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Leah Gunning Francis

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Professor Marks 1st Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death with Release of New Book

Willingboro Native Writes Book on the Ferguson Uprising and the Courage it Produced

Willingboro, NJ, August 02, 2015 --( Dr. Leah Gunning Francis had no idea when she left her home located on the south side of the city of St. Louis, the morning of August 9, 2014, that within 24 hours her life would dramatically change by the occurrences about to take place across town in a nearby northern suburb known as Ferguson.

In her new book, "Ferguson & Faith: Sparking Leadership & Awakening Community" (Chalice Press, 2015), set to be released August 4, 2015, a few days shy of the first anniversary of the tragic shooting death of Michael Brown, Dr. Gunning Francis, a native of Willingboro (WHS '89), takes us behind the frontlines of the civil unrest, sharing stories from over twenty faith leaders and more than a dozen young activists, who joined together in the midst of chaos to form a powerful network of leaders in partnership for one common goal: justice.

"It is an honor to listen to these sacred stories of courage and hope, gleaning from them the seeds of possibilities that, if nurtured, could serve us well into the future," Dr. Gunning Francis said. "These are stories that were rarely imaged on television, yet they are integral to the fight for justice in Ferguson and resonate with the struggle for human dignity around the country. They remind us why #blacklivesmatter to God, and why they should matter to us all."

This compilation of interviews, with titles such as, Just Protest This by Prayer, Praying with Their Feet, and There is a Ferguson Near You, shows the immediate response of clergy of all cultures and backgrounds stepping out from behind the safety of their pulpits, and stepping up in support of the emerging young leaders seeking racial equality.

As Dr. Gunning Francis points out in her Introduction, "I do not suggest that young leaders emerged within this movement because of the clergy. Actually, I think the argument could be made that the young leaders ignited the leadership among the clergy…"

Dr. Gunning Francis is Associate Dean for Contextual Education and Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. She is the wife of Rev. Rodney Francis, and the mother of two sons. She has been an active and visible presence in Ferguson since the shooting.

Ferguson & Faith, is the first book published in a partnership between Chalice Press and the Forum for Theological Exploration (FTE), of which Dr. Gunning Francis is a part.

Media Note: Although the official book launch will take place on August 4 at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Missouri, Dr. Gunning Francis is available for interviews. To schedule an interview please contact Marcel L Johnson of Silent Liaison PR at 609-353-3412, or email
Contact Information
Dr Leah Gunning Francis
c/o Marcel L Johnson, SLPR
Attached Files
Ferguson and Faith Press Sheet
Cover photo and brief synopsis
Filename: FergusonandFaithpresssheet.pdf

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