Richard Gleason

SNCC, SCLC, 1961-1966, Alabama, Mississippi
2510 Lake Michigan DR NW A204
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Phone: 616-304-1032

I was one of [a group of] six Mississippi Freedom Riders arrested in the Jackson, MS, Trailways Line bus station, June 2, 1961.

I participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington D.C. where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his I Have a Dream speech, August 28, 1963.

I marched in the Selma and Montgomery March for Voting Rights, March 1965.

I marched in Dr. King s Campaign for Open Housing March in Chicago's Marquette Park neighborhood when he was hit in the head with a rock, August 5, 1966. Dr. King said the Chicago march was the most violent he had participated in.

I marched in James Meredith s March Against Fear to encourage African American Mississippians to register to vote, June 1966.

My background: Upon ordination into the Christian Ministry, at age 24, I moved into and ministered to youth for twenty years in the country's largest public low-income housing project in Chicago. (1957-1977)

Being white and having grown up in a small town in northwest Ohio, I knew nothing about urban life and nothing about race. It was there in Chicago I learned about race in America and experienced the effects of systemic racism. It was a life changing experience and I committed my life to eradicate it from that time on.

I stand up for institutional change. I speak up for justice & equal opportunity for all — regardless of skin color, orientation or place of origin. I regularly speak in public schools, colleges, churches and community organizations.

I m happy to share my experiences with others. I live in Grand Rapids.


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