On Sept. 29, 2011, more than 275 people gathered at Baker Hall to hear a lecture by the Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO of Sojourners, a progressive Christian organization dedicated to social justice. The presentation and question-and-answer period, moderated by William Martin, Harry and Hazel Chavanne Senior Fellow in Religion and Public Policy, explored how the world can change for the better when people work across religious and political lines.

"Rev. Wallis' words provided an opportunity for this campus to have a more honest and more tolerant discussion of faith and politics than ever before," said Danny Cohen '14, a political science and economics major who helped lead the effort to bring Wallis to campus.

Cohen said that he thought Wallis "could do an incredible job of ... showing that religion and politics, especially more progressive politics, are actually compatible, and that no one has a monopoly on truth."

The event, which touched on topics such as poverty reduction, civil rights and the role of faith in public policy, ended with a standing ovation for Wallis and Martin. A number of students "decided to become more politically engaged and others have re-evaluated how they view religious individuals," Cohen said.