January 24, 2020
Somewhere in the Middle welcomes Food Activist Yvette Blair-Lavallais
Reverend Yvette Blair-Lavallais was seven years old, sitting in the pew at Lee Chapel AME Church in Dallas, when she sensed that God was calling her to preach. By the age of 10, she became involved in children’s Sunday School and afterschool Bible studies. God continued to shape her for ministry as she took on leadership roles within the church and the community throughout her teen and young adult years.
Yvette has held pastoral appointments in The United Methodist Church, including serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at the historic St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church in Dallas. Her fruitful ministry included cultivating and leading the Young Adult Ministry, Women’s Ministry, Bible study, e2 Elevate Your Experience Wednesday Night worship, and serving as Director of The Zan Wesley Holmes, Jr. Servant Leadership Institute.
Yvette was named the 2017 Woman of the Year by IMessenger News/Texas Metro News for speaking out and giving voice to the numerous clergywomen who have been victims of sexual assault in the church. She is featured in the 2019 documentary, "Shatter the Silence," produced by Cheryl Allison and WOW Films. Yvette speaks to the need for the church to repent and to dismantle the patriarchy that perpetuates violation against women.
Yvette has spoken at conferences including the 2018 "Talking Bout a Revolution" Women's Conference presented by the Mennonite Church USA and she was invited to present her paper, “Where Do We Go From Here: When the Church Disturbs the Status Quo” at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee as part of their MLK 50 Memphis Teach-In.
Yvette wrote and released her first book, Being Ruth: Pressing Through Life’s Struggles with Fearless Faith, in the summer of 2017. She weaves this biblical story of the ancient sacred text with real-life, practical application of navigating and through challenges and getting to the life-giving spaces that God has already created.
Yvette is a native of Dallas, Texas, holds a BA in Journalism from the University of North Texas, and has more than 25 years of experience in media, corporate communications, public relations and non-profit, including receiving a congressional appointment to serve as the Public Relations Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. She is a writing coach and professional editor and has helped more than 20 pastors publish books.