Seymour Institute
​Mobilizing the Black Church for Policy Initiatives

Eugene F Rivers, III

The Reverend Eugene F. Rivers III who was educated at Harvard is a former member of the Somersville street gang in Philadelphia. An activist for over 35 years Rivers is recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most effective crusaders against gang violence. He is the founder and director of the Ella J. Baker House that has provided intensive mentoring, educational programming and job readiness training for thousands of high risk youth over the last 20 years. He is the co-founder of the Boston TenPoint Coalition which was a key player in the dramatic reduction in violence that Boston experienced in the early 1990’s. Reverend Rivers is the author of the TenPoint Plan to Combat Black-on-Black Violence that was the guiding document of the Coalition. Rivers also founded the National TenPoint Leadership Foundation, whose goal was to establish the TenPoint model in the worst inner city neighborhoods in America. The TenPoint Coalition’s approach to faith-community/law-enforcement partnerships is the model for anti-violence programs currently being used successfully in several US cities.

​Rivers has served as a consult to the governments of Chile, Brazil, Canada, Ireland andEngland on issues of faith-community/law-enforcement partnerships to combat violent crime. He appeared as a key note speaker for the World Council of Churches in Harare, Zimbabwe on the same issue. He advised both the Clinton and Bush administrations on their faith-based initiatives and was identified by the New York Times as the Bush administration’s point man on that topic.

​Rivers serves as a political analyst for MSNBC and as a highly sought-after speaker, he has provided commentary for ABC (Prime Time, Nightline, and ABC Morning News), NBC (Hardball and MSNBC), CBS (CBS Evening News, Sixty Minutes II), PBS (Charlie Rose, Bill Moyers Show) Fox Television (The O’Reilley Factor) BET (Lead Story and Meet the Faith) He has provided political commentary for CNN, BBC and National Public Radio, among other media outlets. He has been featured in or provided commentary for publications such as Newsweek, The Economist, The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Herald, and the Boston Globe, as well as periodicals such as the Boston Review, Sojourners, Christianity Today, and Books and Culture. He has lectured at several universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, Princeton University, Calvin College and the London School of Economics. He has also authored or co-authored numerous essays, including “On the Responsibility of Intellectuals in an Age of Crack,” “Beyond the Nationalism of Fools: A Manifesto for a New Black Movement,” “Black Churches and the Challenge of U.S. Foreign and Development Policy” (2001), “An Open Letter to the U.S. Black Religious, Intellectual, and Political Leadership Regarding AIDS and the Sexual Holocaust in Africa” (1999), and “A Pastoral Letter to President George W. Bush on Bridging our Racial Divide” (2001). 

​Rivers lives in Dorchester, Massachusetts with his wife.

Eugene F Rivers, III