Program Directory

City Club of Cleveland - Guest Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Failing America's Faithful
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Former Maryland Lt. Governor and Author of Failing America's Faithful

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Maryland's first woman Lt. Governor, will speak about her new book "Failing America's Faithful: How Today's Churches Are Mixing God with Politics and Losing Their Way."

In "Failing America's Faithful," Townsend, the eldest child of the late Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy, recounts her father's struggle to realize the goals of improving the world by helping the poor and starving-the purpose of faith-amidst the turmoil of the 1960s. She believes his commitment to the Catholic Church's progressive tradition of social justice then is in stark contrast to today's politicians and religious leaders, who divide communities and preach personal salvation over the creation of a more just nation.

Before being elected Lt. Governor, Townsend served as deputy assistant attorney general of the United States. She is the founder of the Maryland Student Service Alliance, which she led to make Maryland the first state in the nation to require that all high school students perform community service as a prerequisite to earning a high school diploma. Townsend is currently an adjunct professor at Georgetown University's School of Public Policy and is a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Townsend is chairman of the Institute for Human Virology and currently serves on several boards, including the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, Points of Light Foundation, National Catholic Reporter, and Character Education Partnership. While serving as the chairman of the board of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, she created the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award. She is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
April 9, 2007