gOD-Talk is a groundbreaking project led by the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life in association with Pew Research Center. Featuring leading millennial voices, gOD-Talk amplifies their individual and shared experiences in a curated conversation streamed to audiences online across the United States and around the world.

The rise of the “spiritual but not religious” designation has led to a decline of millennial participation in mainline religious traditions with many questioning the relevance, mission, and overall purpose of organized religion in the 21st century.

Upcoming Events

gOd-Talk poster
Designed by Nikkolas Smith

Sunday, November 5, 2023
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Concourse, Oprah Winfrey Theater

Get Tickets or Register


 

Monday, November 6, 2023
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Concourse, Oprah Winfrey Theater

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Wednesday, November 8, 2023
2:00pm to 4:00pm

Concourse, Oprah Winfrey Theater

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PLEASE NOTE

This film contains adult themes and language that may not be appropriate for young audiences.

VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.

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Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture

According to the 2015 Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center, American millennials born between the years 1981 and 1996 are less religious than older Americans. The study affirms that millennials are less likely to ascribe to traditional forms of religious observance, but remain religious in their own right. They are finding and creating new spaces to have different kinds of conversations that are not offered in traditional religious contexts.

Black and white digital image depicts protesters praying. The man in the center has his right arm partially raised with this hand open.

Captured on April 25, 2015, the day of a major peace rally and later uprisings in Baltimore, Maryland following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Gray died from spinal cord injuries sustained while in police custody.

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Jermaine Gibbs © Jermaine Gibbs

About gOD-Talk

gOD-Talk is a groundbreaking project led by the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life in association with the Pew Research Center which seeks to:

  • Uncover how millennials interact with religion and the transformative nature of community, the internet, and space.
  • Amplify leading millennial voices including activists, entertainers, entrepreneurs, athletes, academicians, religious leaders, and politicians by creating a space for their experiences to be shared and documented.
  • Create an opportunity for religious organizations and leaders, researchers, and engaged citizens to better understand the dynamic ways Black millennials engage with religion.

By using a lower case "g" for the word "gOD' we are highlighting the ways in which this project will "transgress" traditional boundaries and literal designations of that which is considered scared.

gOD-Talk Film Crew

Director Young

Kevin Young, Executive Producer

Kevin Young is the Andrew W. Mellon Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Young served as the Director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture from 2016-2021, where he oversaw significant increases to its funding, archive acquisitions, and visitor reach. A professor for two decades, he began...
Full Bio about Kevin Young, Executive Producer
Moir

Kim Moir, Director, Writer, & Executive Producer

Kim Moir is the Public Programs Producer at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and is responsible for coordinating and conducting public programs and outreach activities for the museum’s Center for the Study of African American Religious Life (CSAARL). He conducts research and gathers information through technology, social media and online to make artifacts and histories available...
Full Bio about Kim Moir, Director, Writer, & Executive Producer
Teddy Reeves

Teddy Reeves, Ph.D., Creator & Producer

Dr. Teddy Reeves is a multifaceted, award-winning producer and curator that uses his many strengths to capture and curate cultural moments. Currently, he is the Curator of Religion in the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life (CSAARL) at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He is the creator and producer of the Museum’s first web-series...
Full Bio about Teddy Reeves, Ph.D., Creator & Producer
B. Byrd

Bacarri Byrd, Assistant Producer

Bacarri Byrd most recently served as the Curatorial Assistant of Religion at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. Byrd holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies and specialized in African American Studies. A native of Winnsboro, South Carolina, Byrd situates her work at the intersections of popular culture, history, rhetoric, and media.
Full Bio about Bacarri Byrd, Assistant Producer
Bryant Simmons

Bryan C. Simmons, Music Director

Bryan C. Simmons has over a decade of experience and established himself as a highly sought-after keyboardist and composer. He went on numerous world tours with three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Fantastic Negrito from 2018 - 2023, playing at numerous venues across 36 countries on six continents. As a co-founder of The Reef Studios, he has contributed to over 100 tracks for artists such as LaRussell and Keke Palmer...
Full Bio about Bryan C. Simmons, Music Director
Javicia Leslie

Javicia Leslie Walker, Narrator

Javicia Leslie was born in Augsburg, Germany. She moved to Maryland at a young age and was raised in Upper Marlboro near Washington, DC. Her first stream of work began as the lead for the television film, Killer Coach. Javicia has continued to work ties with series such as MacGyver, Chef Julian, and Prototype. In 2017 she filmed a role as one of the leads in the film - " The Family Business", based on the NY Times...
Full Bio about Javicia Leslie Walker, Narrator

Principals

gOD-Talk is the culmination project of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture Center for the Study of African American Religious Life, in association with the Pew Research Center, five-year study of Black Millennials. The featured length film explores the lives of seven Black Millennials—Atheist, Buddhist, Christians, Muslim, Ifa, and Spiritualist—and the challenges and discoveries with faith and spirituality.

