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Lawyer, faith leader opening Lecture Series

ELKINS — Davis & Elkins College will open its spring lecture series, sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy, on Thursday.

Allyson McKinney Timm, founder and executive director of Justice Revival in Washington, D.C., will be the featured speaker for the 7 p.m. event in Myles Center for the Arts.

In her lecture titled “Reconciling Religion and Human Rights? An Advocate’s Experience Grappling Perennial Tensions over Gender Equality,” Timm will explore the complex relationship between religion and human rights and, in particular, perennial tensions over the issue of gender equality.

“D&E is very fortunate to have a top human rights attorney and faith leader joining us as we begin the Center’s spring presentations on democracy and faith,” said Dr. Bryan Wagoner, associate professor of religious studies and philosophy and director of the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy. “Allyson is a national thought leader who will help our community reflect on women’s rights as human rights and on the complex connections between rights discourse and matters of faith.”

A human rights lawyer, scholar and faith leader Timm has two decades of experience defending the dignity and rights of those on the margins, in the United States and globally. Her work promoting justice and equality has spanned the nonprofit, private and academic sectors. After founding Justice Revival in 2017, she was named “one of ten faith leaders to watch” by the Center for American Progress the following year. Her writing has appeared in Sojourners, California Lawyer, The Independent, USA Today, Yale Divinity School’s Reflections magazine and others.

As the Robert M. Cover-Allard K. Lowenstein Fellow in International Human Rights at Yale Law School, Timm taught and supervised students in the Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic, investigating and analyzing issues such as early and forced marriage, human trafficking, religious liberty, and human rights to education and housing.

Timm also established and led the Uganda Field Office of International Justice Mission, an organization that initiated a successful program to defend the property and inheritance rights of vulnerable widows and orphans.

Prior to joining IJM, Timm was a litigation associate in the San Francisco office of Latham & Watkins LLP, where she contributed to a team that successfully advocated for reform of unlawful conditions in California’s juvenile prison system. She worked on an early civil suit to address human trafficking and served pro bono on a trial team with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Office of the Prosecutor. Over the years she has worked on several projects addressing constitutional law, justice and peace-building issues in what is now South Sudan.

Timm holds professional degrees in law and business from Georgetown University and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. She is ordained as a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and she will be teaching adult education and preaching at Davis Memorial Presbyterian Church on Sunday, Feb. 27.

Timm’s lecture is the first in a series sponsored by the Morrison-Novakovic Center for Faith and Public Policy this spring that focus on themes of democracy and faith. All are free and open to the public. Masks and social distancing are required.

For additional information, email Wagoner at wagonerb@dewv.edu.

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