Civil rights, interfaith, Presbyterian Church USA, Harris Bank, Community Relations, Chicago, Illinois, YMCA, Macalaster College, Minnesota, social work, Interreligious Council of Urban Affairs, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Tet Offensive, Vietnam, Oak Park Community Organizing, Democratic National Convention, Chicago, Illinois, Church work, Segregation, Civil rights demonstrations, Civil rights movements
Cultural History | History | Political History | Political Science | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion | Social History | United States History
Length: 74 minutes
Interview with Rev. H. Kris Ronnow by Sarah Moore
Rev. Ronnow describes his childhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota, raised in a working-class Presbyterian family, attending a desegregated high school and later, Macalester College. He explains his move to Chicago, earning a master in social work and attending seminary simultaneously, while also marrying and starting a family. He tells of how he decided to become a priest and what led to his involvement in community organizing, including the Interreligious Counsel of Urban Affairs. He recounts his activism work and marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. He recalls the DNC protests, witnessing the police aggressions and his attempts to quell the violence against the demonstrators. He talks about his work as the Organizing Community Relations Director for Oak Park, as the Vice President of Public Affairs at Harris Bank, and his work with the CSLA Congregations in Solidarity as part of a peace delegation in Columbia. He reflects on how, for him, the 1968 Democratic National Convention exposed the “depravity of man, and the lengths that people will go to have superiority over the other.” He reflects on the parallels between 1968 and the present day, wherein he doesn’t believe we’ve learned much since then, especially in regard to police harassment of Black communities.
Moore, Sarah. "Interview with Reverend H. Kris Ronnow" (Spring 2015). Oral Histories, Department of Humanities, History & Social Sciences, College Archives & Special Collections, Columbia College Chicago. http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/chicago1968/8
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