Jawanza colvin Advancing Equity

Jawanza Karriem Colvin

Advancing Equity Award Winner


Pastor Dr. Jawanza Karriem Colvin is the 6th pastor of the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH. As servant-leader of this 4,000 member congregation, Pastor Colvin follows in its historic tradition of community builders, preacher-scholars and social activists.

Pastor Colvin is a cum laude graduate of Morehouse College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) with a double major in History and Religion. He earned a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and holds a Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) from Columbia University.

A proponent of Christian praxis, Pastor Colvin has sought to integrate personal devotion and critical reflection into a ministry of social action and transformation. He has been a voice in the pulpit and activist in the community on matters of justice, equity and reform.

Pastor Colvin has distinguished himself as a clergy and civic leader, having been the recipient of numerous honors and citations noting his commitment to Christian ministry, scholarship and service. Among his recognitions include induction in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College, the recipient of the William Augustus Jones Social Justice Award at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the National Action Network in New York City and being named to Cleveland Power 100, among the most influential individuals in Northeast Ohio.

Committed to service in both the public square and within sacred walls, Pastor Colvin continues to serve on numerous community and faith-based organization, advisory boards, committees and working groups. He was a founding co-chair of Greater Cleveland Congregations (GCC), the largest multi-racial, interfaith social justice coalition in northeast Ohio and serves on the board of Cleveland Museum of Art, The Greater Cleveland Food Bank, The Martha Jennings Holdings Foundation and the St. Luke Foundation.

*Biographies are considered current for the submission year only.