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About Vereene Parnell

Vereene is an educator, activist, storyteller, scholar, interfaith chaplain and published author.  A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), she holds a BA in Religious Studies from the University of Virginia and an MDiv from Earlham School of Religion (Quaker) with advanced studies in religion and social transformation at Iliff School of Theology and liberation theology at Union Theological Seminary (NY) and Drew University.  Her research interests include the conversion experiences of Sojourner Truth, the social and theological analysis of race, class, religion and gender in the work and life of Southern writer and activist Lilian Smith (1897-1966), and crosses and crucifixions in contemporary secular art.

Vereene’s work as an activist encompasses interfaith dialogue, racial and gender justice, law enforcement reform, domestic violence and environmental protection.   As the founding Dean of the Department of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility at a secular liberal arts college in Massachusetts, Vereene created opportunities for students, faculty and staff to explore and embody their core values and engage the beliefs and values of others.  She coordinated the college’s Dialogue Action Teams, bringing together diverse groups of students to explore difficult topics related to race, class, religion and gender and developed mutually beneficial partnerships with local community service organizations.  A proud AmeriCorps*VISTA supervisor, Vereene also led the college’s participation in President Obama’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, the American Association of College and Universities’ national Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement initiatives, and Interfaith Youth Core’s leadership training programs.

Born and raised in South Carolina, Vereene has recently returned to the area in search of a capstone to her rewarding and eclectic career.  She has found that capstone at IAAM.