Rev. Melaine Jones arrived on Texas Wesleyan’s campus Tuesday evening with sincerity, soul, and conviction.

Jones is a womanist ethicist, millennial preacher and intellectual activist; with university President Frederick Slabach in attendance, she delivered a lecture entitled “Saving America, Again: Black Women in the U.S. and the Politics of Redemption” for the 2018 Willson Lectureship.

“Black women took power from the white man because they got out and voted. Ninety-eight percent of black women voted against Roy Moore, who has been accused of assaulting teenage girls,” she said, referring to the U.S. Senate race in Alabama in December 2017, in which Democrat Doug Jones beat Moore, a Republican.

Jones earned a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Howard University and a Master of Divinity with a certificate in Black Church Studies from Vanderbilt University Divinity School, according to txwes.edu. She is a doctor of philosophy candidate at Chicago Theological Seminary studying ethics, theology and culture.

“Black women, if no one else, has the potential to redeem the soul of America,” she said.

“What can we do to be the change?” asked an attendee.

“Get out, vote, and never stop believing in what you believe,” Jones said. “You do not need approval from any cooperation or persons to make your voice heard. Black Lives Matter and #MeToo did not get started by waiting for someone to approve of them. Get out, be the change, even if you start from nothing your voice will be heard the more persistent you are.”

Freshman mass communication major LaTerra Wair said she found the lecture to be “empowering.”

“It was inspiring as a young women to see how far she’s come and the good she’s doing in the world,” she said.

Freshman Kaylee Conrad also enjoyed the lecture, saying it was “interesting how she used quotes in her lecture instead of just her own opinions.”

 Brennely Barrera, a junior business major, said it was “refreshing to hear women like the Rev. Jones fighting for women like me. I was motivated, to say the least.”

Rev. Melanie Jones speaks about empowering women at the 2018 Willson Lectureship.
Photo by Alpha Diallo

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