The Veterans of Hope Project was founded by Vincent and Rosemarie Freeney Harding in 1997. The Harding's, along with their daughter Rachel, conducted interviews with human rights activists and social activists from around the world. Vincent and Rosemarie Freeney Harding worked in the Southern Freedom Movement to help teach and organize major campaigns for the movement. Relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, the Harding's became involved with several organizations throughout the South such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Congress of Racial Leadership (CORE), and Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR). The Harding's central focus was to teach non-violence, encourage and mentor movement participants, and explore pathways to racial justice. In 1979, the Harding's held their first retreat that would become the motivation for intergenerational storytelling as the foundation of the Veterans of Hope Project. The Harding's relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1981 where Vincent held a faculty position at the Iliff School of Theology. This transition allowed the Harding's to expand their network to embrace other experiences of American Indian, Asian, and Chicano/Latino partners in social justice movements. These individuals were human rights activists before, during, and after the Southern Freedom Movement of the 1960s (Civil Rights Movement). These individuals are for whom the project is named “Veterans” as documenting and sharing the stories of elder activists: people who are veterans of grassroots struggles for freedom, peace, and human rights. Originally named the Gandhi-Hamer-King Center, the Veterans of Hope Project was founded post-Southern Freedom Movement in Colorado at the Iliff School of Theology. The interviews reflect relationships formed with individuals that were directly involved in the Southern Freedom Movement and other notable individuals who have participated in activism movements for different communities and cultures post 1960s Southern Freedom Movement. These movements include but are not limited to anti-apartheid in South Africa, Chicano, Environmental Justice, Mayan & Chiapas, Jewish Diaspora, Viet Minh, and American Indian. The Harding's also developed educational curricula that emphasized nonviolence and peaceful reconciliation in social justice work; and organized workshops, symposia, and multiple youth events that offered training in nonviolence and leadership development. More information about this ongoing project can be found at http://www.veteransofhope.org/
Manuscript Collection No. 1293
Veterans of Hope Project
Finding Aid: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/tm7zn
Conditions Governing Access:
All recordings in this collection are available online. Due to copyright restrictions, researchers may need to request access for certain recordings which can be request through the Aviary platform. Researchers should contact the Rose Library for access to other materials in the collection.