January 2021 News Perspective Online

Something in the Water

Perkins Co-sponsors “Something in the Water,” A Virtual Conversation on Racial Justice

Dallas (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology is co-sponsoring “Something in the Water,” a live virtual conversation on racial justice in America with the Rev. Dr. Michael W. Waters and former congressman Beto O’Rourke on Tuesday, January 12 at 7 p.m. Central time.

The online event marks the launch of Waters’ new book Something in the Water: A 21st Century Odyssey, published by Chalice Press, and promises to be “an illuminating discussion of America’s racist past, our present struggles, and the hope and belief in a better day to come.” Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Christian Theological Seminary, will moderate the conversation.

Waters is a civil rights leader, pastor and an alumnus of Perkins, where he earned a Doctor of Ministry in 2012 and Master of Divinity in 2006. He was named a 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by Southern Methodist University.

Waters is founding pastor of Abundant Life African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Dallas, Texas. As an activist and social commentator, his words of hope and empowerment have inspired national and international audiences. Read more about Waters and his book at

O’Rourke, who wrote the forward to Waters’ new book, represented Texas’s 16th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2013 to 2019.

Gunning, the moderator, is the also author of Ferguson and Faith: Sparking Leadership and Awakening Community.

Attendees are invited to “come to learn, be inspired, and challenged to consider your role, collectively and individually, in the troubled waters of racism, and what you are willing to do to create something better.” To sign up, click here:

In addition to Perkins, co-sponsors of the event include the Interdenominational Theological Center; Dallas Black Clergy; Lone Star Justice Alliance; Faith Commons; DC Corrections; Abundant Life A.M.E.; and The Christian Recorder.

Praise for Something in the Water

“Waters delivers a blistering critique of white supremacy and racial injustice in this trenchant collection of sermons, poems, and commentaries. This concise, incisive work should be a wake-up call to Americans in general and the church in particular.”–Publishers Weekly

“Michael Waters reminds us that America’s original sin of racism is insidious and ever-present and must be boldly confronted and thoroughly dismantled if we are ever to move forward as a true multi-racial democracy. This is a compelling and transforming book that is coming out at exactly the right time, and I would especially urge all Christians to read it–and be inspired to both speak and act.” –Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and New York Times bestselling author of Christ in Crisis