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The Roll Down

Jun 9, 2021

In the Valley Series


Our conversation on Joy & Rest will be heavily influenced by Cole Arthur Riley’s unique prayer expression, “Black Liturgies”, that speaks to blackness, black emotion, black thought, black belonging and liberation. She gives great thought and encouragement for how we can lean into joy and rest in the midst of all the trauma as well as how we can be pushed towards hope in our pursuit of justice.


Cole Arthur Riley is a writer, liturgist, speaker seeking a deeply contemplative life marked by embodiment and emotion. She is the founder and writer of Black Liturgies, a project seeking to integrate concepts of dignity, lament, rage, justice, rest, and liberation with the practice of written prayer.


She currently serves as the Content and Spiritual Formation Manager for a center for Christian studies at Cornell University called Chesterton House. In her work, she produces and curates content to guide others into deeper musings and embodiment of the faith. At present, Cole is concerned with topics of dignity, lament, belonging, justice, rest, and liberation. Some thinkers who have formed her include James Baldwin, Thomas Merton, Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Julian of Norwich.


This is part 3 of 4 episodes and today’s topic is on finding joy in the valley. 


Host: Alethea Lamberson & Matthew Melendrez

Guest: Cole Arthur Riley

Guest Website:

Guest IG/Twitter/Facebook: @blackliturgist

Producer: Caleb Dea

Social Media & Marketing: Jazzlyn Venkataya

Designer: Cameron Stingley

Admin Assistant: Alexandra Suarez


Follow us on IG: @therolldownpodcast


The Roll Down podcast is part of the Chasing Justice Podcast Network. To find out more, visit