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Rev. Dr. Copeland-Tune: All Hands on Deck!


Social activism is woven into the DNA of freedom-fighting mom and Reverend Dr. Leslie Copeland-Tune. Just recently, she learned that the KKK burned a cross on her grandparents’ lawn to intimidate them from helping people register to vote. That didn’t shock her. She always knew her family fought for justice regardless of cost.

Copeland-Tune took this long family history of activism into her role as director of the Ecumenical Poverty Initiative. As director, she brings together a coalition of Christian churches to challenge the systems that keep people in poverty and redeem the systems to lift people out.

The struggle to preserve the ACA is just the latest fight for Copeland-Tune. She describes it as a form of prayer: “we walked and shouted and emailed and called our prayers. God heard us.” People of faith worked with each other to fight changes to health care that would hurt people.​

“To be prophetic you need to stay spiritually grounded,” notes Copeland-Tune. For her, that means remaining active in her local church, as well as maintaining personal practices of piety and devotion and preserving accountability.

Copeland-Tune calls others to join in her family’s tradition, urging all of us to embrace justice as part of God’s call. In order to bring about justice, especially in this current climate, she says “We need all hands on deck!”

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