FREE The Dream


Dr. Virgil A. Wood–church leader, educator, and civil rights activist—has committed much of his life’s work to the struggle for economic and spiritual development among the nation’s disadvantaged. In 2011, he joined forces with Fred Stawitz who has assisted him in organizing the FREE The Dream movement.

Ordained as a Baptist Minister in his late teens, Dr. Wood has served churches for over 50 years in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Dr. Wood concluded his Pastoral Ministry in 2005 at Pond Street Baptist after serving for 25 years.

Actively involved with the Civil Rights movement, he set up Martin Luther King’s work in Virginia as the Lynchburg Improvement Association. From 1963 to 1970, he led the Blue Hill Christian Center in Boston’s Roxbury community, and headed up the Massachusetts Unit of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). He served on the National Executive Board of the SCLC and coordinated the State of Virginia in the historic “March on Washington” on April 28, 1963.

As Administrator for Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) of America, a job training organization serving disadvantaged and under skilled Americans of all races, he assisted in founding and establishing 13 OIC centers in 8 southern states and in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Wood served as a panelist at 3 White House Conferences under the Johnson, Nixon, and Carter Administrations.

His publications include “In Love We Trust: Lessons I Learned From Martin Luther King” (2005), “The Jubilee Bible” (originator and contributing editor, 1999 & 2012), and “Introduction to Black Church Economic Studies” (1974).

Dr. Wood received a Doctorate of Education from Harvard University. He was Dean and Director of the African American Institute, Associate Professor of Northeastern University in Boston, a Professor at Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg, and a visiting Lecturer, Research and Teaching Fellow at Harvard University.

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