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Martin Luther King, Jr.
Beyond the Dream 50
Tuesday, April 4 | 7:00 pm | Heaton Hall
Click Here to register for this event.
April 4, 2017 is the 50th anniversary of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s famous Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence speech given at The Riverside Church in the City of New York. Myers Park Baptist and Mayfield Memorial Missionary Baptist will join Riverside and other churches around the country in commemorating this speech by livestreaming an evening with Michelle Alexander and Ruby Sales, voices of the past and future of the Civil Rights Movement. Delivered exactly one year to the day before his assassination, in Beyond Vietnam Dr. King set out a moral agenda for America to address issues of racial justice, poverty, and war. His words are as applicable today as when they were first delivered. Join us at 7pm in Heaton Hall where we will livestream Riverside’s program followed by a time of in-person discussion.
Click Here to register for this event. Registration is open until April 2.
Questions? Contact Anne Clarke at 704.334.7232 x115 OR to email, click here.
Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. In recent years, she has taught at a number of universities, including Stanford Law School, where she was an associate professor of law and directed the Civil Rights Clinics. In 2005, she won a Soros Justice Fellowship, which supported the writing of The New Jim Crow, and that same year she accepted a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University. Since its first publication, The New Jim Crow has received rave reviews and has been featured in national radio and television media outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, Bill Moyers Journal, Tavis Smiley, C-SPAN, and Washington Journal, among others. In March, the book won the 2011 NAACP Image Award for best nonfiction.
Prior to entering academia, Alexander served as the director of the Racial Justice Project for the ACLU of Northern California, where she coordinated the Project’s media advocacy, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and litigation. The Project’s priority areas were educational equity and criminal justice reform, and it was during those years at the ACLU that she began to awaken to the reality that our nation’s criminal justice system functions more like a caste system than a system of crime prevention or control. She became passionate about exposing and challenging racial bias in the criminal justice system, ultimately launching and leading a major campaign against racial profiling by law enforcement known as the “DWB Campaign” or “Driving While Black or Brown Campaign.”
In addition to her nonprofit advocacy experience, Alexander has worked as a litigator at private law firms including Saperstein, Goldstein, Demchak & Baller, in Oakland, California, where she specialized in plaintiff-side class-action lawsuits alleging race and gender discrimination.
Alexander is a graduate of Stanford Law School and Vanderbilt University. Following law school, she clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun on the U.S. Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Abner Mikva on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. She currently devotes much of her time to freelance writing; public speaking; consulting with advocacy organizations committed to ending mass incarceration; and, most important, raising her three young children—the most challenging and rewarding job of all.
Ruby Sales, born in Jemison, Alabama, on July 8, 1948, is an activist and Civil Rights leader. Sales was nurtured in a small town African American community which organized its life around its strongest institutions — family, church and school. Following high school, she attended Tuskegee University in Alabama — originally founded by Booker T. Washington as Tuskegee Institute.
At Tuskegee, Ruby met the Civil Rights Movement most directly through the audacious young community organizers of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC, or “Snick”). By the fall of 1964 with the support of one of her favorite professors, Sales had joined the SNCC forces, moving regularly between the campus and nearby Lowndes County, where a voter registration project was focused.
While studying at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, Sales became involved with the state’s Freedom Summer voter registration drive. One afternoon, as she and Jonathan Daniels, a white seminarian, stood in line at a corner store, a man shot and killed Daniels for standing behind Sales in line. Unnerved and unable to speak significantly for seven months, Sales determined to attend the trial of Daniels’ murderer, Tom Coleman, and to testify on behalf of her slain colleague. Her perseverance moved her to a career of social activism.
After earning her B.A. in American history in 1971 from Manhattanville College, where she was a National Council of Churches Merit Scholar, Sales enrolled in graduate school at Princeton University. Between 1971 and 1976, she was a Danforth Scholar, and she advanced to Ph.D. candidacy in American history before leaving the university. Sales taught adult education in Boston for a year, and then worked as director of the Citizens’ Complaint Center in Washington, D.C. From 1986 to 1988, she taught courses on the civil rights movement and African American women’s history at the University of Maryland before becoming affiliated with the National Women’s Studies Association. She served as director from 1989 to 1991 of Black Women’s Voices and Images, an initiative to wed research to action on issues affecting black women. For the following three years she worked as director of Women of All Colors, coordinating a broad coalition of progressive organizations to work on issues affecting all women.
In 1994, Sales entered the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She studied feminist, African American and liberation theologies with an emphasis on race, class and gender issues, and in 1998 received her master of divinity. Her training as a seminarian prepared her to launch SpiritHouse in 2000, a nonprofit organization focused on community organizing and spiritually based community building. Sales has written several articles and has appeared as a commentator on several television programs. She lives in Washington, D.C.
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Myers Park Baptist Church
1900 Queens Road
Charlotte, NC 28207-2582
(704) 372-5150 - fax
We're located across the street from
Queens University on Selwyn Avenue.
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