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Father Richard L. Tolliver

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Information about Father Richard L. Tolliver

Profile image of Father Richard L. Tolliver

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1945
Birth Location:
Springfield, Ohio

Profession

Category:
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Priest

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Beaches
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/26/1945
Birth Location:
Springfield
See how Father Richard L. Tolliver is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Father Richard L. Tolliver served as the rector of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church in Chicago, located on the city's South Side in the Washington Park neighborhood. A native of Springfield, Ohio, Tolliver held degrees from several institutions, including a B.A. degree in religion from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; a master of divinity degree from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts; M.A. degrees in political science and Afro-American studies from Boston University; and a Ph.D. in political science from Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Tolliver became an ordained Episcopal priest in December 1971; after his ordination, he served as a rector for St. Cyprian's Church in Boston and St. Timothy's Church in Washington, D.C., and was a curate for St. Philip's Church in New York, New York. Tolliver also served as an associate country director of the U.S. Peace Corps in Kenya, and as a Peace Corps country director in Mauritania.

After his time in the Peace Corps, Tolliver took a position as a professor at Howard University. In June 1989, Tolliver became the rector at St. Edmund's Church; the church, which was established in 1905 to serve a congregation of largely Greek and Irish heritage, had become a largely African American congregation by the 1920s, serving the city's black middle- and upper-middle class families. At the time of his arrival, St. Edmund's suffered from financial problems and a surrounding neighborhood in decay. Tolliver formed the St. Edmund's Redevelopment Corporation (SERC) in 1990, which was designed to buy and rehabilitate multifamily buildings. Tolliver also organized the Michigan Avenue/Indiana Block Club, which was comprised of St. Edmund's parishioners who worked to reduce criminal activity in the church's surrounding neighborhood. The Michigan Avenue/Indiana Block Club also worked in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department's Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy. St. Edmund's also opened the International Charter School - St. Edmund's Campus on June 30, 2000, with an enrollment of 150 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Under the auspices of Tolliver and the SERC, more than 455 housing units were rebuilt; crime has also decreased sharply in the area since 1993. Tolliver's accomplishments have been featured in several publications, such as Business Week and Ebony; he received numerous honors and awards, including being listed in Who's Who of Black Americans , and being a regional finalist for a White House Fellowship.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Richard Tolliver interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver's favorites and completion of slating
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver talks about his ancestors and the origin of his surname
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver talks about his father's background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver discusses his mother's background and her career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Richard Tolliver recalls growing up in the segregated town of Springfield, Ohio
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Richard Tolliver talks briefly about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Richard Tolliver shares memories from his childhood in Springfield, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver recalls his years in grade school and junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver remembers his high school experiences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver discusses his college choice
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver describes experiencing racism while attending college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver describes his social activism while in college
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Richard Tolliver shares a story from his college years, Part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver shares a story from his college years, Part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver discusses his decision to become an Episcopalian minister
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver recalls the events in Washington, D.C. following the assassination of Dr. King.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver talks about his experiences at Harvard Divinity School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver remembers his mentors at Harvard
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver recalls encounters with his mentor, Dr. Benjamin Mays
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver talks about other religious figures who have influenced him
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver discusses the early treatment of blacks in the Episcopalian Church, Part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver discusses the early treatment of blacks in the Episcopalian Church, Part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver talks about blacks as part of the Episcopal Church leadership
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver explains the hierarchy of the Episcopalian and Anglican leadership, Part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver explains the hierarchy of the Episcopalian and Anglican leadership, Part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver details his experiences working for the Peace Corps in Kenya
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver details his time in Mauritania working for the Peace Corps
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Richard Tolliver comments on American paternalism abroad
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Richard Tolliver talks about his experience in Papua New Guinea, part 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver talks about his experience in Papua New Guinea, part 2
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver explains how he became Rector of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver details the history of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church and its community outreach projects
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver talks about the aesthetic features of St. Edmund's Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver reflects on the most satisfying aspects of his job
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Richard Tolliver gives his views about the black church
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Richard Tolliver comments on his religious philosophy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Richard Tolliver talks about his concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Richard Tolliver evaluates his past decisions
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Richard Tolliver discusses homosexuality in relation to the Episcopal Church
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Richard Tolliver comments on his legacy and how he would like to be remembered