Dr. King refers to a number of significant Unitarian Universalist (UU) persons in his address. In order to better understand the address, here is brief background information on those individuals mentioned:
- “Dr. Greeley”
Dana McLean Greeley, first president of the consolidated Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) (and last president of the American Unitarian Association, one of the new organization's two parent bodies). Dr. Greeley marched in Selma with Dr. King and was responsible for issuing a call to Unitarian Universalist clergy to join the freedom marches in 1965. After leaving the UUA presidency, Dr. Greeley served as senior minister of the First Parish in Concord, MA, from 1970-1986. Dr. Greeley died in June 1986.
- David Cole
Cole received his MST from Tufts University and was ordained to the ministry in 1947. He served many UU congregations, including the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, Manhasset, NY; and West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church, Cleveland, OH. He retired from the ministry in 1986 and resides in Maine.
- Alfred Hawkins
Hawkins, a participant on King's marches along with Cole and Jack, was a Lutheran Minister who became fellowshipped in the Universalist tradition. He served the North Attleboro (MA), Elgin, IL, and Naperville, IL, congregations before moving to Florida. He died during the 1990's.
- Homer Jack
Born in 1916 and a Unitarian minister since 1948, Jack was the Director of the Division of Social Responsibility of the UUA between 1964 and 1970. He marched with Dr. King in Selma and subsequently worked with him on other social justice actions. From 1970 until 1983, Jack was the Secretary-General of the World Conference on Religion and Peace. Homer Jack died in 1993.