The National Institute for Restorative Justice
"Educating for Advocacy"
Education - Leadership Development
“I never worked for an organization, but for a cause.”

“One of the major emphasis... was that of working with indigenous people,
not working for them, but trying to develop their capacity for leadership.”

“Give people light, and they will find a way.”
Ella Baker
15226 Lakeshore Blvd
Cleveland, Ohio 44110

Social Justice

Economic Justice

Legal Justice
Leaders Quoted on Our Individual Page Headers - We encourage your own research.
Meanwhile, here are brief profiles courtesy BlackPast.Org and "leader" specific sites
Ella Baker (December 13, 1903 – December 13, 1986)
Through her decades of work with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and later with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating
Committee (SNCC), Ella Baker emerged as one of the most important women in the civil rights movement.  Baker was born on December 13, 1903 in Norfolk, Virginia.  
After grammar school, her mother enrolled her in Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She graduated as the valedictorian of both her high school and college
graduating classes.  The college valedictorian honor was all the more remarkable because she worked her way through school as a waitress and chemistry lab assistant.  
Baker graduated from Shaw University with a B.A. in June 1927.
Read more at BlackPast.Org  and The Baker Center For Human Rights

Harry Belafonte (March 1, 1927)
Born March 1, 1927 as Harold George Belafonte Jr. in Harlem, New York, Belafonte grew from being a troubled youth to an award winning entertainer and world renowned
political activist and humanitarian.  In 1944 Belafonte joined the Navy in order to fight in World War II, and although Belafonte was never sent overseas, after the war
ended he was able to use the G.I. Bill to pay for a drama workshop at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan alongside fellow students Marlon Brando and
Sidney Poitier…  Although Belafonte has had great success as an entertainer, his greatest contributions can no doubt be attributed to his political activities and
humanitarianism.  As a great supporter of integration during the Civil Rights Era, Belafonte worked to break the color barrier as an outspoken advocate of the work of
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Alongside his political activism, which he continues to this day, Belafonte also works for many humanitarian concerns.
Read more at BlackPast.
Org and Sing Your Song  

Lerone Bennett, Jr. (October 17, 1928)
Lerone Bennett Jr., historian of African America, has authored articles, poems, short stories, and over nine books on African American history.  Bennett was born in
Clarksdale, Mississippi the son of Lerone Bennett Sr. and Alma Reed. He and his family moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where he attended public schools. Bennett
graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. The same year Bennett enrolled in Atlanta University for graduate studies. He also
became a newspaper journalist for the Atlanta Daily World.  Bennett moved to Chicago in 1952 to become city editor for JET magazine, founded by John H. Johnson.  In
1954 Lerone Bennett became an associate editor at Ebony, also owned by Johnson.  By 1958 when Bennett had become the senior editor at Ebony, Johnson encouraged
Bennett to write books on African American history for a popular audience.  A series of history articles that Bennett had written over time for Ebony emerged in 1963 as
his first book, Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America, 1619-1962. Bennett described the long history of black slavery and racial segregation while reminding
his readers that African American roots in the American soil are deeper than those of the Puritans who arrived in 1620.
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Julian Bond (January 14, 1940)
Horace Julian Bond is a scholar, poet, former legislator and activist in the American Civil Rights Movement.  Julian Bond as he came to be known, was born on January
14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee to Julia Washington Bond and Horace Mann Bond an educator who served as the first African American president of Lincoln University
and as dean of the School of Education at Atlanta University…In 1957, Bond enrolled at Morehouse College where he earned a varsity letter on the swim team and
founded, The Pegasus literary magazine. In Atlanta, Bond embarked upon a lifelong career of social and political activism.  
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Frederick Douglass (1818 – February 1895)
Frederick Douglass, arguably the most important Negro leader of the 19th century, was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, in Talbot County, on Maryland's
Eastern Shore in 1818. The son of a slave woman and, presumably, her white master. When Douglass escaped from slavery at the age of 20, he adopted a new
surname from the hero of Sir Walter Scott's The Lady of the Lake. Douglass’ life, captured in self-published autobiographies, established some of the greatest
contributions to southern culture on written record. Etched as straightforward abolitionist propaganda and individual disclosure, they are commonly respected as supreme
models of the slave narrative tradition and as archetypal American autobiography.  These works; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave , was
published in 1845; in 1855, My Bondage and My Freedom was released; and after the Civil War, he drafted and published Life and Times of Frederick Douglass in 1881,
which he revised in 1892.  
Read more at Frederick Douglas Resource Center

