Integration. My passion is integration.

I integrate
justice and reconciliation,
hope and lament,
social psychology and theology,
research and practice,
pro-blackness and pro-humanity,
truth and love,
contemplation and action.

In pursuit of a new reality
in which all people have an empowered seat at the table,
and there is no longer us and them – but simply us.

Christena Cleveland, Ph.D. is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and activist. She is the founder and director of the Center for Justice + Renewal, whose mission is to help justice advocates sharpen their understanding of the social realities that maintain injustice while also stimulating the soul’s enormous capacity to resist and transform those realities. Committed to leading both in scholarly settings and in the public square, Christena writes regularly, speaks widely, and consults with organizations.

Dr. Cleveland holds a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of California Santa Barbara as well as an honorary doctorate from the Virginia Theological Seminary. She integrates psychology, theology, and art to stimulate our spiritual imaginations. An award-winning researcher and author, Christena has held faculty positions at several institutions of higher education — most recently at Duke University’s Divinity School, where she led a research team investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress. She is currently working on her third book which examines the relationship among race, gender, and cultural perceptions of the Divine. Dr. Cleveland is based in North Carolina where she lives with her spouse, Jim.


Speaking Engagements


Jan 18—20
January Adventure
St. Simons Island, GA

Feb 20—21
CEEP Conference
Boston, MA

April 3
National Social Services Conference
Kansas City, MO

April 20
Dartmouth College
Hanover, NH

May 18
Leading the Beloved Community Conference
Detroit, MI

July 11
Magdalene College
Cambridge, UK

August 16—17
The Red Shoes Community Event
Baton Rouge, LA

September 19—22
Just Leadership Institute
Carmel, CA

October 14—18
Just Leadership Institute
Black Mountain, NC

January 17—19, 2020
Soulful Justice at The Art of Living Retreat Center
Boone, NC