Please join us for this special episode of BTBEP while we sit at the feet of our Elders Dr. Greg Carr, Mama Zoharah, and Baba Michael Simmons to hear how they navigated their journey to Freedom and Black Liberation.
Michael Simmons has been a domestic and international human rights activist for 60 years. Beginning as an organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later as Director of European programs for the American Friends Service Committee, Michael’s work has taken him to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. For 18 years, he co-founded and ran the Ráday Salon, an independent human rights learning and discussion program in Budapest, Hungary. He also taught courses on African American History and US Elections at the Budapest campus of McDaniel College.
Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons, Ph.D
Dr. Simmons is a retired Professor Emerita in African American and Religious Studies and affiliated Faculty in Women Studies at the University of Florida. She obtained her BA from Antioch University in Human Service, her MA in Religious Studies & her Ph.D. in Islamic Studies from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.
Simmons became active in the Civil Rights Movement during her freshman year at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in 1962. She became a SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) field secretary two years later in the summer of 1964 when she joined hundreds of other college-age volunteers who traveled to Mississippi to work in the Mississippi Freedom Summer Project. Since her years with SNCC, Simmons has served as an organizer with the National Council of Negro Women, serving as their Mid-West Field Director for their Project Woman Power and later with the American Friends Service Committee, where she held a number of program and administrative jobs for over 20 years.