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Do We Still Need Faith in the 21st Century?

Very Biggest Questions

Tuesday January 28 2020 • 7:00pm - 8:20pm ET
Available for viewing
In-person event


Belief without evidence, that’s faith. It’s the cornerstone of religion. For many, it is a centering force that’s essential for navigating life’s mysteries and challenges. But for others, ever-increasing access to information, science, advanced technology has meant a loss of faith, or at least a reckoning with what it means.

Journalist Angélique Roché (NBC News, Syfy Wire, Marvel) hosts a discussion about what faith means to us in the U.S. in the 21st century, ranging from the role that religions and spiritual movements play in public life, how faith practices have evolved, and why human beings are drawn to faith even as we may try to pull away.

Angélique will be speaking with Princeton University Associate Dean Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames, Director of the Faith Initiative, Center for American Progress Maggie M. Siddiqi, Hussein Rashid, PhD, founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy, Joyce S. Dubensky, CEO of Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, creator and host of The Witch Wave podcast Pam Grossman and author Dianca London Potts.

Angélique Roché, Esq., LL.M. is a professional host, attorney, journalist, and producer.


Angélique has contributed to NBC News, Huffington Post, Marvel.com and Rewire News. She currently hosts the Marvel’s Voices podcast, SyfyWire’s Geeksplain, and is a co-host of The Radical Geeks and Women of Marvel podcasts among others.


Prior to being a full-time creative, Angélique served as the VP, External Affairs at the Ms. Foundation for Women. She has also worked on various political campaigns including as campaign manager for Nina Turner for Ohio Secretary of State (2014) and as a Regional Field Director for Obama for America NC (2012). She also served as an Associate Director for the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee.


Angélique holds a B.A. in Print Journalism from Southern University and A & M College, a J.D. from the Southern University Law Center, and a LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from GW Law. In addition, she is a graduate and previous board member of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale.

Hussein Rashid, PhD, is founder of islamicate, L3C, a consultancy focusing on religious literacy. He is currently teaching at The New School and his research focuses on Muslims and American popular culture. His work includes exploring theology, the interaction between culture and religion.

He co-edited a book on Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. He is currently co-editing a volume on Islam and Popular Culture, and another volume on Islam in North America. He is also co-authoring a cultural history of Muslims in America. His current projects include an independent film, a documentary, and a museum project on religion and jazz. He worked with the Children’s Museum of Manhattan as a content expert on their exhibit “America to Zanzibar: Muslim Cultures Near and Far.”

Dianca London Potts earned her BA in English from Temple University, her MA in English and her MA in Humanities from Arcadia University, and her MFA in Fiction from The New School. She is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow, a 2015 Pushchart Prize nominee, the former prose editor of Lit Magazine, and the former online editor of Well-Read Black Girl. Her words have been featured in Glamour, Bitch, Shondaland, Self, The Village Voice, and elsewhere. Her memoir, Planning for the Apocalypse: Meditations on Faith and Being the Only Black Girl at Your Party, is forthcoming from 37 Ink / Simon and Schuster. She currently teaches at Pratt Institute and The New School and resides in Brooklyn. You can follow her musings on Twitter at @diancalondon.

Tanenbaum’s CEO, Joyce Dubensky, has directed its dramatic expansion, adding new initiatives to each of Tanenbaum’s four core programs. Over the past 18 years, her dynamic leadership has transformed Tanenbaum into an internationally recognized thought leader. Internationally in demand, Ms. Dubensky speaks, trains and conducts workshops on issues of religion in the workplace, health care and in schools, and on the value of religious peace-building for diplomats. Ms. Dubensky began her legal career with Botein Hays Sklar and Herzberg; she holds her J.D. from New York University School of Law, and has a Master’s degree from Adelphi University.

Pam Grossman is the creator and host of The Witch Wave podcast and the author of Waking the Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic, and Power (Gallery Books) and What Is A Witch (Tin Can Forest Press). Her writing has appeared in such outlets as the New York Times, The Atlantic, TIME, Ms. Magazine, and her occulture blog, Phantasmaphile. She is co-founder of the Occult Humanities Conference at NYU, and her art exhibitions and magical projects have been featured in such publications as Artforum, Art in America, the New Yorker, and Vulture, the latter of which dubbed her “the Terry Gross of witches.” She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their feline familiar. You can find her at PamGrossman.com and @Phantasmaphile.

The Rev. Dr. Theresa S. Thames is the Associate Dean of Religious Life and the Chapel at Princeton University. Theresa is passionate about the intersections of theology, gender, organizational development, and social justice. She is a challenging preacher, thoughtful theologian, and devoted friend. Theresa is a lover of life and music who prioritizes self-care and believes that radical joy is resistance. She is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and a graduate of Howard University, Duke University Divinity School and Wesley Theological Seminary.

Maggie Siddiqi is the director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Progress, a multi-issue progressive thinktank in Washington, DC. She leads the organization’s efforts to advance a progressive vision of faith and religious liberty, in coordination with a network of faith communities. Siddiqi is a certified Muslim chaplain and has over a decade of experience in faith community organizations, working to build interfaith coalitions and advance social and policy change.

Event Details

  • $20 General Admission
  • $18 Member Price
1 hour and 15 minutes
The Greene Space
44 Charlton St
New York , NY 10014 United States

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