Please join us celebrating the birthdays of these notable figures and applaud them for their work in Social Justice.
John Wesley (June 28, 1703)
John Wesley is credited with founding the Methodist movement, along with Charles Wesley and cleric George Whitefield. Wesley wanted followers who would shape their Christian living by adhering to certain rules such as: avoiding every kind of evil, profanity, profaning the day of the lord, drunkenness, buying or selling slaves, fighting, and smuggling. Wesley’s followers were to do good by feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and prisoners, and instructing, reproving, or exhorting sinners. This belief spread to the American colonies. In 1729, Wesley, his brother, and Whitefield founded the Holy Club while studying at Christ Church College, University of Oxford. Oxford students ridiculed and branded them “Methodist” for their methodological approach to living a holy life.
Harriet Beecher Stowe (June 14, 1811)
Harriet Beecher Stowe was an author and American abolitionist. Her renowned novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, depicted the life of African American slaves. The novel became an influential literature that drove the anti-slavery movement. She was a strong supporter of the Underground Railroad and protected fugitive slaves. Furthermore, she also campaigned for women’s rights after the Civil War.
Michael Lapsley (June 2, 1949)
Michael Lapsley is a priest and social justice activist in South Africa. In 1973, as a chaplain to students in South Africa he spoke out against schoolchildren who were shot, detained, and tortured during the apartheid repression. In 1976, he was exiled from the country and he continued to oppose apartheid and support the liberation struggle. His other activism include, Chaplain of the Trauma Center for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town thus the Institute for Healing of Memories was established to aid more victims in emotional recovery from trauma. This group has expanded to help victims of HIV and AIDS, refugees and asylum seekers, and prisoners and war veterans. In addition, Lapsley and 30 terror victims affected by the 9/11 attacks created the International Network for Peace to endorse effective nonviolent solutions towards terrorism.
*The Museum of Social Justice would like to hear from you! If there is a notable figure who was born in July and should be recognized in our Monthly Birthday posts, please feel free to email email@example.com. Please submit by June 15, 2014. The winner will receive a prize.