Thursday, May 17, 2007

Remember Her Fondly

Yolanda King passed away on Tuesday, May 14, 2007. She was a true civil rights leader and a wonderful person. I'm on the list for email updates from Soulforce, a group that organizes the Equality Ride. The ride is basically a group of college students that bravely travels to colleges and universities with anti-LGBT policies and asks them to change their positions. This is their email on Ms. King's passing:

Soulforce mourns the passing of Yolanda King, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's eldest daughter. Yolanda died on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, in Santa Monica, California at the young age of 51.

In May of 2000, Yolanda King joined Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas Gandhi, and other civil rights leaders in Cleveland, Ohio to protest the antigay policies of the United Methodist Church. Hundreds of people gathered in Cleveland as Yolanda delivered a powerful speech, calling on all churches to end their false and unjust campaigns against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

During the 2007 Soulforce Equality Ride, Ms. King wrote a note to the young riders that read "To the Equality Riders: continue to live the dream! Blessings, Yolanda

Dr. Rodney Powell, a leader of the nonviolent student movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and current Soulforce board member, was with Yolanda in Cleveland and today said, "Yolanda reflected with great clarity that Dr. King supported equality and justice for all marginalized people. She felt strongly that her father would have been marching and protesting with Soulforce if he were alive today."

We ask the LGBT community and all Americans to please be in prayer for the King family and the King Center during this time of grief and mourning. Our hearts go out to all of them and we thank them for the courageous stands and personal sacrifices they have made to advance equality and freedom for all.