Rev. Sharon Washington Risher to Deliver MLK Day Address
Rev. Sharon Washington Risher will deliver an address to the KUA community to honor and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. Sharon Washington Risher will deliver an address to the KUA community to honor and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. Her address will begin at 10:45 p.m. ET on January 16 and will be livestreamed at KUA Live.
Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the Charleston, S.C. shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015. Her beloved mother and the church’s sexton, Ethel Lee Lance, was killed along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend.
Since that horrific tragedy, Risher has been very outspoken about the nation’s gun laws and is one of the national spokespersons for the grassroots advocacy groups Everytown and Moms Demand Gun Sense. She has appeared on CNN on several occasions and was interviewed by Time Magazine, Marie-Claire magazine, The Guardian, BBC radio, among others. She also has visited President Barak Obama at the White House on several occasions, and she has been a guest speaker for several Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial events.
The Charleston, South Carolina native was graduated from Charles A. Brown High School and from Johnson C. Smith University, in Charlotte, North Carolina. After discerning a call to vocational ordained ministry in 2002 while attending St. Paul Presbyterian Church in North Carolina she relocated to Austin, TX where she later received a Master of Divinity Degree in 2007 from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. She has worked in full-time hospital chaplaincy since 2012. Risher was a staff chaplain and trauma specialist, with Parkland Hospital of Dallas, where she had been employed since 2012.
Until shortly after her mother’s heartrending death, Rev. Risher had served Rice Chapel AME Church as associate pastor for congregational care where she preached and led the women’s ministries of the church. Her book, For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness after the Charleston Massacre, was published June 2019, coinciding with the four-year anniversary of the shooting.
As part of KUA's MLK remembrance events, the entire school will also screen the film Till on Sunday evening and take part in an MLK Cultural Celebration on Monday.