The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents:

Juneteenth & Global Emancipation:

The Caged Bird Sings of Freedom


Rev. Ray Jordan

Adjunct Faculty, Human Rights Program, Southern Methodist University

On June 19, 1865 — months after the Civil War ended and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing enslaved people — Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to free 250,000 people still held in bondage.  The arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his troops signaled that the Federal Government would not relent until the last enslaved people in America were free. On Juneteenth, we commemorate that day and honor the tireless work of abolitionists who made it their mission to deliver the promise of America for all Americans. 

Join us for a virtual discussion on the significance of the federal holiday, Juneteenth and global emancipation movements. 

Date & Time:

Thursday, June 13, 2024

12:00-1:00 pm Pacific Standard Time (PST)


Zoom Webinar


Free for World Affairs Council of Orange County Members

$10 Non-members

Students are free!

Thank you to our promotional sponsors! 

Speaker Bio:

Rev. Ray Jordan

Pastor Ray Jordan is a trailblazing preacher, teacher, academic, keynote speaker,  workshop leader, and consultant to churches, non-profits, corporate entities, and institutions of higher education. As an ordained United Church of Christ clergyperson, Ray is formerly the Senior Pastor of  Central Congregational UCC in Dallas, TX (serving as Central’s first African American and openly gay  senior minister in its 120-year history), formerly the President of the North Texas Association of the UCC  (it’s first African American president) and is currently the Lead Pastor for First Community UCC of Dallas  (serving as First Community’s first openly gay and African American senior minister in its 73-year  history).

Ray has worked within three distinct populations, rural, suburban, and urban, and has enjoyed  community engagement, therefore he has served on a number of local and national boards, including the North Texas Executive Leadership Council for the United Negro College Fund, for which he received  the organization’s Rising Star Award for his outstanding contribution.

Considering himself a scholar-practitioner, his education and vocational experiences have been a  testament of interdisciplinarity, demonstrating a marriage of theory and praxis, faith and practice. For  example, Ray has worked as a public-school teacher, university professor, non-profit administrator,  corporate trainer, clergyperson, and consultant in areas of conflict mediation, organizational  development as well as diversity and inclusion. Having led civil and human rights experiential learning  opportunities for over 15 years, Ray continues to be a sought-after preacher, speaker, workshop leader  and facilitator in the areas of difference (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) and cultural competency. His  list of training and education clients include Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Ave, Perry Ellis, Dick’s Sporting Goods,  Madison Square Garden, Bob Evans, Tenet Health and host of other healthcare, real estate, and retail  clients. Clients of his DEI consulting include Dallas Bar Association, Stanley Black & Decker, TMS,  University of Texas, Human Rights Media, Frito-Lay, Teach for America of North Texas as well as an extensive list of higher education and faith-based organizations.

Although Ray is originally from Oakland, CA, he was raised by his grandmother on a farm in rural  Arkansas, where both she and other “church ladies” stressed the importance of education. Hence, Ray  holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Education, a Master of Arts in Teaching, a Master of Theological  Studies from Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology and is completing his PhD  (ABD) from Union Institute and University, with research in public policy, faith communities and social  change with a concentration in Martin Luther King, Jr. Studies.

In addition to serving as a community activist and local church pastor, Ray is also an academic, having  taught Philosophy and World Religion for Dallas College, Interdisciplinary Studies and African American  Studies at the University of Texas at Arlington and Political Science at Southern Methodist University.  Currently, Ray teaches courses in Human Rights and Social Justice for both the Graduate Liberal Studies  and Human Rights Programs at SMU when not spending time with his three children, Trey, Alley and Joshua Caleb.