As a mystic, theologian, and author of several books, Howard Thurman (1899-1981) possessed the uncanny and prophetic ability to make a connection between contemplation and the scrutiny of one’s inner life with social justice work. Described as the spiritual architect of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Thurman advised Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other activists. He chose to engage in sacred activism—work that would serve all people and to use the contemplative experience as a path to peace, purpose and empowerment. He wrote about this desire in Jesus and the Disinherited, a book that Dr. King carried with him whenever he marched. During this day of learning and reflection, we will journey through the life and work of this great sage from young contemplative to prominent religious and spiritual leader who promoted the common unity of all of God’s holy creation.
Lerita Coleman Brown, professor of psychology emerita, spiritual director, retreat leader, and speaker promotes contemplative spirituality and the renown mystic and theologian, Howard Thurman on her website, peaceforhearts.com. She is the author of several articles, chapters, essays and the book, When the Heart Speaks, Listen—Discovering Inner Wisdom. Her new book, What Makes You Come Alive—A Spiritual Walk with Howard Thurman will be released by Broadleaf Press in 2023.