Gatherings to celebrate the life and legacy of Vincent Harding are planned for Friday and Saturday. Harding, a well-known Denver minister, civil rights leader, friend and speechwriter to Martin Luther King Jr., passed away in May at the age of 82. 

Civil rights leader Vincent Harding

(Photo: Courtesy of Veterans of Hope Project)
What’s not as well known about Harding is his work for a more inclusive world. Harding’s Veterans of Hope Project collects the stories of those who have fought for civil rights. It also celebrates the music, poems, food and culture that’s so integral to the movement. Those stories are now being cataloged and digitized for the public by Emory University, Harding’s daughter, Rachel Harding tells “Colorado Matters.”

Vincent Harding told "Colorado Matters" in 2008 that the issue of race in America will not be resolved soon -- nor should we expect it to be.

"To win one battle is to give us space, to breathe deeply, to get ready to go on to the next battles," Harding said. "After living as a country dominated by racism for 300 years, we're not going to get over it in 50."

Rachel Harding, an assistant professor of indigenous spiritual traditions at the University of Colorado Denver, said her father fought for more than just "civil rights."

"He always encouraged people to expand their notion of what we tend to call civil rights. He made certain that people understood that the movement in the South in the 60's and early 70's ... was not a movement simply for civil rights, but was for freedom."

Information about services for Vincent Harding:

  • A community reception and an opportunity to share remembrances and stories with friends and family members. Friday, July 25, 2014, 5 p.m to 8 p.m., at the Iliff School of Theology, in Shattuck Hall, 2201 S. University Blvd., Denver.  
  • A richly multicultural, interfaith celebration of Vincent Harding’s life, work and spirit. Saturday, July 26, 2014, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at New Hope Baptist Church, 3701 Colorado Blvd., Denver.