Change Agents 1/5/23: Black women in Black Churches, Civil Rights Movement to the present.

Producer/Host: Steve Wessler

Change Agents: Conversations with Advocates and Social Justice Advocate on WERU FM

This month:
Examining the role of Black women in Black Churches from the Civil Rights Movement to the present.
1. Black women in churches have played a major role in the civil rights movement.
2. Black women in the south during the civil rights movement who worked for state, county or city governments did not press coverage because if they did, they might be fired from their job.
3. Black women’s remarkable role in civil rights efforts were not known by many white people.

Cheryl Townsend Gilkes. She recently has retired from teaching at Colby College where she was the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Professor Emerita African American Studies and Sociology Presidential Liaison and Advisor.

About the host:
Steve Wessler will soon will be starting his 28th year of working on human right issues. He founded the Civil Rights Unit in the Maine Attorney’s Office in 1992 and led the Unit for 7 years. In 1999 he left the formal practice of law and founded the Center for the Prevention of Hate. The Center worked in Maine and across the USA. He and his colleagues worked to reduce bias and harassment in schools, in communities, in health care organization through workshops and conflict resolution. The Center closed in 2011 and Steve began a consulting on human rights issues. For the next 5 years much of his work was in Europe, developing and implementing training curricular for police, working in communities to reduce the risk of hate crimes, conflict resolution between police and youth. He has worked in over 20 countries. In late 2016 he began to work more in Maine, with a focus on reducing anti-immigrant bias. He continues to work in schools to reduce bias and harassment. Wessler teaches courses on human rights issues at the College of the Atlantic, the University of Maine at Augusta and at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University in northern Virginia.