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Join us for the second program in this two-part series about the role of Brooklyn’s Black churches in the fight for social justice, presented in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Brooklyn Chapter of the NAACP. Part 2 looks at today and imagines the future. 

Registration for Part 1, which explores the history, is here.

Photos clockwise from top left: L Joy Williams, Pastor Gilford T. Monrose, Rev. Kimberly Council, Rev. Anthony L. Trufant, Dr. Robert M. Waterman

Today Brooklyn’s faith communities and houses of worship are pillars of social justice activities. This program brings together four faith leaders to discuss how their worship communities center a more just and equal world: Pastor Gilford T. Monrose of Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day who is the Founding President of “The GodSquad” and currently serves as Mayor Adams' Faith Advisor and Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships; Rev. Anthony L. Trufant, Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church whose ministry stretches from New York City to New Orleans; Rev. Kimberly Council, Assistant Pastor at Greater Mount Pleasant Baptist Church who has led programs to build affordable housing, organize food pantries, develop youth enrichment activities, and prevent violence; and Rev. Dr. Robert M. Waterman, Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church whose focus is “Building the Church, Building the People, and Building the Community.” Leading the conversation is L. Joy Williams, political strategist, public speaker, social justice activist and President of Brooklyn NAACP. Join us as we discuss the role played by the Black church now, and imagined for the future.

Part 1, which takes place virtually on February 7 at 6:30 pm, looks at the history. Register here.


Rev. Kimberly Council is a Law Librarian, Assistant Pastor at Greater Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, former non-profit executive, and mom of two. She was licensed on February 23, 2003 and ordained on April 2nd 2006, at Berean Baptist Church under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Arlee Griffin Jr.

Rev. Council has dedicated her life to community service, led by her faith in the Lord. As a child, she was inspired by mother and aunt, who were both preachers, and her grandfather who was a Bishop. She has served as Superintendent of the Young Adult Sunday school Department, on the Board of Christian Education, and Minister to both the youth and Young Adult populations at Berean Baptist Church.

Since then, her service has spanned issues and borders. She has led programs to build affordable housing, organize food pantries, develop youth enrichment activities, violence prevention programs and was appointed to serve on the HBCU International Task Force by the International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha.

Rev. Council has served as the Executive Director of the Berean Community & Family Life Center and President of the East Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation. She is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Local Development Corporation of East New York and she sits on the Executive Board of Women of Faith Advocating Change, a partnership of female pastors, clergy leaders, community service providers and elected officials. All this, while working her day job as a Senior Reference Librarian at Sullivan & Cromwell, LLP for the past 24 years. She was previously the President of the Law Library Association of Greater New York.

In December of 2021 Rev. Council accepted the call to serve as Assistant Pastor of Greater Mount Pleasant Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Randy L. Ware.

Rev. Council received a Bachelor of Arts degree from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Science in Library Science from Pratt Institute. She lives in Cypress Hills with her daughter and son. 


Pastor Gilford T. Monrose is a visionary leader and community advocate who dedicates his time, experience, skills and talents to serving humanity and building bridges between people of all diversities.  A proud native of the United States Virgin Islands, he relocated to New York in 1999 to pursue his Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology and Bible Studies at Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary. He currently serves as NYC Mayor Eric Adams' Faith Advisor and Executive Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships. 

Pastor Gil has always had a passion to serve the church, especially its young people. He functioned as Youth Director for five years, developing programs for young people at the now historic Mt. Zion Church of God 7th Day in East Flatbush, Brooklyn New York.  In May 2005, Pastor Gil was ordained as the Pastor of the congregation. 

Pastor Gil’s deep love for people extends beyond the walls of his local church.  He presently serves as Alumni Chair for We Are All Brooklyn, an organization that brings diverse leaders together to solve quality of life issues affecting their communities. He also serves on the Advisory Leadership Council for Habitat for Humanity, strengthening the organization’s mission of providing affordable homeownership opportunities by advising on strategies to economically empower NYC residents.

As the Director of Faith-based and Clergy Initiatives in the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President since 2013, Pastor Gil successfully brought together faith leaders and clergy of diverse traditions to improve Brooklyn’s communities, regardless of their religious or political beliefs.

