“I believe that I am called to do all that I can to create a more just world. This work is a response to that call.”

Hometown: Arlington, Alabama
Education: BA, Journalism, University of Alabama
M.A., American Culture Studies, Bowling Green State University, Ohio
Master of Divinity, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, D.C.
Curently pursuing a doctorate in African-Centered Religious Thought and Practice at McCormick Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL
Known around the office as: JDR and the 4 a.m. emailer
Recognized by: His really great boots

James has lived in several regions of the country, but he is quick to say that he identifies as a Southerner.

“It has to do with a way of being – a way of interacting with others,” he said. ‘’It also is about my connection to the physicality of the place generations of my family helped to build.

James loves to hear the stories of others and thinks stories about real people are often far more impactful than any statistic. This love of storytelling  — along with a desire to “change the world” – is what first led him into journalism.

After a career as a newspaper reporter and editor, James worked in strategic communications for two mayors, a foundation and a nonprofit organization. He is also an ordained minister and serves on the pastoral staff of a Washington, D.C. church. He sees his work at the CFSY as directly connected to his ministry work.

“I take seriously the mandate to care for the downtrodden and the despised,” he says.