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The Veterans of Hope Project is a multifaceted educational initiative on religion, culture and participatory democracy. We encourage a healing-centered approach to community-building that recognizes the interconnectedness of spirit, creativity and citizenship. Our educational materials are designed to support reconciliation, nonviolence and an appreciation for the value of indigenous and folk wisdom for contemporary times.

Through a video interview series with older peace and justice activists; an accompanying curriculum; workshops and training in compassionate leadership development; and a public symposium series, the Project emphasizes grassroots resources for social change from the wisdom of varied local communities. We document and share the transformative histories of“long distance runners” for peace and justice– passing on the values, faith and practices that have guided their lives and work.

The Project was founded in 1997 by Vincent and Rosemarie Freeney Harding, longtime activists, counselors and teachers of spiritually based social activism. The Hardings began their work in the Mennonite Church in Chicago, Illinois in the late 1950s and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1960 to join with Martin Luther King, Jr. and others as reconcilers and nonviolence trainers in the Southern Freedom Movement. In ensuing years, the Hardings have served as scholars, advisors and encouragers for a wide variety of movements, organizations and individuals working for compassionate social change in the United States and internationally. In March, 2004, Rosemarie Freeney Harding passed on. Her husband and their daughter, Rachel, are continuing the Project's work. Located on the campus of the Iliff School of Theology, we are an independent, 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
Co-founder and Chairperson Vincent G. Harding
Executive Director Gloria Smith
Special Projects Manager Maaraidzo Mutambara
Media Editor K. Teena Racheli
Writer and Consultant William Fulton
Educational Consultant Linda Mizell
Consulting Business Manager Gloria Smith

We'd also like to thank and acknowledge many former staff members and volunteers who have helped the Project grow over the past seven years:

Rosemarie Freeney Harding -- Co-founder and co-chairperson (1997-2004)
Sudarshan Kapur -- Founding Director (1997-1999)
Jonathan Harding -- Special Projects Manager and Photographer(1997-2001)
Otis Moss, III -- Youth Projects Coordinator (1997-1998)
Kaira Lingo -- Program Assistant (1997-1998)
Kimberly Beyer-Nelson -- Intern (1997)
Gina Davis -- Intern (summer 1997)
Shirley Kaaz -- Transcriptionist (1997-1998)
Margaret Manion -- Transcriptionist (1998-2003)
Sirat-al Salim -- Educational Consultant (1999-2001)
Jennifer Coulter -- Receptionist and Student Assistant (1998-1999)
Mariana Enriquez-Olmos -- Receptionist (1998-1999)
Malaika McKee -- Retreat Coordinator (summer 2002)
Kerry Greenhill -- Workshop and Retreats Coordinator (2002-2003)
Raymond Raney -- Student Intern (2003-2004)
Way Kool Productions -- Videography and Editing (1999-2000)
Andy Newburg & Broadcast One Productions -- Videography and Editing (1998-2002)
Sandy Smith -- Technical Assistance
Bob Yablans -- Technical Advisor
Robert Sanchez -- Volunteer
Her Vang, Charlene Chapman, Grant Gieske, Linda Sanchez, Dean Johnson, Dae Il Kang, Virginia Trabulsi and Ellen Rosenthal (various years from 1997-2004) Assistants to V. Harding
National Advisory Council

Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, Park Hill United Methodist Church (retired), Denver, CO
Dr. Davíd Carrasco, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Dr. Maria Guajardo Lucero, Mayors Office of Education, Denver, CO
Dr. Evelyn Hu-DeHart, Brown University, Providence, RI
Dr. Arthur Jones, The Spirituals Project, Denver, CO
Ms. Ruby Sales, SpiritHouse, Washington, DC

Denver Advisory Council

Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, Retired United Methodist Minister
Ms. Dawn Engle, Co-Founder of PeaceJam
Mrs. Joanne Friedman, Interior Designer and Health Advocate
Brother Jeff S. Fard, Community Organizer and Small Business Owner
Mr. Grant Jones, Exec. Director, Metro Denver Black Church Initiative
Dr. Maria Guajardo Lucero, Director, Mayor's Office of Education
Dr. Don Messer, former president, Iliff School of Theology
Mrs. Mary Beth Mitchell, Small Business Owner
Ms. Tanya Mote, Development Director for El Centro Su Teatro Community Theatre
Mr. Edmund "Buddy" Noel, Lawyer
Mrs. Kate Springs, Community Activist
Ms. Marge Taniwaki, Community Activist and Poet
Rev. Bob Woolfolk, Pastor of Agape Christian Church
A substantial portion of our work -- both formally and informally -- has been sharing the insights of our interviewees, and the lessons of our own experiences, with individuals, organizations and institutions. We offer consulting on a variety of issues:

  • Resources for leadership development and compassionate social change
  • Social justice movement history
  • Curriculum development and teacher training
  • Grassroots and indigenous wisdom for health, environmental and education policy-making
  • Religious and cultural resources for healing and social change

In addition to our staff, the women and men we have interviewed for the Veterans of Hope Project represent a truly extraordinary resource of wisdom on organizing, education, arts and social justice, movement history, indigenous healing, leadership development and spiritual practice. Many of them are available for lectures, presentations, workshops and organizational consulting. We encourage you to contact them through the appropriate weblinks on the "Veterans List" page or send us an email and we will try to help you reach them.