Previously, Pastor Gil served several boards including Community Board #17, Brooklyn Healthcare Improvement Project, Explore Charter School, and Kings County Behavior Health Community Council.  He has also served as Vice President of the St. Lucia House Foundation, the Church of God 7th Day Pastor’s Network, Inc., and Churches United to Save and Hea (CUSH), Team Leader for the Neighborhood Housing Services Invest in Brooklyn Initiative, and Chair of the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Interfaith Celebration.

Pastor Gil’s dedication to help end senseless gun violence resulted in his becoming the Founding President of the 67th Precinct Clergy Council Inc., or “The GodSquad,” which serves as a liaison between the police and the community. He is also the Founder and President of Brooklyn Center for Quality Life.  This non-profit empowers the community of Brooklyn to make informed life decisions in areas of healthcare, education, immigration, personal finances and disaster preparedness. In this capacity, Pastor Gil also serves as Volunteer Chaplain with New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) for over 8 years responding to crises as they unfold throughout Brooklyn.

Pastor Gil is an advisor to Gov. Bryan of the USVI and the Department of Health. Most recently, he worked directly with the USVI Department of Health to draft a bill to create the Virgin Islands Office of Gun Violence Prevention. The bill was successfully signed into law on January 22nd, 2021.

Locally, Pastor Gil works with various elected officials and community leaders as a moral voice and spiritual counsel on issues affecting the community at large. As the loving husband of wife Dianne, and father to Gianne and Joshua, he is a passionate advocate for families and children. Pastor Gil and his family live in Weeksville, Brooklyn.


Reverend Anthony L. Trufant has served as the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church of Brooklyn since November, 1990. He is a graduate of Morehouse College (B.A.), Colgate Rochester Divinity School (M.Div.), and Seton Hall University (M.A). He has completed coursework towards a doctorate in Pastoral Counseling at Hebrew Union College of New York City. Currently, he is a doctoral candidate at Bakke Graduate School, where he is pursuing a degree in Transformational Leadership. He holds a certificate in Conflict Resolution Mediation, and he is an executive coach with the John Maxwell Team. Furthermore, he is the sole owner and operator of Tru4U, LLC, an organizational consulting and executive coaching company. 

The Brooklyn, New York-based preaching, teaching and outreach ministry of the Rev. Anthony L. Trufant stretches from New York City to New Orleans, from Haiti’s hovels to the up-from-apartheid townships of South Africa and beyond. His Bible-based worldview and Christ-centered activism have been shaped, in part, by his Chicago boyhood and by spending the balance of his youth in San Francisco. At that city’s noted, community-changing Third Baptist Church, Rev. Trufant interned under the Rev. Dr. Amos Brown.

The apprenticeship further fueled Rev. Trufant’s belief that the church of Jesus Christ must be actively engaged in the liberation struggle and survival of the entire human family, especially people of African descent. That group is predominately, yet not exclusively, comprised of blacks from the USA, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe and Africa and is the bulk of his 4,000-member Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Appointed as Emmanuel’s pastor in November 1990, he has overseen its exponential growth in membership and programming and raised its profile as one of the most innovative, effective “glocal” churches in the Metro New York area.

A sought-after workshop facilitator, church consultant, and leadership development specialist, Rev. Trufant is the recipient of numerous civic and religious awards. He also was inducted into the Morehouse College of Ministers; profiled by author David Ritz’s critically acclaimed’ “The Messengers;” and had his “Worship That Pleases God” published in Oxford Sermons, Volume 3. He has been active in the Dallas, Texas-based, nationally focused Leadership Network. Additionally, he contributed a chapter on “Creativity In Preaching.” in “Living Under an Imposed Sentence,” a book published in honor of one of his mentors, Dr. Charles Booth, Senior Pastor of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Columbus, OH.

