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Beacons of Hope: Our Interreligious S/Heroes Beacons of Hope: Our Interreligious S/Heroes — Rev. Vernon K. Walker

By Rev. Tom Reid

Every month, we honor an individual (or group) who inspires the bridge-building efforts of the Miller Center. Each honoree uniquely embodies the values of inclusivity, justice, and compassion. Rev. Vernon K. Walker, a Boston-based environmental justice activist, is our Beacon of Hope for the month of April.

Rev. Walker first came across my radar screen through his work with Communities Responding to Extreme Weather (CREW), where he is currently serving as Program Director. Since then, I have seen this tireless activist and educator pop up here, there and everywhere: on TV, at the JFK Presidential Library, and in parlor meetings on climate awareness and action. Rev. Walker was also a valuable member of the 2021-2022 Boston Bridges Fellowship cohort for emerging religious and cultural leaders. He is currently a student in the Master of Public Policy program at Tufts University.

Thank you, Rev. Walker, for your steadfast efforts in support of those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, and to helping us all develop the habits of head, heart, and hands to live more conscious and sustainable lives. The world needs your leadership now more than ever.

Tom Reid is the Associate Director of the Miller Center for Interreligious Learning and Leadership at Hebrew College. Tom is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and serves as pastor of Newton Presbyterian Church in Newton Corner. He holds a Master of Divinity (MDiv) magna cum laude from Boston University School of Theology where his studies included a focus on religion and conflict transformation and interreligious engagement. Prior to returning to higher education, Tom spent over ten years working in a variety of fields: clean energy in Boston, environmental and green building consulting in Boston and Dubai, and business education in Madrid, Spain. Originally from Kansas, Tom holds a BA with honors from the University of Kansas in Environmental Studies, Latin American Studies, and Spanish and an MA in European Politics, Policy, and Society granted jointly by the Euromasters consortium of European universities and funded by a Fulbright grant.

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