Stephen Cranford

SNCC, Mississippi, 1960-64; 1969-74
Current Residence: Tulsa, OK

I was a 17 year old white kid from the Arkansas mountains when I came to Mississippi in 1960. Having grown up in an all white county, I had never personally experienced segregation. Mississippi stunned me. I met Diane Nash in a house on Farish Street where the SNCC people gathered in Jackson. Although I never had the personal courage to tell her what she meant to me, she inspired me to spend much of my life working for civil and human rights. Later, after graduate school, I became the executive director of the Mississippi Religious Leadership Conference, the state's only interracial, interreligious voice. I have continued to work at the local, national and international levels. In many ways, that encounter defined my life.

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