January 10, 2024

Department of Medicine to present 2024 Leonard Lectureship Feb. 1

The Department of Medicine will host its annual Medicine Grand Rounds Leonard Lectureship on Thursday, Feb. 1, from 8 to 9 a.m. in 208 Light Hall. The presentation, entitled “The Intersection of Health, Politics and Religion,” will also be available for viewing via Zoom.

For the first time, the lecture will delve into the intricate relationships between health, politics and religion with a panel discussion moderated by Yolanda Pierce and panelists, Sabina Mohyuddin, Nathan Parker and Laurie Rice.

To live stream, visit zoom.us/j/95088288377.

More information on the speakers is provided below.

Sabina Mohyuddin (panelist), Executive Director of the American Muslim Advisory Council, is a Bangladeshi American Muslim born and raised in Nashville and is a graduate of Vanderbilt University. As an active member of the Muslim community, she participates in interfaith and youth programs. Sabina has published a number of articles in The Tennessean and was an outspoken critic of the 2011 anti-sharia bill in the Tennessee state legislature. She is a founding board member of the American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) and now serves as the Executive Director of AMAC, which empowers the Tennessee Muslim community through civic engagement, community building and media relations. She conducts cultural competency training for organizations that serve the Muslim community. Additionally, Sabina serves on the boards of the National Organization of Workforce Diversity and the League of Women Voters Nashville. In 2020, Sabina was inducted into the YWCA’s Academy of Women of Achievement and in 2022 she received the Trailblazer Award from the Metro Council Minority Caucus.

Nathan Parker (panelist), Senior Pastor of Woodmont Baptist Church, grew up here in the Nashville area and attended Belmont University (BA in Religion), then Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (MDiv), and received his Doctorate of Ministry at Lipscomb University in 2019. He met his wife, Morgan, at Belmont and married in 2005. They have three children – Jude, Mae, and Isaiah – all enrolled in Metro Nashville Public Schools. He has served for twelve years in youth ministry at Brookwood Baptist Church where he was ordained (Birmingham, AL, 2004-10) and Forest Hills Baptist Church (Nashville, 2010-16) before becoming the Senior Pastor at Woodmont Baptist Church (Nashville, 2017-present). In his free time, Nathan enjoys time away with his family, all kinds of music and art and food, and exploring cities.

Laurie Rice (panelist), Rabbi at Congregation Micah, hails from Los Angeles, California. She completed her Bachelor of Arts at Northwestern University, as a dual major in History and Slavic Languages and Literatures. She was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in 2001, having received her Master’s in Hebrew Letters in 1999. Prior to coming to Micah, she served congregation 5 years as the Rabbi at Congregation Kol Ami in Woodinville, Washington.  Currently, Rabbi Laurie co-chairs the President’s Rabbinic Council for the Hebrew Union College- Jewish Institute of Religion.  Locally, she is a member of the PAG committee for the Vanderbilt Chaplaincy Program, an ambassador for the AMEND program of the YWCA, and a member of the Ethics Committee of Alive Hospice.  She adores spending time with her husband and co-rabbi, Flip, and their three children. She also loves running the roads of Nashville and Percy Warner Park.

Yolanda Pierce (moderator), PhD, Dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School, is a scholar, writer, womanist theologian, and accomplished administrator in higher education. She was appointed the Founding Director of the Center for African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). And she currently serves as Professor and Dean of the Vanderbilt Divinity School. Pierce’s research specialties include Literature & Religion; Womanist Theology; and African American Religions. A widely-published author, she has written several books, essays, and articles for academic and trade journals including: Time Magazine, Theology Today, and Christianity & Literature. Pierce is the creator and curator of “Touching the Sacred,” an exhibit on material religion and the Black Church. She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Modern Language Association, the American Academy of Religion, and the American Historical Association. Pierce has also been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Pew Foundation. As a first-generation college student, Pierce earned degrees from Cornell University and Princeton University. She is a native New Yorker, mentor, community activist, daughter of the Black Church, and proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.