Vincent Harding is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Social Transformation at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He is chairperson of the Veterans of Hope Project, which he founded in 1997 with his late wife, Rosemarie Freeney Harding. As longtime activists and teachers, the Hardings began their work in the Mennonite Church in Chicago, Illinois, in the late 1950s and moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1961 to join with Martin Luther King Jr. and others in the southern freedom movement. Vincent Harding occasionally drafted speeches for Martin Luther King, including his famous anti-Vietnam speech, “A Time to Break Silence” which King delivered on April 4, 1967 at Riverside Church in New York City, exactly a year before he was assassinated. In ensuing years, the Hardings 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. Three of his most recent books are: Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement; Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero; and We Changed the World.
This interview is part of the Widening the Circle mini-series.
To more deeply engage a commitment to undoing oppression with seasoned justice-seekers, the Iconocast is launching a mini-series, Widening the Circle: Experiments in Christian Discipleship. Editor Joanna Shenk and the co-hosts will interview chapter authors about their continuing journeys of discipleship, asking questions like: How has their thinking deepened around the themes they wrote about? What do they see happening in the discipleship community movement currently? What is taking shape in their community/organization? What have they let go? In the meantime, make sure to check out Widening the Circle, with stories including from Dr. Vincent Harding, Reba Place Fellowship, Christian Peacemaker Teams, Mark Van Steenwyk, Andrea Ferich, Anton Flores and Jesce Walz.