Waynesburg University faculty member Dr. Abolade Ezekiel Olagoke, professor of sociology, will be featured in an upcoming documentary produced by Yale University.
His presentation titled “Orthodoxy and the Black Experience: Trauma Informed Community Development at St. Moses Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh,” which he presented at Fordham University in March 2022, will be the focal point of the documentary.
Dr. Olagoke’s paper presentation at Fordham University was part of Fordham’s Orthodoxy and Human Rights Scholars Project, a five-year initiative launched in 2019 with a goal to generate a better understanding of the relationship between Orthodoxy and human rights in different geopolitical settings. Nearly 30 scholars and journalists from around the world, including Dr. Olagoke, will participate in the Orthodoxy and Human Rights Scholars Project.
The theoretical grounding for the presentation is built on the works of key black intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Albert Raboteau and Cornel West in their various discourses on the black struggle and experience in the United States."
“The theoretical grounding for the presentation is built on the works of key black intellectuals like W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Ellison, Richard Wright, Albert Raboteau and Cornel West in their various discourses on the black struggle and experience in the United States,” said Dr. Olagoke. “The background is germane to the project on trauma-informed community development at St. Moses, mainly because the church does not operate in a vacuum. Past black experiences were not only referenced but also important to how COVID-19 affected the community.”
Shortly after his formal presentation with Fordham, Dr. Olagoke received communication from Dr. Michael Glerup, executive director for the Project on Religious Freedom and Society in Africa at Yale University, requesting to interview him as part of a short documentary on his presentation.
He was filmed and interviewed for the documentary on Waynesburg’s campus in September. Details on when the documentary will be released have not yet been determined.
The St. Moses Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh has been a key location for much of Dr. Olagoke’s teachings in past years. Prior to the pandemic, he would take his Cultural Differences class to visit the church as part of a course assignment. Through their visit to the community, students were able to learn outside of the textbook, a tradition he hopes to continue in the future.
In addition to his upcoming feature in Yale’s documentary, Dr. Olagoke has received encouragement from other scholars to write feature articles on the topic of his presentation to papers such as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and local newspapers in the Pittsburgh region.
Dr. Abolade Ezekiel Olagoke
Dr. Olagoke was recently featured in our Personal Perspectives Q&A feature. Click below to learn more about him and his experiences.