Amber Scorah, a CUNY Baccalaureate student, speaks about her recently published memoir, Leaving the Witness: Exiting a Religion and Finding a Life (Viking, 2019). A third-generation Jehovah’s Witness, Amber, married to an elder, found herself as a missionary in China where preaching her faith is illegal. Living in an unfamiliar environment, learning a foreign language, and a different culture, unexpectedly, exposed her to a new way of thinking; turning her private life and personal faith upside down. Declared an apostate and losing everything she had ever known and believed, Amber explains in spare, compelling prose how one may start life over to discover personal identity and meaning in the absence of faith.
Moderated by Mohamad Bazzi, a 1997 graduate of CUNY Baccalaureate, who is an associate professor of journalism at New York University. Bazzi was the Middle East bureau chief at Newsday from 2003 to 2007, establishing bureaus in Baghdad and Beirut. A lead reporter on the Iraq war and its aftermath, he has written extensively about regional politics, Sunni-Shiite conflicts, and militant Islam.
From left: President Muyskens, Interim President, The Graduate Center, CUNY; Amber Scorah, author and CUNY BA student; Mohamad Bazzi, moderator; Dr. Kim Hartswick, Director of CUNY BA; and Dean Brian Peterson, Dean of CUNY BA
Amber Scorah has been featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, NPR Morning Edition, NPR Fresh Air, and Longreads, and her book was names one of the best books by women of summer 2019 by Oprah Magazine, and recently named an Amazon bestseller.She’s also authored two recent pieces in The New York Times: Surviving the Death of My Son After the Dean of My Faithand Having a Child After Losing a Child.
Amber was recently featured on The Graduate Center’s Podcast: The Thought Project – Episode 61 – Interview with Amber Scorah.
This program was offered in partnership by The Graduate Center’s Office of Academic Initiatives and Strategic Innovation and the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies