The Academy Awards are this Sunday, and there's a nominee with a Cambridge connection — one who's not named Damon or Affleck. It's Joshuah Campbell, a Harvard alum who co-wrote the song "Stand Up" from the film "Harriet," the Harriet Tubman biopic. "Stand Up" is in the running for Best Original Song. Campbell spoke with WGBH All Things Considered host Arun Rath. This transcript has been edited for clarity.

Arun Rath: To tell the story of "Stand Up," we first have to tell the story of another song you wrote, "Sing Out/March On." You were still a Harvard student when you wrote that, right?

Joshuah Campbell: That's right. I think I tracked it back to 2014 when I wrote "Sing Out/March On," which was during one of the fever pitches, I think, of Black Lives Matter, specifically the actions that were taking place with students in Cambridge, at Harvard and Tufts and MIT. That song came out of participating in that and feeling a lot of things about what was going on around me.

Rath: Really a song of the moment, it turns out.

Campbell: Yeah, I would say so.

Rath: You performed "Sing Out/March On" at Harvard's 2018 commencement. You actually had a living black icon in attendance there, civil rights pioneer and current Georgia Congressman John Lewis. He was Harvard's 2018 commencement speaker. What was it like, singing for him?

Campbell: It was pretty amazing. When Jack Megan at Harvard's Office for the Arts approached me about doing that, he specifically stated it would be to honor Congressman Lewis, and of course I jumped at the chance. He's such an august elder, such a wise and kind man, in all the times I've heard him speak. It was amazing, it was amazing.

Rath: Explain how it was this song — and maybe it was this performance, even? — that led to your involvement with "Harriet."

Campbell: The composer of the film, Terence Blanchard, an amazing person who's been very kind throughout this process, was aware of that performance. I think he said he was just scrolling through social media, as one does, and he found it. It was on his radar, and I think he tipped off the "Harriet" team. They reached out eventually to see if I wanted to try to do something original for the movie.

Rath: You worked on the song with another Harvard alum, Gabe Fox-Peck, and with Cynthia Erivo, who plays Harriet Tubman in the film. She sings the song. We've had instances of stars in films singing some of the songs in the films, but I don't know if I've ever heard of a star helping to craft the actual music itself. What was it like working on the song with Cynthia Erivo?

Campbell: It was an amazing process. I haven't written for everybody in the world, but I assume that it's a rare blessing to work with someone who is as aware of their instrument as she is. Because she had stepped into the role and been Harriet, what she brought to the process was really keen and really sharp, and it made it honest to her and to the story and to the narrative. It was really cool, it was really cool.

Rath: You graduated from Harvard, but I understand you're now enrolled at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

Campbell: That is right, I am. I am a second year master of divinity student there.

Rath: Are you going to pursue a career in ministry?

Campbell: Yes is the answer to that, I think. The answer changes often. But really the answer is yes, because I consider everything that I do to be a part of my ministerial purview. Songwriting is a part of it, performing is a part of it, and I think it's all work that's about touching folks and making people feel things and doing spirit work and emotional work, in a sense. That's what ties it all together. So yes, I will be pursuing a career in ministry — with a big, open question mark at the end.

Rath: But to reassure people who might write in letters or get upset, that doesn't mean you're leaving music behind, at all.

Campbell: Not at all. I never intended to. It's funny, I never intended to leave it behind, but when I entered seminary, I guess in the fall of 2018, I was dedicating the next three years to focused spiritual formation, and I was going to kind of dabble on the side. But then this became one of the things I dabbled in, and I guess it sort of took on a life of its own.

Rath: And it's all connected.

Campbell: Right, it is. It is for sure.

Rath: You and Harriet Tubman are members of the same church, right?

Campbell: That's right. Harriet Tubman was a member of the AME Zion Church. That's the denomination in which I still hold membership, the one I grew up and had my formative years in. I work at an AME Zion church now. When I found out they were moving forward with my song in "Harriet," I was on my way to Auburn, N.Y., with some of the church folks to visit Harriet Tubman's home site, of which the denomination is the custodian. It was a weird coincidence — but very good weird.