Martin Luther King
Visible spokesman and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement
Born in 1929 in Atlanta, Martin Luther King became a Baptist minister and social activist who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950s. His leadership was fundamental to that movement’s success in ending the legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States. King rose to national prominence as head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which promoted nonviolent tactics, such as the March on Washington (1963), to achieve civil rights. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He was assassinated in 1968.
Sister Dorothy Stang
Sister, devoting her life to saving the land in the Amazon Rainforest. She lost her life as a martyr during her missionary work in Brazil
Born in Dayton in 1931, Dorothy was one of nine in a lively and devout Catholic family. In 1966 she moved to Brazil as a missionary. She learnt the languages and set up remote parishes. She walked the forest and met with the poorest farmers. She set up dozens of base communities and taught them the Gospel. She launched 23 schools and created a structure for the poor to claim their land. Dorothy dedicated her life to serving the people of the Amazon and saving the land. In 2005, whilst travelling to meet some poor farmer, she was approached by two assassins. “Do you have a weapon?” they asked. Yes, she answered, showing them the Bible she carried for decades. She opened it and began to read aloud: “Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice. Blessed are the peacemakers …” Then, she said, “God bless you, my sons.” She was shot 6 times, with her body left on the dirt road for days as the locals feared moving it for the threat of being shot. Dorothy devoted her life to serving people through God and to helping save the Amazon environment, and eventually losing it as the ‘Martyr of the Amazon’.