With a Bachelor of Arts from Morehouse and a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester, Rev. Trufant was licensed to preach in July 1981 and ordained in May of 1988 by Third Baptist in San Francisco. In March of 2016, he completed a Masters of Arts in Strategic Leadership and Communication and a certificate in Strategic Leadership, Communication, Diversity, and Globalization, both at Seton Hall University. Currently a doctoral student in Transformational Leadership at Bakke Graduate School in Dallas, TX, he is a certified Conflict Resolution Mediator. Rev. Trufant has received a diploma in pastoral counseling from Post Graduate Center for Mental Health and has completed coursework towards a doctorate (ABD) at Hebrew Union College.

A former adjunct professor at New York Theological and Auburn Theological Seminaries, he has lectured and/or preached at Morehouse College, University of Pennsylvania, Suffolk University, Palmer Theological, Long Island University, Colgate Rochester Divinity School, and Princeton Theological Seminary, and Samuel Dewitt Proctor Conference.

In addition to Third Baptist Church, Rev. Trufant has apprenticed under Rev. Dr. Charles E. Booth of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church of Columbus, Ohio and Rev. Harvey Kelley of New Hope Baptist Church of Niagara Falls, NY. For two and half years prior to his arrival at Emmanuel, Rev. Trufant was pastor of the Church of Christian Compassion in West Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Eclipsing all of his accomplishments, Pastor Trufant’s pride and joy is his family. Pastor Trufant is the husband of Muriel Goode-Trufant, and the father of two grown daughters, Sharise Emmanuelle and Toni Niara.


Rev. Dr. Robert M. Waterman is the fifth Pastor of Antioch Baptist Church located in Brooklyn, New York where he has served for over 21 years. Dr. Waterman is married to Lola Oguntunde Waterman Esq., and they are the proud loving parents of three precious daughters (Nia, Imani and Jada).                                    

Dr. Waterman’s spiritual vision for Antioch is Restoring Life by Destroying the Barriers, taken from Ephesians 2:14-22.  Dr. Waterman has brought many gifts to Antioch – most notably his exuberance of youth, a willingness to get the job done and an ebullient spirituality. Spiritually, Dr. Waterman tries to impress on people that God desires our commitment through our worship, and has been given the labeled “The Preacher of Thunder” by the late Dr. William A. Jones. He encourages his congregation to know God so that hearts, and thereby lives, can be changed.

In recent times Dr. Waterman’s focus is on moving the church through the Covid-19 pandemic toward building God’s Kingdom by restoring people, both spiritually and physically.  Antioch is concerned about the health and spirituality of the community: Building the Church, Building the People, and Building the Community.  Antioch continues on its path, uniting for fellowship and following Christ. Dr. Waterman also serves in an ex-officio capacity on the not-for-profit Antioch Development Corp and Antioch Community Services boards.

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Hemingway, South Carolina, Dr. Waterman worked as a Mechanical Engineer for nearly twenty years. He is a firm believer in continuing education. He obtained his Doctorate in Ministry from Drew University and his Masters of Divinity from the New York Theological Seminary. He holds an undergraduate degree from The City University of New York at Hunter College, with a major in Political Science and a minor in Philosophy and Communications. He also has an Associate degree in Public Administration.  

He has served as a substitute teacher for NYC DOE, teaching mathematics for over six years in the District 16 community. He currently serves as the Medgar Evers Career Services Manager and was a Senior Director and Assistant to Dean/Conduct Officer of Student Affairs at Medgar Evers College for 6 ½ years, acting as an ombudsman for student issues and concern regarding their academic careers. He is also the proprietor of the only sober lounge in Bedford Stuyvesant, Canticles, where he is the weekly host of a range of engaging activities including Open Mic, Poetry Slams, Spoken Word, Live Jazz Music, Talent Shows, Speed Dating, and Family Game Night.  

He is a lifetime member of the NAACP and serves on Community Board # 3 as the former Chairperson of the Transportation Committee and currently as the Ecumenical Committee Chairman. Dr. Waterman is a part of the Black Brooklyn Empowerment Convention as the Chair of Securing Our Institutions Cluster. He serves as the Ecumenical Chair in Brooklyn for BLCA, Black Leadership Commission Aids, Watchful Eyes and is the President of the A.A.C.E.O., African American Clergy and Elected Officials Organization of Brooklyn. He is also the Chair of the Trustee Board of Interfaith Medical Hospital and the Vice Chair of the Trustee Board of One Brooklyn Health. 


