“I believe religion and spirituality can spread a progressive message.”

Leadership: Ronilso Pacheco is an evangelical leader and activist whose work integrates black theology and liberation theology into traditional evangelicalism. He has called on evangelical churches to take greater responsibility for advancing racial equity and human rights. He collaborates with social movements and organizations to bring urgency to issues of drug policy, police violence, mass incarceration, and economic justice.

Ronilso is currently at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he is studying the historic role of the black church in US civil rights and anti-war movements. He is a contributor to the Intercept Brasil and organizer of the book Jesus and Human Rights, which connects Gospel texts to human rights for Brazilian churches.

Vision: About 22 percent of Brazil’s population is evangelical and many churches have a conservative tendency, but not all. Ronilso’s vision is to unite the path of faith with the struggle for justice, and increase awareness of the progressive role evangelicals and religion can play.