Prathia Hall Social Justice Award

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ABOUT HANNAH ADAIR BONNER, 2016 Awardee

Rev. Hannah Adair Bonner is the Curator of The Shout, and the author of a curriculum released in 2016 from Abingdon Press, “The Shout: Finding the Prophetic Voice in Unexpected Places.” A graduate of Furman University and Duke Divinity School, she was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 2012. Through her work with The Shout, based in Houston, she works to amplify “the cry” through a spoken-word poetry focused arts & justice community that puts words into action. Since the Sandra Bland, was found dead in her jail cell July 2015, Bonner has been working on the ground in Waller County, Texas, to amplify Bland's voice as and Black Lives Matter activist and Methodist evangelist. In 2016, Hannah was recognized as one of the “16 Faith Leaders to Watch in 2016” by the Center for American Progress. She received this award, The Prathia Hall Social Justice Award, for her work in Texas.


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ABOUT DR. DOLORES E. LEE MCCABE, 2010 Awardee

On March 11, 2010, WomanPreach! Inc. gladly awarded its inaugural Prathia Hall Social Justice Award to Rev. Dr. Dolores E. Lee McCabe, a social activist minister in Philadelphia. The award was given in conjunction with a luncheon hosted by the Daughters of Thunder at Palmer Theological Seminary. Dr. McCabe has served God and humanity in professional ministry for more than 20 years. She has been a Christian since she was a child. On December 16, 2000, when Millcreek Baptist Church voted to call her as senior pastor, she became one of only a hand-full of women in the Philadelphia area to be called as senior pastor. Under her leadership, Millcreek annually spearheaded the Stop the Violence Conferences and Gun buy backs.

Prior to becoming a pastor, she had a 26-year career at Eastern University, where she served as associate professor of counseling and social justice, and earlier as associate dean of students as well as director of the Cushing Center for Counseling and Academic Support. Dr. McCabe earned both her M.Div. and her D.Min from Palmer Theological Seminary (formerly Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary).

Dr. McCabe preaches internationally and has preached in Guyana, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, the townships of Daveyton, Soweto, and Lamountville in South Africa, the Czech Republic, and Canada, as well as throughout the United States. She has contributed to eight publications, including “Jezebel: the Wicked Queen” in the Women of Color Bible. Dr. McCabe is married to retired music educator, Dr. C. Wilbert McCabe. They have four children and four grandchildren.


ABOUT THE PRATHIA HALL SOCIAL JUSTICE AWARD AND ITS NAMESAKE

This award, nominated by members of the governing board and graduates of any WomanPreach! program, is awarded to a woman minister whose prophetic voice has been obvious and effective in the public arena. WomanPreach! Inc. owes much of its heritage to such fierce woman-warrior preacher-activists as Rev. Prathia Hall, Ph.D.

Dr. Hall grew up in Philadelphia under the tutelage of her parents; her father, Rev. Berkeley Hall was a Baptist minster who was a passionate advocate for racial justice. Hall left her undergraduate studies at Temple University to join the throng of college students who went South to be Freedom Fighters. She joined the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Comittee (SNCC) and eventually became one of the first women field leaders in southwest Georgia. She helped break barriers for women’s leadership in the Baptist Church by distinguishing herself as an outstanding preacher. In 1962, she was the first woman received into the Baptist Minister’s Conference in Philadelphia. After her father’s death, Dr. Hall accepted the call to pastor the church her father once pastored, Mount Sharon Baptist Church. She later enrolled in Princeton Theological Seminary and continued serving as pastor while she eventually completed her Ph.D. in ethics, specializing in womanist ethics, theology, and African-American church history.

“In 1962 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was visiting Terrell County, Georgia speaking to a congregation whose church building had recently been burned to the ground by the Klan. The name of the church was Mt. Olive Baptist Church. In the service was a young SNCC worker and college student, Prathia Hall. She had distinguished herself as someone with great oratory talents and possessing a strong religious background, so she was on the program that night to pray. As she prayed, Prathia drew on her talents as the daughter of a Baptist preacher and began to intone her own vision of the future by peppering her prayer with the phrase, ‘I Have A Dream.’ King was impressed; and as ministers often do King would later go on to incorporate an inspiring phrase he heard from someone into his own speeches. By late 1962, the phrase ‘I have a dream’ had become a fixture in sermons King frequently gave as he traveled the United States.”

**this information comes most directly from Dr. Renita Weem’s recollections and remembrance of her friend, which she published on her blog, Somethingwithin.com in 2010. That blog no longer exists. For more information on Dr. Hall, see also: http://www.pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith/people/prathia_hall.html.