Pauli Murray was one of the co-founders of the National Organization for Women and co-author of NOW’s original Statement of Purpose. Few people outside the Episcopal Church know that this pioneering civil rights and women’s rights activist was made a saint by that denomination in 2012. Rev. Dr. Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (1910 – 1985) was one of the most influential thinkers and writers of the 20th century, yet her legacy is not well recognized.
NOW leaders have the opportunity to correct that by signing a petition to designate Pauli Murray’s family home in Durham, N.C. as a National Historic Landmark which will become the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice. NOW Foundation is sending a letter to the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) expressing strong support of this designation. The petition will be presented to the NTHP when they meet on Oct. 18 to consider the request for the landmark designation.
There are very few National Landmark, National Monument, National Park or other official recognitions of the accomplishments of women – let alone for women who were on the cutting edge of the civil rights and women’s rights movements. This is a great opportunity to begin building a broader awareness of women leaders and their contributions to the nation.
Go to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to sign the petition. You can also write a message on that page expressing your support.
Rev. Dr. Murray was a true Renaissance woman as a talented poet, insightful autobiographer, perceptive social commentator, dedicate political organizer, compassionate attorney, inspiring professor, brilliant legal theorist and a ground-breaking Episcopal priest. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP called her book, States’ Laws on Race and Color, the Bible for civil rights lawyers.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg found Murray’s pioneering arguments for women’s rights so important she named Murray as a co-author on her brief for the precedent-setting 1971 case, Reed v. Reed, which ruled for the first time that discrimination on the basis of sex is an unconstitutional denial of equal protection laws.