their song Dawn was featured on the RRC’s debut album This Joy - released on Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records. treya was an artist in residence at Joe’s Pub in 2019 and MASS MoCA in 2020. lam has performed original music at Lincoln Center, the Prospect Park Bandshell and the American Museum of Natural History.
Reimagine hosts community-driven experiences that bring creativity, connection, and essential conversation to face adversity, loss, and mortality, and channel the hard parts of life into meaningful action and growth. Reimagine envisions a world where we can embrace life fully—from this moment through the end—and collectively contribute to a more just and compassionate society. Reimagine experiences encompass arts + entertainment, healthcare + social services, spirituality + religion, and Innovation + design.
For those of us who pursue justice -- whether at home, at work, and in our communities -- this work can be rooted in love as well as loss. By serving individuals and communities, growth and transformation are possible for those facing adversity, loss, and mortality. Our Spring 2022 theme – Grief, Growth, and Justice – digs deeper into the theory and practice of post-traumatic growth, particularly how volunteerism, civic engagement, and activism can be pathways towards personal and communal healing.
Auburn equips leaders with the organizational skills and spiritual resilience required to create lasting, positive impact in local communities, on the national stage, and around the world. We amplify voices and visions of faith and moral courage. We convene diverse leaders and cross-sector organizations for generative collaboration and multifaith understanding. And we research what’s working — and not — in theological education and social change-making.