According to the 2015 Religious Landscape Survey by the Pew Research Center, American millennials or those 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. The rise of the “spiritual but not religious” designation has in deed 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.
Advertisement card for the Holiness Youth Crusade in Detroit, Michigan, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Millennials are finding and creating new spaces to have different kinds of conversations that are not offered in traditional religious contexts.
gOD-Talk: A Black Millenials and Faith Conversation
Millennials are finding and creating new spaces to have different kinds of conversations that are not offered in traditional religious contexts. gOD-Talk is a groundbreaking project spearheaded by the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Center for the Study of African American Religious Life in association with 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.
Digital image of protesters praying, Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Jermaine Gibbs, © Jermaine Gibbs.
gOD-Talk is a multi-city project that will have programming through 2019 and will culminate with the production of a feature documentary film and corresponding oral histories to be released and available for accessioning into the museum’s collection.
gOD-Talk Los Angeles
The gOD-Talk conversation series will be piloted on Friday, August 24, 2018, at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles and kick-off officially on January 26, 2019 on the campus of Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Each curated conversation will also be streamed live on Facebook.