Harding Center

Caravans to the BorderlandS
july 4 day of action Highlights


Recent Headlines on the U.S. Border crisis

As we think about Caravans to the Borderlands, we must first go there in our hearts and minds. The Harding Center is collaborating with partners across the nation, and with those en la frontera to make sure we disrupt current policies toward Black and Brown immigrants. Read some recent news stories on the crisis.

Photo Béatrice de Géa.

Photo Béatrice de Géa.

July 4 Day of Action Highlights

On the Fourth of July, the Harding Center for Spiritual and Social Restoration, led by Sisters Rev. Jacqui Lewis and Mama Ruby Sales, held a Mourn-In and Day of Fasting. The day of mourning, celebration, and fasting lincluded a press conference, song, poetry, testimonies, eulogies, and a funeral procession. Pallbearers carried the coffins...



the Vincent and rosemarie harding
center for spiritual and social restoration

The Center for Social and Spiritual Restoration is a national project that offers a common space where people of different social locations come together to address the spiritual and social impediments that stand in the way of building a beloved community. The center seeks to create a more realized democracy that is both transformative and sustainable. Central to its mission is raising a new generation of activists who understand that spiritual maturity and social justice are inextricably bound together and essential for sustainable change. This is an intergenerational project that relies on hindsight, insight, and foresight in shaping programs and building relationships. This project offers the possibility of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration for all of us.

Founding Directors

Dr. Ruby Sales

(Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

As a teenager at Tuskegee University, Dr. Ruby Sales joined the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)  and went to work as a student freedom fighter in Lowndes County, Alabama. She is a beloved public theologian, a long distance runner for justice and a former college professor.  Teaching in the areas of civil, gender, and other human rights have been central to her.  She is deeply involved with Black Lives Matter and young people. Dr. Sales has a proven track record in conflict resolution and consensus building. She sees our work today as a spiritual call that rearranges our relationship with God, each other, and all of creation. She is one of 50 African-Americans from the civil rights movement honored at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. She has preached at churches, spoken at universities, and non-profits around the country.  Read more about Dr. Sales' nonprofit, The Spirit House Project.

Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis


The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a 1200-member multiracial, welcoming, and inclusive congregation in New York City. She is an activist, preacher, and fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ equality. Middle Church and Dr. Lewis' activism for these issues has been featured in media such as The Today ShowThe Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, The New YorkerEssence and The Huffington Post. Dr. Lewis is a frequent contributor to MSNBC.  She is the author of The Power of Stories10 Essential Strategies to Grow a Multiracial, Multicultural Congregation; and the children’s book, You Are So Wonderful! 

Dr. Lewis is the Co-Founder of The Middle Project, which hosts an annual conference to train faith leaders to build multiracial congregations and address racial justice. The 12th annual conference, “Revolutionary Love – Complete the Dream,” was held on April 6–8, 2018 at Middle Church in New York City. Read more about The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis on her website.

About Vincent and Rosemarie Harding


Rosemarie Florence Freeney Harding was a tireless teacher, social worker, civil rights leader, and healer. She was especially known for her deep spirituality and commitment to nonviolence. The youngest of nine siblings, Harding was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 24, 1930 to Dock Freeney, Jr. and Ella Lee Harris Freeney. She married Vincent Harding in 1960 in Chicago. Vincent G. Harding, civil rights leader, teacher, scholar, engaged citizen, and seeker was especially noted for his close association with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his decades of social justice work. He was the Professor of Religion and Social Transformation at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver for over two decades. Harding was born on July 25, 1931 in Harlem. The couple had two children, Rachel and Jonathan. 

Vincent and Rosemarie Harding moved to the U.S. South in 1961 for direct involvement in the black freedom struggle. In the 1960s Harding assisted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a variety of ways but most notably in the writing of King’s 1967 “Beyond Vietnam” speech. Vincent Harding served as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center’s first director in 1968 and one year later established and directed the Institute of the Black World, both in Atlanta, Georgia.

As representatives of the Mennonite Central Committee, the Hardings founded Mennonite House in Atlanta. They also organized the first multiracial delegation to Nicaragua through Witness for Peace in 1983. They were advisors for the PBS (Public Broadcasting System) television series Eyes on the Prize, documenting the civil rights movement in 1986. The Hardings established the Veterans of Hope Project in Denver in 1997, an educational initiative bringing together religion, culture, and participatory democracy.

Vincent Gordon Harding died in Philadelphia on May 19, 2014. He was 82. Rosemarie Harding died following complications from diabetes in Denver in 2004.  She was 74. More information about the Hardings can be found at the Veterans of Hope website.





Redeem the soul of america

Watch: Ruby Sales, a Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) alumna, joined Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis  at Middle Collegiate Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday.
January 14, 2018

Hook, Line, and sinker

Watch: Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Dr. Ruby Sales discuss the immigration industrial complex in America.
January 28, 2018


Watch: Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis speaks against separating families at the border and reminds congregants that Jesus was a refugee.
June 17, 2018

Race, Povery, and a Path to redemption

Watch: Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis and Dr. Ruby Sales discuss race, poverty, and white supremacy at the annual Revolutionary Love Conference.
April 8, 2018.

Poverty in the West is deeply rooted in spiritual malformation, and in the social pathology of white supremacy
— Ruby Sales

Other Media


Where Does It Hurt?

Where does it hurt? That’s a question the civil rights icon Ruby Sales learned to ask during the days of that movement. It’s a question we scarcely know how to ask in public life now, but it gets at human dynamics that we are living and reckoning with. At a convening of 20 theologians seeking to reimagine the public good of theology for this century, Ruby Sales unsettles some of what we think we know about the force of religion in civil rights history, and names a “spiritual crisis of white America” as a calling of this time. Listen to the conversation below or at On Being.


Clergy Condemns Sessions for Justifying Family Separation With Scripture

June 15, 2018—Rev. Jacqui Lewis speaks with NBC 5 (KXAS) about the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. Read more...

Millenials Are Flocking to This Unusual Church

November 8, 2017—Rev. Jacqui Lewis and Middle Collegiate Church were featured in this New York Post article. Read more...