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 create a more equitable and inclusive world by nurturing skillful justice advocacy and the depth to act on it. Committed to leading both in the classroom and in the broader society, 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. An award-winning researcher and author, Christena leads a research team at Duke that is investigating self-compassion as a buffer to racial stress, and 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, Rev. Jim Dahlin.


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

September 26
Lenoir-Rhyne University
Hickory, NC

October 14—18
Just Leadership Institute
Black Mountain, NC