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The Bayard Rustin Fellowship
FOR established the Bayard Rustin Fellowship in 2015 to honor the spirit and legacy of FOR Member and civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin (1912 – 1987). A deeply committed Quaker, Rustin was considered a “master strategist and tireless activist” whose life was rooted in the transformative power of nonviolence. In addition to introducing US civil rights leaders to the philosophies of Gandhi, Rustin organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Justice and mentored Martin Luther King, Jr. A proud, openly gay Black man, Rustin’s activism, despite the virulent homophobia that existed, led to advances in liberation movements upon which succeeding generations could build. The Fellowship of Reconciliation awards the Bayard Rustin Fellowship to leaders whose work continues Rustin’s legacy of disciplined commitment to principled nonviolent direct action and strategy in pursuit of peace and freedom.
The Walter Wink and June Keener Wink Fellowship
Awarded to divinity students enrolled in seminary whose study is focused on nonviolence or to an emerging leader whose work creates change and challenges power, the Walter Wink and June Keener Wink Fellowship honors the life and legacy of FOR member Walter Wink (1935-2012) and the ongoing transformational work of his wife June Keener Winker. Together Walter and June prepared a generation of peace leaders, pastors, and scholar-activists to engage the left and right sides of the brain in the pursuit of peace and justice.
Walter was an internationally known author, biblical scholar, peacemaker, risk-taker, and pastor with an abiding commitment to creative and active nonviolent resistance to oppressive powers. He was a pioneer in participatory sacred text study through which he explored the biblical themes of powers and principalities, and the teachings of Jesus on nonviolence. Walter was beloved for the accessibility of his preaching, teaching and writing. He believed the lives and faith of “average, everyday people” contained the power to transform the world.
June Keener Winker is a dancer, artist, and was Walter’s wife and partner of 33 years. Her body movement work invites the transformative integration of body, mind and spirit through encounters with sacred text. She continues to create art reflective of her contributions to those workshops that inspired people to connect with their full humanity.
Walter and June’s leadership in active nonviolent resistance, and June’s ongoing example of the use of art to spread a message of peace inspired FOR to launch the FOR Walter Wink and June Keener Wink Fellowship in late 2020.
A “Freeman Fellow” of FOR USA, is an honorific position that allows the Fellow to represent FOR at conferences, hearings, events, and programs, and to engage in projects and initiatives that advance our shared interest in building a peaceful and just society. Freeman Fellows are often participants in forming and maintaining alliances and collaborations such as the Community of Living Traditions, FOR Task Forces or through research and writing fields.