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Atlanta altar decorated for the Ancestor's Ceremony

Welcome to the Atlanta Dojo

2010 Schedule
Atlanta Dojo Events
Saturday, January 9, 11 a.m.
Guruji's Commemorartion
&
New Year's Celebration
Saturday, July 17 at 11 a.m.
Ancestor's Ceremony/
Star Festival

November 13 to 21

11th Annual Peace Pilgrimage to Close the SOA

Please click here for directions to the Atlanta Dojo.

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2009 Tanabata Ceremony

Atlanta Dojo, a brief history...

In 1989, Brother Utsumi Gyoshu arrived in Atlanta on a Greyhound bus with a single suitcase. He chose Atlanta as a place of practice because it is the birthplace and home of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King's commitment to nonviolence, his faith and his courage remain a constant inspiration to us and the work of the temple. That was the beginning of Nipponzan Myohoji Atlanta Dojo.

Since the word dojo means place of practice, we needed an actual place. In late 1993, a house in much need of repair was purchased for $12,000 at 1127 Glenwood Avenue. Every window was broken, the plumbing was useless and the electrical wiring old and frightful. The owner had passed away and it become a crack house. It would take four-and-a-half years, but eventually it was transformed into a temple.

Pictures from the Selma-Montgomery Pilgrimage,
March 7-13, 2010
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Part of the Civil Rights Memorial, Montgomery, AL

This one-week pilgrimage started March 7 with the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma, AL where we joined thousand of others in walking over the bridge made infamous in 1965 when state troopers beat back people who were marching ostensibly for the right to vote, but more deeply were rising up to claim the rights, dignity and life so long denied them by their white oppressors. The 54-mile walk ended six days later in Montgomery at the Civil Rights Memorial, which immortalizes the Biblical quote so often invoked by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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John Rankin, walking in the front, is one of the original walkers and this is the fifth time he has participated in the march, each time wearing the orange safety vest that he wore back in 1965.

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Dr. John Alford, longtime SCLC board member and leader in the movement, helped greatly with fundraising and organizing hospitality in Montgomery. Next to him is Tony, a paramedic from Los Angeles County Fire Deparment, who kept a watchful eye on all of us and took care of sore feet and aches.

We walked with an incredible group of committed freedom fighters and footsoldiers of the Movement. We felt blessed and honored to be in such company. Here are some of our fellow pilgrims.

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David Sadler of Montgomery who walked the entire distance on crutches (his ankle was sprained) AND wore this face-painted message to raise awareness of how the vote is denied ex-felons, the newest twist on disenfrachisement.

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Young walker from Selma.

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Lisa, on the right, and her son Malcolm came from Washington, DC. Twenty years ago, Lisa participated in the Selma-Montgomery re-enactment and she thought it was so important for young people to experience that she brought her 16-year-old son this year. The teacher who inspired her, Katherine Flowers, now lives in Montgomery and helped to organize this year's event.

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Shirley and Kimberly of Birmingham led the march, keeping the pace for all of us.

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Don Bevel, eldest son of legendary Civil Rights leader James Bevel, now lives in Selma and joined the walk.

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Do you watch American Idol? Did you see the episode with Larry Pratt and his "Pants on the Ground" performance? Larry is also a longtime civil rights activists and he was on the march, too.

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Our good friend and leader, Gordon Sellers, is being interviewed by fellow marcher, Erica Fox, who works for public radio in Huntsville, AL. We also walked with Erica five years ago, the last time SCLC did the Selma-Montgomery renactment.

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Strong women of the Movement. On the left is Dr. Gwen Patton, who has focused on youth in the movement ever since she was a youth leader for the Montgomery Improvement Association. In the middle is another original walker, Ms. Anna. On the right is Faya Rose Toure, lawyer and co-founder of the National Voting Rights Museum in Selma.

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Standing in front of the City of St. Jude, the final campsite for the marchers in 1965. Throughout the pilgrimage it felt like we were walking on holy ground. What a privilege it was to participate.