L. Joy Williams is a highly sought-after political strategist, public speaker, political analyst, and social justice activist. With well over a decade of experience in politics, and over fifteen years in public speaking, L. Joy has made a name for herself as a respected, intelligent voice in modern politics. Demonstrating a strong talent as a political planner and tactician, both in political campaigns and government, L. Joy has been a regularly featured commentator on MSNBC (“Up with David Gura”; “Melissa Harris-Perry Show”; “AM Joy”), and NY1 (“Inside City Hall”).

L. Joy’s passion for political and community activism was instilled at an early age, stemming from a deep-rooted family history and commitment to civil rights and social justice. In this tradition, L. Joy currently serves as the President of the Brooklyn NAACP, one of the most generationally diverse branches in the country. She is also the Legislative Coordinator for the New York State NAACP Conference of Branches. Her outstanding leadership has increased chapter membership and engagement, making Brooklyn NAACP one of the leading civil rights groups in New York City.

Since embarking on her career as a political strategist with the 2002 McCall for Governor campaign, L. Joy’s experience as a trusted political advisor and strategist has made her a go-to team member. Recently she has worked with prominent and notable political figures that include Letitia James, Jumaane Williams and Cynthia Nixon, for whom she served as Senior Advisor during Nixon’s gubernatorial run in New York State. L. Joy has also held key positions such as Campaign Manager for former New York State Assembly Member Karim Camara; GOTV Supervisor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Kerry/Edwards 2004 Presidential campaign; Special Assistant to former New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; Program Assistant at Demos, a nonpartisan public policy and advocacy organization; and Deputy Director of Community Relations for then–New York City Comptroller Bill Thompson. She went on to become Thompson’s Political Director in his 2009 mayoral campaign.

L. Joy is Chairman Emeritus of Higher Heights for America and now serves as Chair of the Higher Heights PAC. In these roles, L. Joy travels the country training, advising, and supporting efforts to build Black women’s political power and leadership potential. Working with Higher Heights, L. Joy has assisted in the campaigns of Nina Turner for Ohio Secretary of State, Stacey Abrams for Governor of Georgia and several congressional campaigns. During the 2014 midterm election, L. Joy managed a voter engagement campaign for Higher Heights in Georgia and Ohio targeting Black women who had only participated in presidential elections, encouraging them to vote in the federal midterm and state elections. The highly successful campaign increased enthusiasm and turnout by over ten percentage points.

A dynamic public speaker, L. Joy has presented at several conferences and has been on numerous panels, focusing primarily on the impact and power of Black women voters including the NAACP National Convention in San Antonio, TX and the interactive media conference SXSW about the political power of digital communities in 2018. From 2012-2016, she was a staple at Netroots Nation, where she presented “#BlackWomenLead: The Role and Importance of Black Women Organizers” and “#BlackWomenLead: Harnessing Black Women’s Political Power and Leadership Potential w/ Sen. Nina Turner,” while also airing live as a former co-host of “This Week In Blackness,” one of the first Black-run political podcasts and web series. In 2015, she was a featured speaker at the Women’s Freedom Conference, the first all-digital conference organized completely by women of color.

Drawing upon her extensive career in politics, government and community work, L. Joy believes in empowering communities with the knowledge and skills to be active participants in democracy. Recognizing the need for civic education and engagement in an accessible format L. Joy created #SundayCivics to teach civics using the current political landscape. The weekly show now airs Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. on SiriusXM Urban View and is available on demand on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Radio Public and all podcast platforms.

L. Joy’s passion for civic action and commitment to progressive growth for all Americans cannot be understated. Rooted in a generational family tradition of community service, L. Joy walks in the steps of those who fought before her and encourages every citizen to become involved in America’s political process.


We are very excited to have you back at our events and would like to remind you that we are still in the midst of the pandemic. Please be considerate of your fellow guests and stay home if you’re feeling unwell. Also, consider wearing a mask when attending indoor CBH Talks. You’ll be doing your part to help keep yourself and everyone healthy and safe.


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