The Rev. Alvin Herring is executive director of Faith in Action, the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. An ordained Christian Minister with over 30 years of experience in ministry, Rev. Herring is constantly working to put faith back into the public square by expanding the idea of faith far beyond 11 a.m. on Sunday. For Herring, this means leveraging the Faith in Action network and its leaders to use their faith traditions as catalyst for change.
Under his leadership this model has come to life through Faith in Action’s leaders showing up for potential voters, educating, empowering and encouraging them to get to the polls, by showing up for immigrant families seeking a pathway to citizenship and also for those who are formerly incarcerated and deserve to be seen, heard, and loved. Faith in Action works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations.
Prior to assuming this leadership role, Rev. Herring worked as the director for racial equity and community engagement for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the fifth largest foundation in the world. While serving in this role, he advanced racial justice by ensuring groups leading racial justice work had resources to propel their campaigns and initiatives.
His return to Faith in Action is an encore performance of sorts.
Rev. Herring previously served as Faith in Action’s director of training and faith formation. In that role, Rev. Herring expanded the organization’s training program, sharpened its racial equity lens and insisted the network of faith leaders more deeply engage and empower people living closest to the pain of oppression and isolation. It is because of his leadership, and his partnership with others, that Faith in Action’s clergy leaders stepped out of their pulpits and stepped onto the streets of Ferguson, Missouri in the aftermath of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown and other cities with similar uprisings thereafter such as Baltimore and Charlotte. He challenged the international network to live up to its deepest moral values and to disrupt the status quo, a mission Faith in Action has been on ever since.
Most notably, Rev. Herring’s leadership spans the nonprofit and academic arenas. He previously served as dean of students and assistant vice president for student life for the University of Louisville, as executive director of the Working Interfaith Network in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice in Louisville, Kentucky. Regardless of the titles he’s held, his experience has repeatedly testified to a truth about his character; he is a resourceful problem-solver, a skilled administrator and an attentive leader. The people who work closest with Rev. Herring praised him for his charismatic yet substantive leadership and is best known for being strong but loving and driven but fair.
The 21st century movement for racial and social justice is fortunate to list him among the leaders reshaping how this nation utilizes faith to organize communities to achieve progress and change.
Rev. Herring is a devoted husband to Debbie Herring and the proud father of two sons.