Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Leadership: Vision

BOND: Now you touched on this a moment ago, but think about your life as minister, as minister and Congressman, and now as head of the United Negro College Fund and minister. What's common in your vision, in all of these different roles? What's common that you strive for, in all of these roles?

GRAY: First of all, as a minister, a person who is committed to faith and trying to do the Lord's will as I see it, and based on a Biblical interpretation of a whole gospel, not just saving souls, but saving bodies, and saving bodies means taking on systems -- public policy systems, educational systems. Someone who also believes out of that faith that learning and education is important. That's why I've taught at five universities before I went to Congress. And someone who really believes that the struggle for human dignity is never over, and that no matter how many times we may celebrate the victory, there's always a little way further to go, some more mountain to climb. And I've just always been taught by my folk, parents, grandparents, that service is sort of the rent you pay for the space you occupy. And so, what I've tried to do is direct my life toward service based on faith and commitment and social justice.