Faith and the Faithful in the 2020 Elections: Religion, Racism, and the COVID-19 Crisis
The 2020 presidential campaign is being reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic crisis it created, and the national focus on racism in the aftermath of the killings of George Floyd and other African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers. These challenges are testing our faith and our politics, our religious communities, and our nation.
This online dialogue will focus on how the social and economic costs of the pandemic and the moral and human costs of racism may be affecting religious communities and voters in advance of the November elections. How are our leaders and communities responding? What are our obligations and opportunities in this time of crisis as citizens and as believers? How will recent United States Supreme Court decisions affect the views and choices of religious voters and the dynamics of the campaign?
In this volatile context, the attitudes of evangelical, Catholic, and other religious voters may be shifting dramatically, with old alignments losing ground to new realities. What do we know now? What are the implications of potential shifts for religious communities, U.S. politics, and the November 2020 elections?
The role of religion, racism, and the COVID-19 crisis will be addressed by a panel of respected journalists and political leaders who bring differing religious, racial, generational, and political perspectives and backgrounds:
- Michael Gerson is a Washington Post columnist and a policy fellow with the ONE Campaign. He was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush and a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
- Justin Giboney is an attorney and a political strategist in Atlanta, Georgia. He is also the president and co-founder of the AND Campaign, a Christian civic organization that focuses on asserting the compassion and conviction of Jesus Christ in the public square.
- Jeanné Lewis is the vice president and chief engagement officer at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, a board member for Faith in Public Life, and a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.
- Gabby Orr is a White House reporter for POLITICO and has been covering Donald Trump since the day he announced his 2016 presidential campaign. She covers social issues, religion, the vice president, and the 2020 campaign.
Gregory Smith, associate director of research at Pew Research Center, will open the dialogue with data from their recent report on religious voters and the 2020 U.S. presidential election. John Carr, director of the Initiative, will moderate the online conversation.
This online conversation is a Public Dialogue and Salt and Light Gathering for young leaders in public life and is co-sponsored by Georgetown’s Institute of Politics and Public Service. It is part of the Faith and the Faithful series organized by the Initiative and is supported by the Democracy Fund.