Rev. Nikia Smith Robert, affectionately known as “Reverend Daughter,” enthusiastically embraces her divine purpose to preach, teach and engage in social activism. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems and Finance from Fairfield University (Connecticut). Rev. Robert also earned a Master of Divinity degree in Systematic Theology and Social Ethics from Union Theological Seminary (New York). She completed her master thesis with distinction entitled, “Penitence, Plantation and the Penitentiary – A Liberation Theology for Lockdown America,” which is published in the 2017 Harvard Graduate Journal. Rev. Robert has matriculated post-graduate studies in Homiletics at the University of Oxford (England, UK) and Economic and Community Development at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA). She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Philosophy degree at Claremont School of Theology where her scholarly interests focus on the religious and political intersections of race, gender and class as it pertains to Black women and mass incarceration.
Rev. Robert is a healthcare chaplain at Huntington Memorial Hospital where she provides emotional and spiritual support to individuals in crisis. She was ordained in 2013 at the historic First African Methodist Episcopal Church: Bethel in Harlem New York. She currently serves on the ministerial staff at First African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Pasadena, California. In her capacity as Director of the Social Action Commission, she organized the local church, surrounding community, faith leaders and elected officials to lead a city-wide Black Lives Matter protest in Pasadena where major news outlets documented over 300 people who marched to City Hall for a peaceful prayer vigil honoring the lives of innocent Black men and women who were unjustly killed by rogue police officers. She also acts as spiritual advisor to the Pasadena Chief of Police and continues to advocate for anti-police militarization and prison abolition.
Rev. Robert is a sought after ecumenical preacher, scholar and budding activist. She was a featured preacher on the inaugural United Kingdom Festival Tour of African American Preaching. Rev. Robert is listed as an ethical leader to watch by the Middle Project and was featured by NPR, Sojourners Magazine, Post Colonial Networks, Decolonial Horizons, Marginalia, Pasadena Now, Pasadena Weekly, LA Magazine, ABC, NBC and CBS television networks. She was also a guest panelist presenting at a co-sponsored colloquium at the University of Southern California. Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright responded to her paper, which focused on the theological framings of mass incarceration. She has presented research on religion and mass incarceration at the American Academy of Religion, Herbert Marcuse Society, inaugural Political Theology Network conference, Harvard University’s Black Religion, Spirituality and Culture Conference and the Interdenominational Theological Center. Rev. Robert has also participated in a national dialogue with the White House Department of Justice under the presidential administration of Barack Obama to advocate for criminal justice reform.
Rev. Robert is the founder of Reverend Daughter Ministries where she provides faith-based social justice ministry through radical preaching, teaching and social activism. Prior to ordained ministry, Rev. Robert worked for more than ten years on Wall Street in Public Accounting as a consultant with expatriate and international taxes; and in Investment Banking as a Controller for the Consumer and Healthcare franchises and the North America Regional Offices. She has also served on the Board of Directors for Casa de Esperanza, which supports women and children infected and affected by HIV/AIDS; and on the Board of Directors for Friends of CPE, which raises funds for educational endeavors to support a public elementary school in Harlem.
Rev. Robert’s ministry is catapulted by the prophetic mandate to do justice, love kindly and walk humbly. She is an active member of the illustrious Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a native New Yorker and currently resides in California with her loving husband and three children. Rev. Robert can be found on Facebook at Reverend Daughter Ministries, on twitter @reverendaughter and www.reverenddaughter.com.