It was a sweltering summer Chicago night in 1966 when young activist Mary Nelson first encountered Martin Luther King, Jr. She was just back from a two-year stint as a teacher in Tanzania and living in Chicago's west side when racial tensions were reaching a fever pitch. Listen as Mary tells her story of meeting and marching with Dr. King and gospel great Mahalia Jackson.
Mary never stopped marching! In addition to being one of OMNIA Institute's most valued and long-time faculty and Advisory Board members, she is the founder and President Emeritus of Bethel New Life, where she served for 26 years. Bethel pioneered in creative community based efforts to build healthier, sustainable and equitable communities on Chicago's west side. She serves on the Boards of Sojourners, Christian Community Development Association, Good City and is past Board president of Woodstock Institute. Mary served as interim President of the Parliament of the World's Religions and is a key member of OMNIA's Resource Team.