Photo by Michael Wuertenberg (World Economic Forum) via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-SA-2.0

New York Times best selling author, activist, and theologian Jim Wallis will speak on the subject of his latest book, America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America, on Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 7 p.m. at Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center. The author of ten previous books regarding issues of social justice viewed through the lens of religious faith, Wallis’ latest book is the one he has described as the book he always wanted to write. In it, he offers an analysis of America’s historical racism– its treatment of the indigenous population and its enslavement of Africans– and the lasting and devastating legacy brought about by what he calls “America’s original sin.”

RELATED: Trinity Lutheran hosts free conversation with Wallis for Faith Leaders on September 16 at 2pm in Lynnwood, WA. Learn More

As a Member of President Obama’s first White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, as Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Values of the World Economic Forum, in diverse sectors of the media, and as an Instructor at Georgetown University and Harvard University, his voice has been crucial. Describing himself as white, Christian, and evangelical, Wallis sees it as his faith’s obligation to “support the poor and vulnerable and defend those under attack.” He offers this path forward as a way to change our course: “Tell the truth… love our neighbors… welcome the stranger… expose and oppose racial profiling… defend Muslims…. It is time to listen.”

Presented by the Treacy Levine Center, the organization’s Board President, Pastor Terry Kyllo, spoke of the decision to bring Jim Wallis to Seattle, “In a time of vast inequities, social and economic change, it is easy for faith leaders to avoid the tough issues and the part we play in them. We are excited to provide an opportunity for Jim Wallis to help us see that faith communities can take the lead in addressing racial inequity and in the process rediscover why we exist in the first place.”

Following the lecture, Wallis will moderate a panel of interfaith clergy and community leaders:

  • Reverend Kelle Brown, Lead Pastor of Plymouth Church, United Church of Christ
  • Sr. Aneelah Afzali, attorney and Executive Director of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound’s MAPS-AMEN initiative
  • Estela Ortega, Executive Director of El Centro de La Raza
  • Senior Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple de Hirsch Sinai
  • Pastor Terry Kyllo, Treacy Levine Board President, Pastor of The Catacomb Churches, and Director of Neighbors in Faith

Tickets can be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets by phone @ 1-800-838-3006, 24/7, or online at Doors open for book sales at 5:30; sales and a book signing will follow the presentation.

The event is a program of the Treacy Levine Center, a non-profit organization which has worked for fifty years in support of its mission and whose roots lie in pioneering interfaith dialogue begun in 1960. Introductory remarks will be by Father William Treacy, Co-Founder and Director For Life of the Treacy Levine Center. The event will be hosted by Jeff Renner, Treacy Levine Center Board member, retired Chief Meteorologist for KING TV, speaker, and author.


Mission statement: The Treacy Levine Center is dedicated to promoting understanding, bridging divides, and building relationships amongst people across religious, cultural, ethnic, and social lines through educational and experiential activities.