Listener Candidate Statement

 

Father Lawrence Lucas (member, WBAI General Manager Search Subcomm; author, lecturer, Black liberation theologian, chaplain on Rikers Island, longtime Harlem activist)

Click HERE for his candidate questionnaire

Father Lawrence Lucas


I am currently serving on the Local Station Board and seek your support for election to another term. With your help and the rest of my fellow candidates from the WBAI Justice and Unity Campaign (www.justiceunity.org) -- Nia Bediako, Tibby Brooks, Bernadette Ellorin, Samia Halaby, Imani Henry, Ray Laforest, Berta Silva, Sam Spady, and Marianela Tricoche -- we can finish the important work we’ve started.

So far, members of Justice and Unity have helped raise thousands of dollars for the station, recruited many new members, and defended the union rights of WBAI workers. We stand firmly for grassroots, activist programming for underrepresented communities, adequate funding for the station to maintain our mission, and rooting out racism in our institution through both words and deeds. Going forward, Justice and Unity will seek innovative new ways to raise funds “outside the box” of our traditional marathons. I also hope to continue my work on the General Manager Search Subcommittee to find an outstanding new leader for our station.

As for my background, I’m an African “American” male, 73 years old, a longtime activist in the city, state, and especially Harlem community where I was born and reared. I was formerly a union delegate for District Council 37 and am currently a member of DC 37, Local 371. I am an author, lecturer and educator, former first vice president of Community School Board No. 5 and Community Planning Board No. 10. I currently work for the NYC Department of Correction as Deputy Director of Ministerial and Volunteer Services, with an office on Rikers Island. I’m also a Roman Catholic priest, having pastored for over 30 years in the Harlem community.

I learned activism very early from my mother, who was a one-woman army fighting greedy and uncaring landlords in our Harlem tenement. In the 1960s I wrote a syndicated column, produced a TV program for the NBC affiliate in Indiana, authored the book, Black Priest/White Church: Catholics and Racism, and cofounded the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. In the 1980s I was in the streets as an organizer of the December 12th Movement that protested racist murders and police brutality, and worked with other social justice movements that followed.

For many years, I have been a financial supporter of the station, and have often been a guest on WBAI programs. If re-elected, I will make the workings of the station and the board more known to the listenership and will be open to the ideas of anyone of good faith. At the same time, I will continue holding the line against board members who are racially insensitive, disrupt meetings, seek to undermine workers’ rights, and adopt budgets that would force mass layoffs at the station. I believe that my skills and principles can continue to contribute to keeping the board moving forward.

Contact: fatherlucas@justiceunity.org