Antioch University Seattle Professor Emerita Mary Lou Finley’s Historical Ties to the Civil Rights Movement

Seattle, WA —

From January 5 – 8, 2016, Antioch University Seattle (AUS) hosted an annual Historical and Educational Civil Rights Tour, as part of coursework in Social Justice in the AUS Bachelor of Arts completion program. Each year, this tour brings participating students through multiple historical locations in the American South, tied to important milestones in the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Locations toured include Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birth Home in Atlanta, GA, and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, in Memphis, TN.

Dr. Finley speaking at the 48th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service

Regarding the AUS Civil Rights Tour, one student recently wrote “I am truly appreciative and humbled by the tour, I have found my tribe, my people, my purpose and my meaning in this world to continue as a human and civil rights advocate/activist and in the future hopefully a nonviolence trainer.”

The leader of this tour, Antioch University Seattle’s BA Completion Professor Emerita Mary Lou Finley, was one of the featured speakers at the 48th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, sponsored by the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia. This 5-hour service held considerable significance, as Dr. King’s daughter Bernice King was another one of the speakers.

Dr. Finley was on Dr. King’s staff in Chicago in the 1960s, and she shared some of her experiences from those historic times. When describing Dr. King’s “open and loving response” to people, and young people in particular, Dr. Finley said “He gave us a glimpse of the beloved community, so now it’s up to us to commit to the unfinished work.”

In addition, Dr. Finley was interviewed for Chicago’s WBEZ radio station, on January 26, 2016. In this interview, Dr. Finley talked in depth about her time working as a staffer with Dr. King. She was one of the people tasked with setting up his “tiny” Lawndale apartment, as part of his fair housing and tenant’s rights movements. “They actually trained realtors in how not to discriminate.” She also highlighted her upcoming book, The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North, which will be released in April 2016.


Learn more about the BA in Liberal Studies program.

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