On Wednesday, April 15, for the third Virtual Coffee Night speaker series, Melissa Rogers, a leading expert and scholar on religion in American public life, gave a fascinating talk on how the First Amendment encompasses common ground, and for sharing insights on controversies about religion in public life.

Needless to say, coffee has had a significant place in our lives for ages. We often say “Let’s have a cup of coffee” to imply “Let’s have a conversation”. That being said, we believe that nothing beats a nice relaxed conversation and invite you both to relieve ourselves over a cup of coffee and to stimulate our minds with various light-hearted talks. Prominent speakers from a variety of backgrounds have been and will be part of this series and all together we will have enriched conversations.

You can find the whole webinar on our Youtube page.

About the Speaker:

Melissa Rogers is a nationally known expert on religion in American public life. Her areas of expertise include the United States Constitution’s religious liberty guarantees and the interplay of religion, law, policy, and politics. Rogers currently serves as Visiting Professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity and as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Rogers previously served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (2013-2017), Chair of President Obama’s inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (2009-2010), Director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity (2003 – 2013), Executive Director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2000 – 2003), and Associate Counsel/General Counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (1994 – 2000).

Rogers is author of Faith in American Public Life (2019) and co-author of Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court (2008). She has received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from both Wake Forest University and the John Leland Center for Theological Studies. Rogers holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Baylor University. In 2017, President Barack Obama appointed Rogers to serve as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Baylor University awarded her its Pro Texana Medal of Service and the First Freedom Center gave Rogers its Virginia First Freedom Award. National Journal has recognized Rogers as one of the church-state experts “politicians will call on when they get serious about addressing an important public policy issue.”

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