The CDF Freedom Schools® program is rooted in the history and vision of the Civil Rights Movement, and Black leadership propels the program to this day. Every day at CDF Freedom Schools, young scholars learn about, reflect on, and apply the lessons of real-life Black heroes. In that spirit, we’re celebrating Black History Month by asking the staff of some of our exemplary CDF Freedom Schools sponsor organizations to tell us who inspires them and whose footsteps they seek to walk in as they serve our country’s children.
Inspiring figure in Black history: Pauli Murray
The figure in Black history that inspires me the most is Pauli Murray. Murray was an influential visionary, lawyer, poet, strategist, priest, and civil and human rights activist.
What about this person’s story or legacy inspires you today?
Throughout the course of her life, Pauli Murray contributed to pivotal civil rights legislation, fought against segregation and gender discrimination, and championed the rights and dignity of ALL people. Despite great adversity and complex struggles that Murray experienced throughout her life, she persisted in her endeavors and convictions to allow love to be the root of her service while relentlessly fighting for justice. Pauli Murray’s life and legacy, as expressed in her work, theology, and service was born of love, steadfastness, and unyielding hope.
How do you seek to live your life or serve the young people of your community in that person’s honor?
Her remarkable legacy inspires me to approach my service to young people with the spirit of unbridled love, action-driven hope, and audacious courage to always speak up for the rights, well-being, and dignity of all children even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
The views expressed above are those of the individual interviewed.