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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Collections >> Collection Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Veterans of hope project

Repository: Iliff School of Theology. Veterans of Hope Project

Collection Description (CRHP): The Veterans of Hope project includes interviews with peace and social justice activists; most have been involved in black freedom struggles in the United States, but others have concentrated on Chicano/Latino movements, labor rights, and peace education more generally.

The archive holds 5-6 hours of raw footage with more than 75 narrators. Individuals interviewed between 1997 and 2004 of particular interest include national civil rights figures, as well as those more central to civil rights efforts in Colorado or the American West:

* Victoria Jackson Gray Adams (SNCC activist and Methodist lay minister)
* Ndugu T'Ofori Atta (minister and leader of Pan-African Christian movement)
* John Biggers (painter)
* Anne Braden (community organizer and anti-racism activist)
* Elizabeth Catlett (Sculptor and print-maker)
* Dorothy Cotton (SCLC activist and citizenship education specialist)
* Ruth Denny (CORE activist)
* Katherine Dunham (Dancer and human rights activist)
* James Farmer (CORE activist)
* Tom Feelings (painter and illustrator)
* James Forman (SNCC activist)
* Prathia Hall (SNCC activist)
* Robert Hill (scholar of Marcus Garvey and UNIA movement)
* Vincent Gordon Harding (freedom movement historian)
* J. Archie Hargraves (community organizer and minister)
* Marion Jackson (Albany Movement leader)
* Nelson Johnson (community organizer and minister)
* Carol King (Albany Movement leader)
* Edwin King (minister and freedom movement activist)
* James M. Lawson (non-violence trainer, minister and community activist)
* Charles Long (historian of religion)
* Alice Lynd (activist lawyer)
* Staughton Lynd (activist lawyer and historian)
* Charles (Chuck) McDew (SNCC activist)
* Robert Moses (SNCC activist and founder of The Algebra Project)
* Warith Deen Muhammad (imam and leader of Muslim Mosque Inc.)
* Rachel Noel (educator and school integration activist)
* Fay Bellamy Powell (photographer and community activist)
* Bernice Johnson Reagon (SNCC activist and founder of Sweet Honey in the Rock)
* Ruby Sales (civil rights and women's rights activist)
* Sonia Sanchez (poet and activist)
* Charles Sherrod, Jr. (SNCC activist, leader of Albany Movement)
* Fred Shuttlesworth (civil rights movement activist and minister)
* Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons (SNCC activist and scholar of women in Islam)
* C. T. Vivian (civil rights movement activist and minister)
* Wyatt Tee Walker (SCLC activist and minister)
* Wellington Webb (Former mayor of Denver, Colorado)
* Andrew Young (SCLC activist and former Ambassador to the United Nations)

Teaching materials are also available on the site.

Collection Description (Extant): The Veterans of Hope Project is a multifaceted educational initiative on religion, culture and participatory democracy. We encourage a healing-centered approach to community-building that recognizes the interconnectedness of spirit, creativity and citizenship. Our educational materials are designed to support reconciliation, nonviolence and an appreciation for the value of indigenous and folk wisdom for contemporary times.

Through a video interview series with older peace and justice activists; an accompanying curriculum; workshops and training in compassionate leadership development; and a public symposium series, the Project emphasizes grassroots resources for social change from the wisdom of varied local communities. We document and share the transformative histories of "long distance runners" for peace and justice, passing on the values, faith and practices that have guided their lives and work.

The Project was founded in 1997 by Vincent and Rosemarie Freeney Harding, longtime activists, counselors and teachers of spiritually based social activism. The Hardings began their work in the Mennonite Church in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1950s and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1960 to join with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others as reconcilers and nonviolence trainers in the Southern Freedom Movement. In ensuing years, the Hardings have served as scholars, advisors and encouragers for a wide variety of movements, organizations and individuals working for compassionate social change in the United States and internationally. In March, 2004, Rosemarie Freeney Harding passed on. Her husband and their daughter, Rachel, are continuing the Project's work.

[...] The centerpiece of our work is the video interviews with more than 50 Veterans of Hope -- religious leaders, activists, artists, educators and others who are veterans of struggles for freedom and justice in this country and in other parts of the world. In the interviews, these individuals reflect on the role of religion/spirituality in their life and work, representing a unique educational resource on religion and democratic transformation.

Access Copy Note: Biographical information about individual interviewees and links to their own projects may be found in the "Connections" section of the website (for detailed information, click on A-G, H-R, S-Z [rather than individual names] at at Videos of selected interviews are available in the "Stories of Change" section:

12 interviews have been edited into 30-45 minute DVDs that are available for purchase. Staff are working with the Ford Foundation to digitize the rest of the original BETA footage.

Date(s): 1997-

Digital Status: Partial

Extent: At least 53 interviews on BETA and mini-DV

Finding Aid: A partial list of interviewees is online.

Finding Aid URL: External Link

Language: English

Related Archival Items: See related interviews at the Carnegie Public Library in Boulder, CO.

Interviewees: Victoria Jackson Gray Adams, Ndugu T'Ofori Atta, John Biggers, Anne Braden, Elizabeth Catlett, Dorothy Cotton, Ruth Denny, Katherine Dunham, James Farmer, Tom Feelings, James Forman, Prathia Hall, Robert Hill, Vincent Gordon Harding, J. Archie Hargraves, Marion Jackson, Nelson Johnson, Carol King, Edwin King, James M. Lawson, Charles Long, Alice Lynd, Staughton Lynd, Charles McDew, Robert Moses, Warith Deen Muhammad, Rachel Noel, Fay Bellamy Powell, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Ruby Sales, Sonia Sanchez, Charles Sherrod, Jr., Fred Shuttlesworth, Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, C. T. Vivian, Wyatt Tee Walker, Wellington Webb, Andrew Young

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights


African American artists
African American clergy
African American educators--Colorado
African American women civil rights workers
African Americans--Colorado
American Friends Service Committee
Black Arts movement
Black Muslims
Civil rights movements--Colorado
Civil rights movements--Georgia
Congress of Racial Equality
Peace movements
School integration--Colorado--Denver
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (U.S.)
Universal Negro Improvement Association




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   May 15, 2015
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