A Prayer for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Hampton Roads

Dr. Antipas L. Harris, President of the Urban Renewal Center

Dear Holy One,

Today we stand in proactive interest concerning the beautiful kaleidoscope of human existence. You have created such a beautiful picture of diversity. Our pigmentations, ethnic origins, racial identities, genders, gifts, talents, education, faiths, challenges, victories, shortcomings, and successes can all be used for the good. Help us learn how to maximize our potential toward what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called “the Beloved Community.”

Teach us to love and affirm each other’s humanity. We are a diverse family in need of development. Teach us to discover ourselves in the presence of people who are not like us. Teach us, Oh Lord, to confront the truth about our region’s separatism with a plan to overcome.

May our organizational policies reflect the best of intentions to equalize the playing fields of opportunity and progress.

Thank you for the opportunities that are before us. Thank you for the gifts to respond to them. May the people who are served and the people who serve be blessed.

In the name of the One who caused all things to be, the Holy One created us to become. Amen!


Antipas has dedicated his life to the fight for social justice and leading at the intersection of faith and public life. Two convictions undergird Harris’ work. The first is that he is convinced that people are eager to see things change for common good. Secondly, faith has an ongoing public role in the life and vitality of society.

Harris has led public classes and panels on race in America, politics and faith, gentrification, and immigration. Over the past 20 years, Harris has served on several university faculties. He was also the founding president of Jakes Divinity School in Dallas, TX. Antipas earned a Bachelor’s degree from LaGrange College, a Master’s degree from Emory University, a Master’s degree from Yale University, a Doctor of Ministry from Boston University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from St. Thomas University.

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