October 3, 2011 5:30 pm
“I have no right to be silent in the face of injustice!” Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer said in a sermon delivered at his alma mater, Dartmouth University, in 1991. An ordinary American whose extraordinary convictions, faith, and impetuous personality impelled him to become a leading human rights activist during Argentina’s Dirty War (1976-1983), Meyer, who died in 1993, left not only a legacy of faith, but also a compelling model of how a person of faith can embrace activism as a central part of their religious life.
That legacy is on display in a powerful new exhibit that opens with a reception in the Goodson Chapel at Duke University on October 3 and runs through December 18. Based on materials culled from Meyer’s personal papers, housed in Duke’s Special Collections Library, the exhibit consists of 12 stunning banners, each over eight feet high. The design incorporates materials culled from the Meyer archives, including intimate family photos, moving letters from prisoners, original art work internal government memos, and rare human rights publications.
The exhibit opens on Oct. 3 with a 5:30 p.m. ceremony at the Goodson Chapel at the Duke Divinity School. The ceremony will include comments by Meyer’s son and social activist Gabriel Meyer, as well as a performance of sacred Ladino music by the Jewish Chorale of the Triangle. Among the singers is Meyer’s nephew, Eric Meyers, Bernice & Morton Lerner Professor of Center for Jewish Studies and Religion at Duke and the director of the Center for Jewish Studies. A celebration will follow outside the Goodson Chapel.
The exhibit is funded by the generosity of an anonymous donor and is a co-project of the Duke Human Rights Archive at Duke University Libraries, the Duke Human Rights Center and the Duke Center for Jewish Studies.