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 program will include a conversation between author Simran Jeet Singh -- who serves as Executive Director for the Aspen Institute’s Religion & Society Program -- and Dr. Sharon Groves, Vice-President for Partner Engagement. Their discussion will focus on Singh's inspiring memoir, The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life. Also featured is Reimagine collaborator Ashley Plotnick.
Simran Jeet Singh
Simran Jeet Singh, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of the Religion & Society Program at the Aspen Institute and the author of the national bestseller The Light We Give: How Sikh Wisdom Can Transform Your Life (Riverhead, Penguin Random House).
Simran’s thought leadership on bias, empathy, wisdom, and justice extends across corporate, educational, and government settings. He is an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity with Columbia University and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and a Soros Equality Fellow with the Open Society Foundations. In 2020, TIME Magazine recognized him as one of sixteen people fighting for a more equal America.
Simran earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and he writes regularly for major outlets, including Harvard Business Review, TIME Magazine, and Religion News Service. Simran also authored the award-winning children’s book Fauja Singh Keeps Going: The True Story of the Oldest Person to Ever Run a Marathon (Kokila, Penguin Random House).
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Simran now lives in New York City with his wife and two daughters, where he enjoys running, writing, and chasing his kids.
Dr. Sharon Groves joined the Auburn Seminary staff in August 2015 as Vice-President for Partner Engagement. In this role she regularly engages with hundreds of movement and faith leaders, organizers, policy makers, and philanthropists who work at the intersection of faith and justice. Sharon leads projects at Auburn that address community thriving; national and state level collaborations on inclusive democracy; reproductive health, rights and justice; reparations; and LGBTQ equity. She serves as a key liaison with major policy and movement partners, including the Women’s March, the Center for American Progress, and national faith denominations, as well as regional and local congregations.
Prior to joining Auburn’s staff, Sharon was a Senior Fellow for Auburn Seminary. She is the former Director of the Religion and Faith (RFP) Program at the Human Rights Campaign, where she worked from 2005-2014. Under her leadership, Sharon doubled the RFP staff, built a scholarship and mentorship program for LGBTQ religious scholars, and oversaw statewide faith organizing efforts in Oregon, Illinois, Rhode Island, Maine, Maryland, and Washington State. She also supported the creation of multiple theologically grounded resources, including the lectionary-based preaching guide, Out in Scripture, and the Latinx curriculum and film, A La Familia.
Sharon received her Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Maryland in 2000 and has furthered her theological education through extensive coursework at Chicago Theological Seminary, Wesley Theological Seminary, and the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. She is an active lay member at her local congregation, All Souls Church in Washington, D.C., where she serves on the board for the Beckner Foundation, a city-based foundation that supports justice work in DC in keeping with the values of All Souls church. She is also a board member for the Church of the Savior Festival Center in DC. An active and longtime resident of Washington, DC, Sharon connects and mobilizes with many different organizations, including Standing Up for Racial Justice and Ward 4 Mutual Aid. She lives in DC’s 4th Ward with her spouse Ann and can often be found cooking for friends, gardening in her community lot, jogging in rock creek park, and watching “bad” TV.
Ashley has been volunteering with the COVID Grief Network, as both an individual and group facilitator, since June 2020, and has served as facilitator for Reimagine's new monthly gathering Room for Grief. Her work has been informed by her degrees in social work, spiritual direction, and grief counseling, as well as the heartbreaking experience of losing her grandmother to COVID in early 2021. It is a true honor for Ashley to hold sacred space and bear witness as the journey of grief unfolds. Professionally, Ashley works as a therapist for Wellington Counseling Group as well as the Director of Congregational Learning at Makom Solel Lakeside synagogue. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and three spirited children.
Reimagine is a nonprofit organization catalyzing a uniquely powerful community–people of different backgrounds, ages, races, and faiths (and no faith) coming together in the hopes of healing ourselves and the world. We specifically support each other in facing adversity, loss, and mortality and – at our own pace – actively channeling life's biggest challenges into meaningful action and growth.
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.