People For the American Way Foundation

People For Leadership Statement on the Passing of Reverend Dr. Robert P. Shine, Sr., Co-Chair of African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA), a Project of People For the American Way


Contact: Press Department at People For the American Way

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202-467-4999

Washington, DC— Following the passing on January 4, 2022, of Reverend Dr. Robert Shine, co-chair of People For the American Way’s African American Ministers In Action from 1997 until he passed this year, People For leaders released the following statements:

“Reverend Robert Shine was a founding member of our African American Ministers Leadership Council. He was my partner in ‘good trouble’,” said Reverend Timothy McDonald, III, co-chair of People For’s Board of Directors and founder of African American Ministers Leadership Council and African American Ministers In Action, pastor Iconium Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA. “Always on point, compassionate and prophetic, he gave us his all. There will never be another like Shine.”

“We have lost a leading light in the struggle for justice, but his inspiration continues to illuminate our path,” said Ben Jealous, president of People For the American Way. “Dr. Shine was part of our own Greatest Generation of religious and civil rights leaders.  We are proud to have had his leadership in our African American Ministers network and we will continue the work in which he was a pioneer.”

“Dr. Shine was an incredible mentor, teacher, preacher, pastor, theologian, social justice activist and leader on the importance of the courts and voting rights, among other concerns,” said Reverend Leslie Watson Wilson, national director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way. “We fondly referred to him as the ‘Governor of the great state of Philadelphia.’ He was an integral part of the African American Ministers In Action from its beginning in 1997. A giant of a man with a huge presence, voice and heart. Whether in the pulpit or at a rally, Dr. Shine showed us how to reach across various cultures, generations, and faith traditions. He had a profound impact on my life and will truly be missed!”

“Rev. Dr. Shine was a beloved friend and mentor. He sat with me and taught me the wisdom of his decades-long fight for justice and equality. We shared a bond in our commitment to our respective faiths and found joy in the commonality of our purpose in fighting for social justice.  I will miss him dearly,” said Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For.

“Dr. Shine was always approachable and ever in a place of teaching/sharing. And because he fought the good fight, so many younger pastors like me know how to face the social justice challenges of the moment,” said Reverend William Miller, pastor Bethel AME Church, Charleston, SC and member of People For’s AAMIA and MICAH Leadership Council for clergy under 50.

About People For the American Way

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and build a democratic society that implements the ideals of freedom, equality, opportunity and justice for all. We encourage civic participation, defend fundamental rights, and fight to dismantle systemic barriers to equitable opportunity. Learn more:

African American Ministers In Action (AAMIA) is an ecumenical network of progressive ministers dedicated to equipping clergy and laity to advocate for social justice.