A New Home for Ruby Sales
Courageous women have fought unimaginable battles during their lives so we, women of all ages and races, reap the benefits of their work and sacrifices. Ruby Sales is one of those women: she continues to teach us, inspire us, and mentor us. She is a life-long activist, highly respected scholar, and public theologian who has worked for social and racial justice all of her life. As part of SNCC and the Southern Freedom Movement, she fought tirelessly for broad social change and has never stopped. Ruby is one of 50 people included in the Civil Rights History project at the African American Museum in Washington. She has never given up, and has always shared her wisdom and financial resources to help fight the racism, misogyny, homophobia, and classism that have so damaged our humanity.
Ruby recently returned to her home in Atlanta after 6 weeks of speaking, teaching, and preaching along the East coast, including an engagement at Riverside Church in New York City to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s sermon there, “Beyond Vietnam.” When Ruby returned to Atlanta, she received a phone call informing her that her beloved younger sister, Rhonda, who had been at Riverside Church to be with and honor her sister, had died suddenly of an aneurysm. Ruby left that same day for South Carolina to attend the funeral.
After a week with her family, just beginning to grieve her sister’s passing, she once again returned to Atlanta only to discover that the entire lower floor of her rented home had been flooded. Her life’s collection of valuable historic materials, including original writings, letters, photographs, and other artifacts from the Civil Rights Movement, Black history, and women’s history, were destroyed. Only a portion of these invaluable documents and artifacts could be saved, at a cost of at least $7,000. There were still others that could not be restored. In addition to this enormous loss, the extremely high levels of dangerous bacteria and mold from the water and flooding reached the upstairs living area through the ventilation system, making her rented home completely unsafe to inhabit.
Ruby’s entire life has been dedicated to uplifting others, standing up to hatred, and fighting against racism. The loss she now faces is devastating. Her humility would keep her from ever asking for help, but those who love and admire her, and feel sincere gratitude for her life’s work, are stepping up to give to her as she has given to others. The total expenses that Ruby will incur for finding and moving into a safe home and for the restoration of these vital historic materials are unclear, but will likely exceed even the initial goal of $15,000
There is nothing we can do to ease the pain of Ruby's sister’s passing or to ease the loss of her home and devastation of these primary source historic materials, but we can try to lessen her burden so that she can continue to fight for social justice. Ruby will be free to use the money in any way that she needs. It is time for all of us to step up and give back, and no gift is too small. We are compelled as Ruby's Sisters and the beneficiaries of her dedication and sacrifices to raise funds for Ruby and ask for your help. We are so thankful for your support, kindness, and appreciation.
Likewise, your prayers, support and sharing this campaign are needed.
Please give as generously as you can. If you can only give a little, please know that even small amounts are an expression of our deep gratitude for the ways in which they have shared their lives, and enriched each one of ours.
Please share this story as widely as you can.
Note from Campaign Manager: Ruby and I were classmates at Episcopal Divinity School. If you know the history of the Civil Rights Movement, then you know something about Ruby Sales. If not, Google !
Ruby has approved this story and this campaign. As more friends find out about this crisis, there may be more campaigns started--nothing wrong with that! Please give as generously as you can. This is a hard blow to an amazing person who has selflessly and tirelessly spent her life working for others.
Ruby Sales is such a person. Her tireless work on behalf of racial justice in this country is an inspiration. Please donate generously this day for someone who is truly shaping the life of this country to be a more just and great nation.