Rev. Irene Monroe is described in O, the Oprah Magazine, as “a phenomenal woman who has succeeded against all odds.” An African-American lesbian feminist public theologian, she is a sought-after speaker and preacher.
Rev. Irene Monroe does a weekly Monday segment, “All Revved Up!” on WGBH (89.7 FM), a Boston member station of National Public Radio (NPR), and a weekly Friday commentator on New England Channel NEWS (NECN). She’s a syndicated religion columnist. Her columns appear across the country and in the U.K, Ireland, Canada. And she writes a weekly column in the Boston home LGBTQ newspaper Baywindows.
Monroe stated that her “columns are an interdisciplinary approach drawing on critical race theory, African American, queer and religious studies. As a religion columnist, I try to inform the public of the role religion plays in discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Because homophobia is both a hatred of the “other ” and it’s usually acted upon ‘in the name of religion,” by reporting religion in the news I aim to highlight how religious intolerance and fundamentalism not only shatters the goal of American democracy but also aids in perpetuating other forms of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism, and anti-Semitism.”
In inviting Monroe to speak at The United Nations International School at the UN they wrote: “Rev. Monroe, your active role in the fight against homophobia and your written activism for human rights has truly made an impact on this world, as well as your theories on religion and homosexuality in the U.S.”
For the academic year 2018/19, Monroe is a Visiting Scholar in the Religion and Conflict Transformation Program at Boston University School of Theology.
A native of Brooklyn, NY, Monroe graduated from Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University. She received the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching several times while serving as head teaching fellow for the Rev. Peter Gomes. Her papers are at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College’s Research Library on the History of Women in America.
As an activist Monroe has received numerous awards: the 2015 Top 25 LGBT Power Players of New England Award by Boston Spirit Magazine and the Open Door Award for work with HIV/AIDS, Black Church and LGBTQ community; 2013 Bayard Rustin Service Award recipient, and GLAD 2012 Spirit of Justice awardee. She appears in the film For the Bible Tells Me So and was profiled in the Gay Pride episode of In the Life, an Emmy-nominated segment.