Faith Education

Reconciliation: Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons

Gwendolyn Zoharah Simmons has a long history in civil rights, human rights, and peace work. In the 1960s she was active with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and spent seven years working full time on voter registration and desegregation activities in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. She was on the staff of the american Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace, justice, human rights, and international development organization headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 23 years. She was a disciple in Sufism (the mystical stream in Islam) from 1971-1986 under the guidance of Sheikh Muhammad Raheem Bawa Muhaiyadeen, a Sufi mystic from Sri Lanka, and remains an active member of the Bawa Muhaiyadeen Fellowship and Mosque. She is currently an assistant professor of religion and affiliated faculty in the Women Studies Department of the University of Florida.

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