PREACHER. ORGANIZER. WRITER. HUSBAND.
Reverend Andrew Wilkes is a Principal of Wilkes Advocacy Group, The Co-Lead Pastor of the new church start, The Double Love Experience in Brooklyn, New York and the former Associate Pastor of Social Justice and Young Adults at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York (GAC), where he served on the pastoral staff for five years. Reverend Wilkes is a bi-vocational minister and has built his career on a dual commitment to community development, civic action, and economic justice.
In 2015 he began his post as Executive Director of The Drum Major Institute (DMI), an organization founded by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., which carries forward the social change legacy of King by promoting economic justice, dismantling structural racism, and advancing civil rights. Under his tenure, DMI executed public affairs events in Dallas, Texas and Washington D.C. to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. To execute the companion events, Rev. Wilkes’ team mobilized DMI principals Ambassador Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, and Rev. Dr. James Forbes, along with the executive leadership of Values Partnership; Southern Christian Leadership Conference; NAACP; and the Progressive National Baptist Convention. During his Drum Major Institute tenure, he also established the Beloved Community Initiative, a national resource on spirituality and social justice for faith communities; and relaunched the nationally renowned Marketplace of Ideas Forum – a forum for bringing progressive policy ideas to an audience of activists, policy professionals, and nonprofit leaders. Following his tenure at DMI, Reverend Wilkes now serves on the Board of Directors for the New York State Labor-Religion Coalition.
A native of Atlanta, GA, Wilkes is a proud graduate of Hampton University and Princeton Theological Seminary. At Princeton, Wilkes received the Edler Garnett Hawkins Award for Scholastic Excellence. In seminary, Rev. Wilkes developed an interwoven sense of calling to congregational and public service ministry. His decision to work in the first administration of Newark, New Jersey Mayor, Cory Booker for his field placement separated him from his colleagues. While others were serving in churches, Wilkes followed his calling by merging his faith with social policy issues in the nonprofit and public sectors.
Reverend Wilkes was later hired as a consultant for “Fathers Now", a division of Cory Booker's "Newark Now." Wilkes then pursued the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in New York City where he worked with various NYC companies such as the NYC Department of Small Business Services, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Edelman PR’s Public Affairs division, and more.
As a Senior Grants Manager at The American Red Cross, Reverend Wilkes oversaw a $45 million budget for Superstorm Sandy recovery in New York state & Connecticut. Before that, Reverend Wilkes engaged 140 faith communities as the Faith & Community Relations Associate at Habitat for Humanity New York City.
Reverend Wilkes recently completed his tenure as Associate Pastor of Social Justice and Young Adults at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York. In that capacity, he launched a social justice initiative called Micah 6:8, which calls for faith communities to initiate civic renewal by pursuing justice, compassion, and peacemaking within our society. A PhD candidate in political science at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, Reverend Wilkes also serves as a Graduate Teaching Fellow at City College of New York, where he teaches courses in public policy.
Reverend Wilkes is the 2016, Guy R. Brewer Distinguished Leadership Award Recipient, The 2015 recipient of The New York Theological Seminary’s Micah Institute Courage Award, the 2013 recipient of Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Advocacy Award, and the 2013 Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute Next Leader of the Future Award. A public speaker and writer for outlets such as The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Sojourners Magazine; Reverend Wilkes is the convener of Stand with Black Women and Girls, a national public education campaign to promote the well-being of black women and girls through liturgy, policy options, public action, and digital engagement (#StandWithBWG). Reverend Wilkes is committed to “doing justice, loving mercy, & walking humbly with God.”
Reverend Wilkes resides in Harlem, New York with his wife, Min. Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJWilkes.