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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

Yes, Seriously, It's About Race

(17) Comments | Posted June 19, 2015 | 3:56 PM

As with every Wednesday night in most African American churches, pastor and people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, known as "Mother Emanuel," were engaged in prayer, worship and study. The atmosphere no doubt would have been relaxed, with familiar faces sharing, even with the stranger among them, testimonies,...

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From Selma to Shelby County to Ferguson

(2) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 12:02 PM

Fifty years ago in Alabama hundreds of peaceful marchers calling for voting rights were violently attacked by state police. Fifty years later Americans from all walks of life are expected to gather this weekend to mark the anniversary of what became known as Bloody Sunday and embrace the spirit for...

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Big Spending, Big Inequality

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 10:08 AM

Five years ago this week, the Supreme Court handed down its damaging decision in Citizens United v. FEC. The ruling, which allowed wealthy interests to buy unprecedented influence in elections, was and still is deeply unpopular. But the issue of money in politics remains, for some people, relegated to a...

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Whose State of Emergency?

(29) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 3:24 PM

On the evening of the announcement that a grand jury decided Darren Wilson, the Missouri police officer who killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown, would not face charges, two storms were capturing the attention of the American people. One was the strong winds that created havoc from the South to the...

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Bad News for Politicians Trying to Suppress the Vote

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2014 | 2:27 PM

Since 2010, virtually every state legislature in the nation has considered laws that would make it harder to vote, and across the country dozens of those laws have been put into effect.

Those laws would be bad enough if they restricted all people equally, but we've seen...

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Holder's Civil Rights Legacy Will Endure

(1) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 4:04 PM

While many of us were reading tweets and Facebook postings about the pending announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder planned to resign, before it was confirmed and hit the front page of every major news outlet in the country last week, Holder picked up the phone and personally...

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Voter Registration in Ferguson Inspires Rather Than Disgusts

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 2:48 PM

On August 9, I don't believe 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr. woke up in the morning thinking he would not see the evening sun, his family or friends, the end of the day that started with hope and promise. That morning, I don't believe Officer Darren Wilson left for work knowing...

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Is This Who We Want Driving Our Democracy?

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 4:12 PM

On Tuesday, the Center for Media and Democracy released documents showing that mega-donor Charles Koch was a member of the far-right John Birch Society from 1961 to 1968, when the organization's work opposing the civil rights movement was reaching a fever pitch.

From publishing materials...

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Honoring Our 'Other' Fathers

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 5:24 PM

As we come up to Father's Day, many of us are busy choosing cards, buying gifts, and finding ways to honor the dads in our lives who have helped us become the people we are today.

Because we live in times with extended and blended families, for...

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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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