W.E.B. DuBois (February 23, 1868 - August 27, 1963)
Educator, essayist, journalist, scholar, social critic, and activist W.E.B. DuBois, was born to Mary Sylvina Burghardt and Alfred Dubois on February 23, 1868 in Great
Barrington, Massachusetts.   He excelled in the public schools of Great Barrington, graduating valedictorian from his high school in 1884.  Four years later he received a
B.A. from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1890 DuBois earned a second bachelor degree from Harvard University.  DuBois began two years of graduate
studies in History and Economics at the University of Berlin in 1892 and then returned to the United States to begin a two year stint teaching Greek and Latin at
Wilberforce University in Ohio.  In 1895, DuBois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. at Harvard University.  His doctoral thesis, "The Suppression of the
African Slave Trade in America," became the first book published by Harvard University Press in 1896.  
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Marian Wright Edelman (June 6, 1939)
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), has been an advocate for disadvantaged Americans for her entire professional
life.  Under her leadership, CDF has become the nation's strongest voice for children and families.  The Children's Defense Fund's Leave No Child Behind® mission is to
ensure every child a Healthy Start, a Head Start, a Fair Start, a Safe Start, and a Moral Start in life and successful passage to adulthood with the help of caring families
and communities.
Mrs. Edelman, a graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she
directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Mississippi.  In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People's
Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began organizing before his death.  She founded the Washington Research Project, a public interest law firm and the parent
body of the Children's Defense Fund.  For two years she served as the Director of the Center for Law and Education at Harvard University and in 1973 began CDF.  
more at The
Children's Defense Fund and BlackPast.Org

Charles Hamilton Houston (September 13, 1865 – April 22, 1950)
Charles Hamilton Houston preceded Thurgood Marshall as the most important black lawyer in the twentieth century United States. He was born in Washington, D.C., in
1895. Houston's father, a graduate of Howard University's law school, practiced law and taught at his alma mater. After completing M Street High (later Dunbar High
School) in 1911, he entered Amherst College. In 1915 he graduated as valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa, and returned to teach at Howard. In 1917 he enlisted in the
armed forces, and served in World War I. After his discharge in 1919, he entered Harvard Law School, where he became the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review.
He received his LL.B. in 1922 cum laude, and practiced law with his father from 1924 to 1950. He served as special counsel to the NAACP, becoming its first full-time,
paid counsel while teaching and holding administrative positions at Howard. At Howard he was a mentor to Thurgood Marshall. Houston was a preeminent
antidiscrimination lawyer whose efforts laid the legal groundwork for the Brown v. Board of Education ruling won by his protege Marshall in 1954.  
BlackPast.Org and Charles Hamilton Houston Institute

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)
One of the most visible advocates of nonviolence and direct action as methods of social change, Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. As the
grandson of the Rev. A.D. Williams, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist church and a founder of Atlanta's NAACP chapter, and the son of Martin Luther King, Sr., who succeeded
Williams as Ebenezer's pastor, King's roots were in the African American Baptist church. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, King went on to study at Crozer
Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and Boston University, where he deepened his understanding of theological scholarship and explored Mahatma Gandhi's
nonviolent strategy for social change…  King married Coretta Scott in 1953, and the following year he accepted the pastorate at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in
Montgomery, Alabama. King received his Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955.
Read more at BlackPast.Org and The King Center For Nonviolent Social Change

Manning Marable (May 13, 1950 – April 1, 2011)
One of the leading figures in African-American studies, Manning Marable… approached race relations from the perspectives of economic justice and structural flaws in
America's social institutions. …He took his undergraduate degree at Earlham, a Quaker college in Indiana, then received a master's from the University of Wisconsin and
his PhD from the University of Maryland, and launched a high-flying academic career teaching at Smith College, the elite women's institution in Massachusetts, and the
traditionally black Tuskegee University in Alabama.  He wrote his first book, From the Grassroots: Social and Political Essays Towards Afro-American Liberation (1980) as
a research fellow at Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York state, and then moved to Fisk, another traditionally black college, in Nashville, Tennessee, as head of its
Race Relations Institute, founded in the 1940s as America's first black studies programme.  
Read more at The Guardian

