Our Mission

Sacred Spaces: Racial Justice and Spirituality in Action aims to topple policies and practices that sanction systemic racism and drive social change outcomes. Rooted in social justice, love, and humanity, the program features an annual cohort of 12-15 participants engaging in programs both in-person at Washington National Cathedral and online. Participants in Sacred Spaces will ultimately create and launch an action plan to drive social change.



Selected participants will be established leaders rooted in faith and mercy, from various professional and social sectors, who have demonstrated influence and authority in furthering the cause of racial justice and systemic change. They will be from broad backgrounds, professionally, racially, geographically, religiously, and otherwise. Participants of diverse faith traditions are welcome and encouraged.

Design and Goals

This 10-month, outcome-focused program aims to provide participants with the necessary knowledge, skills, and tools to engage in conversations about race, explore their own personal positions, and work towards creating a more just and equitable society. The program features group discussions, workshops, and conversations led by a nationally-renowned group of speakers, teachers, and mentors. Participants will be expected to have identified a policy or practice area they will work to change.

Expected Outcomes

Sacred Spaces participants will:
• Learn radical honesty as a guide to strengthen faith-inspired leadership skills
• Develop and share with others tools to effectively manage social change rooted in justice, love, and humanity
• Create and enact a clearly-defined action plan to drive social change
• Build a coalition of diverse change-makers dedicated to empowering others to challenge injustice, fight oppression, and work towards creating a more equitable and compassionate world


Sacred Spaces will be centered around a multi-day residential program at the newly-opened Virginia Mae Center. Centrally located within the tranquility of the Cathedral grounds, the Virginia Mae Center is a place of learning, pilgrimage and spiritual renewal, a safe venue for difficult conversations, and a healing space for all who enter its doors.

Advisory Committee

Sacred Spaces: Racial Justice and Spirituality in Action Program is guided by an advisory committee consisting of leaders across diverse industries. The advisory committee meets regularly to advise the Cathedral on the program. Members include, but are not limited to:

  • The Rev. Canon Leonard L. Hamlin, Sr., Canon Missioner and Missioner of Equity and Inclusion, Washington National Cathedral
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul Smith, Civil Rights Veteran and  Pastor Emeritus, First Presbyterian, Brooklyn Heights
  • Karen Chong (Co-Chair), Vice President of Audience Strategy, Age Inclusion, Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, AARP
  • C. Howie Hodges, II (Co-Chair), Partner and Managing Director, CENTRI Capital
  • Michaela Angela Davis, Writer and Image Activist
  • Dr. Hildi Hendrickson, Former Associate Professor of Anthropology, Long Island University Brooklyn
  • Joy Thomas Moore, President and CEO, JWS Media Consulting
  • Elle Moxley, Executive Director & Founder, Masha P Johnson Institute
  • Mossi K. Tull, Chief Operating Officer, Jackson and Tull
  • Dr. Dianna Vass, Associate Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • James R. Woody, Member, Cathedral Chapter; retired, founding Executive Director and President, the Bishop John T. Walker School for Boys

Additional experts and community leaders are asked to provide input on specific program components throughout the planning, including: Fearless Dialogues; Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II; Shiftwork Consulting, Sukari Pinnock-Fitts; Ana Chapa; and Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, Strategic Diversity and Inclusion Management Certificate Program.