Rev. Dawn Bennett
PastorCompany: The Table
Role: Session Presenter
2021 Conference Session:
Paint & Process: Self-care and stress-management through embodiment artwork
2021 Conference Session: Hot Mamas: The Upward Trend of Affirming Parents (TT-4A)
Rev. Dawn Bennett is an ordained pastor in the ELCA Lutheran Church and currently serves as pastor developer at The Table in Nashville, Tenn. She is a leading voice in the Nashville community working at the intersections of faith and LGBTQ+ family advocacy.
Pastor Dawn holds a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and graduate certificate in religion, gender, and sexuality from Vanderbilt Divinity School, a Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM) from Luther Seminary, a BS in psychology from Liberty University and is a trained Tennessee Rule 31 Supreme Court Family Mediator. Pastor Dawn also wholeheartedly believes in activism through volunteering. To that end, she currently serves on the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Program of LGBTQ Health Community Advisory Board and serves on the boards of the ELCA’s Southeastern Synod (SES) as the Tenn. Representative for the Policy Advocacy Council, adult advisor to the Southeastern Synod Leadership Youth Organization (SESLYO), SES Mental Health Task Force, and SES Diversity and Justice Task Force.
A leading detail of Pastor Dawn’s work is her identity as an openly queer pastor. She is also the parent of a transgender son and sister to gay siblings. She invests her time helping families repair the breach in relationships, educating non-affirming and ally clergy, and advocating for students in public schools. Dawn is the author of “Loving Pearl: A Mother’s Call to Unconditional Love” and blog host of Going and Growing. Additionally, Pastor Dawn participates in public protests when community activism for Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ / gender justice events happen in Middle Tenn. As an activist, she stays busy untangling the harmful effects of religious bigotry while rebuilding faith spaces with healthier teachings.
Through her public platform, Dawn Bennett Speaks, she presents workshops on diversity and inclusion and is a conversation curator for navigating difficult topics. She is known throughout the Southeast Region as a vehicle for gaining education and experience on the topic of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dawn’s niche is helping people see and know the deeper meanings of being and belonging. She intentionally aims to help others learn to engage in nurturing and purposeful conversations that reduce harm and improve relationships, and her corporate relations work assists in strengthening relationships between employers, employees, and supplier chains to profit both people and products.
Rev. Dawn Bennett lives in Nashville, Tenn., with her betta fish, Busta Moves.