Barack H. Obama, II (August 4, 1961)
Barack Hussein Obama, II is the 44th and current President of the United States.  He is the first African American to hold the office.  Obama previously served as a
United States Senator from Illinois until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.  Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia
University and Harvard Law School, where he was president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organzier in Chicago before earning his law degree.  He
worked as a civil rights attorney in Chicago and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School.  He served three terms representing the 13th District in
the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.  
Read more at The Whitehouse.Gov

A. Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979)
Asa Philip Randolph, born on April 15, 1889 in Crescent City, Florida, was one of the most respected leaders of the American Civil Rights movement in the twentieth
century.  Randolph was a labor activist; editor of the political journal the Messenger, organizer of the 1941 March on Washington which resulted in the establishment of
the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), and architect of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom… Randolph drew upon these experiences in
1925 to create the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). The Pullman Company was the largest single employer of the African Americans in the nation at the
time.  Many of the 10,000 Pullman Porters were college graduates and highly respected in their own communities, yet on the job they were subjected to low wages,
disrespectful treatment, and discriminatory practices.  
Read more at BlackPast.Org and The Randolph Institute

John Singleton (January 6, 1968)
John Daniel Singleton, an Academy Award-nominated film director, producer and screenwriter, was born on January 6, 1968 in Los Angles, California…  After graduating
from high school in 1986, Singleton attended Pasadena City College and then the University of Southern California (USC) where he enrolled in its School of Cinematic
Arts. While at USC he formed the African American Film Association and completed a six-month director’s internship on the Arsenio Hall Show.  Singleton also twice won
the Jack Nicholson Award for Best Feature-Length Screenplays while at USC.  Before his graduation in 1990, he signed with Creative Artists Agency.  A year later,
Columbia Pictures offered to purchase the screen rights to his college thesis Boyz N the Hood…  it received Academy Award nominations for Best Screenplay and Best
Director.  In the latter category, Singleton at age 23, became the youngest person and first African American to receive that honor.  
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Harriett Tubman (c. 1821 – March 10, 1913)
Dubbed “The Moses of Her People,” escaped slave Harriet Tubman assisted hundreds of slaves on the Underground Railroad.  Born and raised in Dorchester County,
Maryland to Benjamin and Harriett Greene Ross, Harriett was both a field hand and a house slave.  As a young girl, she suffered a lifelong injury after her master threw
a piece of iron at her, which struck her in the head.  Throughout her life, Harriett suffered bouts of narcoleptic seizures.  In 1844, she married a free black man, John
Tubman.  She escaped in 1849 in order to avoid being sold into the Deep South…  Upon her escape, Tubman trekked northward to Philadelphia where, like most
working class free black women, she found employment as a washer woman and domestic servant.  At the same time, she participated in the Underground Railroad,
and as a result, developed networks with both black and white abolitionists…  After the end of slavery, Tubman participated in the emerging national suffrage
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Sojourner Truth (c. 1791 – 1883)
Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist, women’s rights activist, emancipated slave and itinerant evangelist, became arguably the most well known 19th Century African
American woman. Born Isabella Baumfree around 1791, from a young age, this enslaved girl was bought and sold several times by slaveowners in New York. She
married an enslaved man named Thomas, and together they had five children. On July 4, 1827, the New York State Legislature emancipated her, and she moved with
her son to New York City, where she worked as a live-in domestic… The turning point in Truth’s life came on June 1, 1843, when she adopted a new name, Sojourner,
and headed east for the purpose of “exhorting the people to embrace Jesus, and refrain from sin.” For several years, she preached at camp meetings and lived in a
utopian community. She also toured the public speaking circuit on behalf of abolition and women’s rights, and in 1851, she gave her infamous “Ain’t I A Woman”
speech at a Women’s Rights Convention.
Read more at BlackPast.Org

Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, c. 1867 – Decmeber 15, 1934)
Maggie Lena Mitchell was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1867 to parents who were former slaves…Mrs. Walker became an important community organizer for the
Independent Order of St. Luke, a fraternal burial society that provided humanitarian services to the elderly. Walker started a newspaper for the St. Luke organization in
1902 called the St. Luke Herald. After the success of the newspaper she started the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and became the first woman in the United States to
charter a bank. She was also the bank's first president. During the Great Depression two other banks in Richmond merged with St. Luke to become The Consolidated
Bank and Trust Company…  
Read more at BlackPast.Org
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