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Call to Selma

Eighteen Days of Witness

Richard D. Leonard

"Monday, March 8, 1965. I headed into our ministers' meeting at the Community Church of New York without the faintest idea that by nightfall I would be in the state of Alabama, and that for the next seventeen days I would be involved in an epic struggle that would fashion the future of our country, and to an extent, the world. We had all witnessed on television the night before the beatings of the civil rights marchers in Selma, Alabama. We had heard Rev. Martin Luther King's appeal to clergy from all over the country to come to Selma to assist the protesters in their demand for voting rights. One of us was going to answer Dr. King's call."
—from Richard Leonard's Journal, Call to Selma

Richard Leonard, age 37, was minister of education at the Community Church of New York at the time he answered Dr. King's call. His journal forms the core of Call to Selma and captures one viewpoint of this pivotal moment in the struggle for voting rights. Includes first-hand accounts and reflections from more than two dozen other Unitarian Universalists, plus award-winning photographs by Ivan Massar. Along with the Journey Toward Wholeness program, the publication of this book is part of the Unitarian Universalist Association's renewed commitment to the struggle for racial justice. Call to Selma, writes UUA President Bill Sinkford, "is a source of hope for the ongoing work of transforming the faith we love and helping our world bend toward justice."

Richard Leonard, a graduate of Yale College and Union Theological Seminary, retired in 1997 and is minister emeritus of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City.

For more information contact skinnerhouseatuuadotorg.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Wednesday, June 2, 2010.

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