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OneLife is part of a lineage of those who have served justice movements as healers and as spiritual guides, mentors, and counselors. The Healing Justice work of contemporary movements is also part of that lineage.

We wish to honor those who have particularly informed and inspired our work, and to share some resources that others may find valuable.

The video above is part 2 of "Conversations with Howard Thurman," an outstanding introduction to his life and thought. To learn more: 


Thurman was a pastor, a philosopher/theologian, a university professor, and a prolific author, among many other things. And he was a socially engaged mystic. As early as the 1930's he wrote and spoke about mysticism and social change as integrally connected, and described social action as a spiritual discipline, along with prayer, meditation, reconciliation, and the like.

Thurman was a theological and pastoral guide to Martin Luther King Jr, and to many others in the struggle for justice and liberation. And he was a pioneer in creating multiracial, multi-cultural, multi-faith communities of worship.

Thurman's influence on OneLife Institute is profound. Please visit the MORE page to find the 6-CD audio collection of Thurman's works we co-produced in 2010.





The Hardings were active in the Southern Freedom Movement, working closely with Martin and Coretta King. They remained involved in movements for nonviolent social change and democratic transformation throughout their lifetimes. Both were noted educators, scholars, counselors, and guides. Both were deeply in relationship with Spirit.

In the early 1990's they hosted "Spirit & Struggle" retreats, where African American activists from around the country could gather for healing, connection, and respite. (Although we did not know about these retreats when OneLife began ours a decade-or-so later, the resonance is clear.) In 1997 the Hardings founded what became the Veterans of Hope Project (VOHP) to document the lives and stories of spiritually-rooted activists from social change movements in the US and abroad, and share those as models for future generations. The work of VOHP has since grown in scope, and it remains a vibrant resource on the role of spirituality, compassion, hospitality, and healing in social justice activism.  Dr. Vincent Harding was an early friend and encourager of OneLife Institute.


We draw inspiration from a diversity of Indigenous and Mystic traditions, across time and around the world, that behold the Sacred in all life and do not separate Spirit from the work of justice-making.

A recent example of this is the action of the Water Protectors at Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. This video provides a brief snapshot.




We honor the exciting work of contemporary movements to integrate healing practices as central to social justice activism. Here are a few resources to explore:


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