Rev. Kenneth I. Clarke, Sr., Director of Cornell United Religious Work, is a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD (B.A., English) and Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, NY (Master of Divinity). He is now enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry degree program at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. His academic interests are in post-World War II American history, particularly focused on the religious, political, cultural and economic dimensions of the African-American freedom struggle of the 1950s and 1960s, media criticism, and cultural criticism. Rev. Clarke once served as an Instructor in African/African American Studies at Penn State University, where his teaching focused in the aforementioned areas. At Penn State he was employed full time as Assistant Director, then Director, of the Center for Ethics and Religious Affairs from 1990-2001.
Rev. Clarke was nominated to apply for his current position in October 2000 by a colleague who is also an Ivy League Chaplain. He began his work at Cornell in July 2001. A native of Baltimore, he came from a family and neighborhood of working class African-Americans and is a first-generation college graduate. Readings in religion, biography, history and politics interest him as does the history and music of the blues and electric football.
He would be interested in discussions about religion and spirituality, getting a sense of student perspectives on these matters from personal and intellectual frameworks, their understanding of diversity writ large, but with a particular focus on race and religion, their engagement with fellow students and environments reflective of racial and religious diversity, and popular culture and its impact on student world views and values.