Drew Theological School professor is honored by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

He will tackle a unique project.

January 2016—Dr. Elías Ortega-Aponte, assistant professor of Afro-Latino/a religions and cultural studies at Drew Theological School, was honored as a 2015 Justice-Building Innovator by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Each Justice-Building Innovator, recognized for improving the capacity and effectiveness of United Universalist congregations and their parishioners to engage in sustained justice work, will undertake a unique project that’s geared to meet the needs and vision of the host congregation or partner group.

“Professor Ortega-Aponte is a great choice for this project,” said Melanie Johnson-DeBaufre, associate dean for academic affairs. “Working to build justice in communities is a natural extension of his scholarship and teaching, particularly with Drew’s community-based learning courses through the Center for Civic Engagement.”

Dr. Ortega-Aponte studies the critical reflection on the legacy of Black and Brown power movements, cultural sociology and Africana theory. He is the author of “Democratic Futures in the Shadow of Mass-Incarceration: Toward a Political Theology of Prison Abolition,” a chapter in Common Goods: Economy, Ecology, Political Theology (Fordham University Press), which he co-edited with Drew Professors Catherine Keller and Johnson-DeBaufre. Dr. Ortega-Aponte received his PhD in religious social ethics from Princeton Theological Seminary.

For more information about the social justice work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, click here.