May 14, 2020

Americans United for Separation of Church and State welcomes Dr. Sabrina Dent as the organization’s new senior faith adviser.

A lifelong advocate for advancing human rights and social justice, Dr. Dent brings a passion for religious freedom and deep experience engaging with faith communities to her new role at Americans United. As a member of AU’s outreach and engagement team, she will engage faith leaders across the country in advocacy and leadership to support separation of religion and government as the only way to protect religious freedom for all.

Founded by a coalition of religious and secular leaders in 1947, Americans United has a proud history of faith leadership and working with communities of faith – relationships that will continue to grow and diversify under Dr. Dent’s stewardship. She will also serve as a thought leader for a new, progressive vision of religious freedom in America that respects the rights, dignity and conscience of all people.

“For nearly 75 years, Americans United has consistently shown up in the public square ready to protect America’s constitutional guarantee of church-state separation that ensures religious freedom for all of us,” said Dr. Dent. “For me, this is especially important when we recall the dark and complicated history of a nation that has often overlooked the human rights of racial and religious minorities. I am excited to build relationships with AU’s longtime friends and to develop new interfaith partnerships in support of advocating for social justice, human dignity and freedom for all.”

Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United, said Dr. Dent will serve a vital role in elevating the voices of the many faith leaders who are committed to protecting our constitutional promise of religious freedom for all. 

“Dr. Dent brings enormous passion for religious freedom, knowledge about its history in our country and a vast array of relationships with faith leaders, including in the African American religious community, who are vital partners for Americans United in the fight to preserve our democracy going forward,” Laser said.

Laser said Dent will strengthen AU’s faith network in order to teach the next generation about this fundamental freedom and to ensure that religious freedom remains a shield to protect all of us and not a sword to cause harm to others. This is particularly crucial work in today’s environment, when every day AU must fight an administration that is misusing religious freedom to license discrimination against women, LGBTQ people, people of color, religious minorities, the nonreligious and others.

Dr. Dent comes to Americans United from the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum where she worked as director of programs and partnerships, managing several education initiatives designed for religious and civic leaders, including the 3-year project “Religious Freedom: African American Perspectives,” which was funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Prior to her time at the Religious Freedom Center, Dr. Dent served as program coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University (STVU), where she earned her master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees.

Dr. Dent has presented at numerous programs and events, including the American Academy of Religion’s Public Scholars Project, “Faith Journeys in the Black Experience: 1619 – 2019 Commemoration”; 2018 Parliament of the World's Religions conference; and Melissa Rogers’ “Faith In American Public Life” book launch on C-SPAN Book TV.

Dr. Dent’s full biography and photo are available here.

***Media Availability: Dr. Sabrina Dent is available for interviews; contact Liz Hayes at lhayes@au.org to make arrangements.***

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a religious freedom advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, AU educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.