Thursday, June 19, 2008

Union Institute & University Welcomes Civil Rights Leader

CINCINNATI, OH – Dr. Virgil Wood, church leader, educator, and civil rights activist, will visit Cincinnati to participate in Union Institute & University’s (UI&U) academic residency for the Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies program. As part of his visit, the Harvard-educated Baptist pastor will deliver, “Transposing the Dream of Martin Luther King Jr.,” at 6:30 p.m., on Sunday, July 6, in the Archway Ballroom of the Phoenix Club, Downtown. Dr. Wood will also help launch Union Institute & University’s new specialization in MLK studies as part of the Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies program.

Ordained as a Baptist minister in his late teens, Wood has served churches in RI, MA, and VA. During his pastorate in Lynchburg, VA, he became actively involved with the civil rights movement, establishing Martin Luther King’s work there as the Lynchburg Improvement Association, a local unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He served with the Conference for the last 10years of Dr. King’s life and work, and coordinated the state of Virginia’s role in the historic March on Washington on April 28, 1963.

In 1973, he received his doctorate in Education from Harvard University. As an educator, he served as dean and director of the African American Institute and associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston, and has been a professor at Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg, as well as a visiting lecturer and research and teaching fellow at Harvard University.

In addition, he served as an administrator for Opportunities Industrialization Centers of America, a job training organization serving disadvantaged and under-skilled Americans of all races; assisted in founding and establishing 13 OIC centers in eight southern states, and in Boston, MA. Wood also served as a panelist and member of three White House conferences under the Johnson, Nixon, and Carter administrations.

Dr. Wood is pastor emeritus of the Pond Street Baptist Church in Providence, RI, where he served as pastor for 25 years.

For more information about the Dr. Wood and his keynote address, contact: Jonathan Eskridge, PhD Program Director, 513-487-1199 or

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