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Minister Leslie Watson Malachi
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Minister Leslie Watson Malachi is the director of African American religious affairs for People for the American Way and the People for the American Way Foundation. She is the former national policy director for the Balm In Gilead and served for nine years as the director of the Multicultural Programs Department of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Entries by Minister Leslie Watson Malachi

Four Years After Citizens United: A Faith Perspective

(1) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 8:37 AM

Growing up, when I was taught that all people have inherent dignity, that all people were created in God's image, and that all people should have equal rights and opportunities, "all people" did not include corporations like ExxonMobil. "All people" in the past century meant real, hardworking, living and breathing...

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President Obama's Disappointing Georgia Judicial Nominees

(2) Comments | Posted January 2, 2014 | 1:43 PM

When voters elect a president we are also electing the person who will choose our federal judges. We expect that our president will pick judges who are qualified and fair, and who share the president's general approach to the law.

President George W. Bush moved the judiciary far to...

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On Voting Rights, More Bridges to Cross

(12) Comments | Posted June 25, 2013 | 5:28 PM

All day I have been receiving calls, text messages and emails from civil rights, human rights, and faith leaders generally expressing what Reverend Dr. Steve Bland, Jr. of Detroit told me: "If we don't have an insult level, we don't have a dignity level! It's time to sound the battle...

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How Do We Prevent More Gosnells?

(27) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 11:26 AM

It was hard for me, as it was for most Americans, to hear coverage of the trial of Kermit Gosnell, the doctor convicted of killing a woman and three infants in a horrifically unsafe Philadelphia abortion clinic. Gosnell preyed on the low-income women whose search for affordable abortion...

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Preaching Gun Safety, in the Pews and at the Polls

(19) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 10:32 AM

On Wednesday, April 17, the U.S .Senate filibustered a bill to expand background checks on gun sales. The next day, more than a dozen Americans were felled by gun violence. One was 26-year-old Sean Collier, the MIT police officer killed by the Boston bombing...

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Why the Fights for Racial Justice and LGBT Equality Are Inseparable

(66) Comments | Posted March 25, 2013 | 9:51 AM

Civil rights hero Bayard Rustin once said, "God does not require us to achieve ... the good tasks that humanity must pursue. What God requires of us is that we not stop trying."

Known as a man with purpose and heart, Rustin, who was an...

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Voting Discrimination: Still an Obstacle to Democracy

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2013 | 10:13 AM

This week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Shelby County v. Holder, a case challenging the protections of the Voting Rights Act. Based on a simple idea, one that is enshrined in our Constitution, the right to vote cannot be denied on the basis of race....

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40 Years After Roe, My Personal Fight for Justice

(7) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 9:38 AM

"I am my mother's child. The one she told one day many years ago, as I laid on a hospital table that, 'God did not intend for your life to be like mine!' The forms had been signed, we were in agreement and I was tearfully rolled into the very...

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Martin Luther King, Citizens United and Driving Voters to the Polls

(3) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 2:59 PM

On a weekend that features both the third anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. FEC and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, it is a timely moment to "take the temperature" of our democracy. Dr. King once said, "So long as I do not firmly...

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The Black Church, Social Justice and the Fiscal Slope

(14) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 1:53 PM

Last month, African Americans across the country voted in record numbers. That was a victory, but not an ending. Now, we have to stay involved. Just as President Obama and Congress turned immediately from the election to negotiating a path away from the "fiscal slope," Americans who turned...

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African American Turnout Is Here to Stay

(13) Comments | Posted November 26, 2012 | 11:08 AM

In 2008, for the first time in our history, African Americans turned out to the polls at the same rate as white voters.

Then we spent the next four years hearing that that high turnout was a fluke. "Experts" told us we would lose our enthusiasm. We'd...

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Dear Mitt Romney: What 'Free Stuff' Are We Talking About?

(1225) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 2:33 PM

I was in the audience at Mitt Romney's address to the NAACP convention this week, when he told us, a room full of informed, politically engaged African Americans, "If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you are looking at him."

I was...

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NOM's Racial Wedge Strategy in Action

(1) Comments | Posted May 16, 2012 | 3:55 PM

Just two months ago, internal documents released as part of a lawsuit against the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) revealed in explicit terms how the organization views racial wedge strategies as key to its political goals. If you need reminding just how crass that strategy is, here are some of...

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On Marriage, African Americans Aren't a Monolithic Voting Bloc

(249) Comments | Posted May 10, 2012 | 9:42 AM

I was thrilled yesterday when President Obama finally decided to express his personal support for marriage equality for gays and lesbians. But I was dismayed by a particular thread in media reaction: the speculation that the main thing the president risks in supporting equality is driving African American voters away...

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From the Pulpit to the People to the Polls: How African American Churches Can Make a Difference in 2012

(4) Comments | Posted January 16, 2012 | 12:14 PM

Today, as Americans across the country celebrate the life and work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we must also consider the future of his legacy. Dr. King's movement achieved great strides for African Americans and others who had been left out of the American dream. But even as...

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