According to the 2021 “Faith Among Black Americans Survey” conducted by the Pew Research Center, American millennials—persons born between the years 1981 and 1996—are less religious than older Americans. While millennials are less likely to ascribe to traditional forms of religious observance, the study maintains that they remain religious, nonetheless. With the rise of the “spiritual but not religious” designation has come the overall decline of participation in mainline religious traditions for Americans. While the decline in Black religious communities has not been as drastic as White communities, there are still lingering questions concerning the relevance, mission, and overall purpose of organized religion in the 21st century for Black American Millennials.

From issues pertaining to gender and sexuality, abuse and trauma, hip-hop culture and music, gentrification, race and racism, patriarchy, and more, the film explores a rising phenomenon of religious and spiritual shifts among the largest generation and one of the most influential demographics in the U.S, Black Millennials.

Recent Events

gOD-Talk is a multi-city program culminating with the release of the feature documentary film, gOD-Talk in 2023. Stream previous gOD-Talk conversations on Facebook and download our Social Media Toolkit to join the social conversation using the hashtags #BlackFaith and #gODTalk.

                                                        Social Media Toolkit

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#gODTalk 2.0 | NOLA – Hip-Hop & #BlackFaith

In collaboration with the release of the “Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap,” NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves sits down for dinner with hip-hop artists and scholars to discuss the relationship between hip-hop music and culture and Black expressions of faith and spirituality.
Watch Now about #gODTalk 2.0 | NOLA – Hip-Hop & #BlackFaith
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#gODTalk | VA Beach – Black Millennials and the Black...

Filmed in partnership with Pharrell William’s Something in the Water Music Festival (2019), NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves sits down for a special edition conversation with a group of Black Millennials about the future of the Black Christian Church.
Watch Now about #gODTalk | VA Beach – Black Millennials and the Black...
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#gODTalk | Dallas – Boomers, Xers, & Millennials Talk...

In this episode, NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves sits down for dinner with a religiously diverse group of Black Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials in Dallas, TX to talk about the generational differences in Black expressions of faith and other social issues impacting the Black community.
Watch Now about #gODTalk | Dallas – Boomers, Xers, & Millennials Talk...
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#gODTalk 2.0 | Baltimore – Technologies Influence on...

Filmed in 2020 during the height of the global pandemic, NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves talks with a diverse group of panelists about the impacts of digital technology (social media platforms, accessibility, anti-Blackness, etc.) in religious and spiritual life.
Watch Now about #gODTalk 2.0 | Baltimore – Technologies Influence on...
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#gODTalk | Chicago – Black Millennials Shifting Views...

In this episode, NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves talks with a religiously diverse group of Black Millennials in Chicago, IL about the evolving, and many times complicated, relationship that they have with religion and spirituality today.
Watch Now about #gODTalk | Chicago – Black Millennials Shifting Views...
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#gODTalk | Atlanta – Black Millennials Shifting Views...

In this episode, NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves talks with a religiously diverse group of Black Millennials in Atlanta, GA about the evolving, and many times complicated, relationship that they have with religion and spirituality today.
Watch Now about #gODTalk | Atlanta – Black Millennials Shifting Views...
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#gODTalk | LA – Black Millennials Shifting Views on...

In this pilot episode, NMAAHC’s Curator of Religion Teddy Reeves talks with a religiously diverse group of Black Millennials about the evolving, and many times complicated, relationship that they have with religion and spirituality today.
Watch Now about #gODTalk | LA – Black Millennials Shifting Views on...

Recent Awards

Telly Award logo

The Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television content across all screens, announced “gOD-Talk 2.0: Digital #BlackFaith” a 2021 winner in Social Video.

Join Us on Social Media

 Tag @nmaahc and use #BlackFaith and #gODTalk to join the social conversation.

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