From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
JEAN SINDAB DIES; LEADER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL, RACIAL JUSTICE
George Gundrey <email@example.com>
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 12:34:44 -0800 (PST)
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A.
Contact: 1-212-870-2252 (NCC-New York) or
EDITOR'S NOTE: THIS VERSION INCLUDES UPDATED
INFORMATION FROM JEAN'S FAMILY, ESPECIALLY IN
REGARD TO FAMILY (FIVE SISTERS, NOT TWO), WAKE
AND BURIAL ARRANGEMENTS.
1NMU1/9/96 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DR. JEAN SINDAB DIES JAN. 8
FOLLOWING BATTLE AGAINST CANCER;
LEADER IN ECUMENICAL WORK FOR
RACIAL, ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
NEW YORK, Jan. 8 ---- Dr. Jean Sindab, 51, who
led churches in the United States and worldwide in
work for environmental and racial justice, including
an end to apartheid in South Africa, died at home in
Manhattan this morning (Jan. 8) following a year-
long struggle against cancer.
Up until her death, she served the New York-
based National Council of the Churches of Christ in
the U.S.A. (NCC) as Director for Environmental and
Economic Justice/Hunger Concerns. In coalition with
Catholic, Jewish and Evangelical Christian leaders
through the National Religious Partnership for the
Environment, she actively enlisted thousands of
local congregations across the United States in work
against environmental abuses affecting human well-
being, especially of people of color and poor
Jean always said, I want to give my life to
help my people, said the Rev. Dr. Joan B.
Campbell, NCC General Secretary. A brilliant
woman, she gave her life for freedom and justice.
She brought a joy of life and an optimism rooted in
her Christian faith to every setting. She believed
people would learn to live together and to love one
Just days before she died, Jean said to me,
There are worse things than dying -- life filled
with pain and poverty. Jeans death is a major
loss for the NCC of a unique person who made a very
powerful contribution to the life of our churches.
She will be sorely missed.
Before joining the NCC staff in 1991, Dr.
Sindab was, from 1986-91, Executive Secretary of the
World Council of Churches Programme to Combat
Racism, Geneva, Switzerland. She devised campaigns
to mobilize international church support for
sanctions against apartheid South Africa. She
convened women from every continent to address the
double burden of racism and sexism (1986) and
untouchable women to form an ongoing effort
against casteism (1987) and in 1989 organized a
major ecumenical consultation on the needs of
indigenous people worldwide.
She took a leave of absence from the WCC
between April and July 1988 to serve as Senior
Africa Advisor to the Jesse Jackson presidential
From 1980-86 she was executive director of the
Washington Office on Africa in Washington, D.C., an
Africa advocacy organization with strong roots in
U.S. churches. Previous posts include Research
Assistant, Council on Foreign Relations (Sept.-Dec.
1979), Teaching Fellow, Yale University Political
Science Department (1978-79) and Editorial
Assistant, Time, Inc., Time-Life Books Division
She has served as a consultant to the King
Center for Non-Violence, Rainbow Coalition, U.N.
Council for Namibia and U.N. Center Against
Apartheid and U.N. Institute for Namibia in Lusaka,
Dr. Sindab had recently been appointed to the
Sustainable Communities Task Force of the
Presidents Council on Sustainable Development. She
was co-chair of The Things that Make for Peace:
Churches Anti-Violence Network, which facilitates
partnerships between gang members and pastors in
Born Oct. 23, 1944, in Cleveland, Ohio, Nellie
Jean Sindab grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned
her bachelor of arts degree cum laude in history at
Hunter College in 1974; in 1984 she was named to the
Hunter College Alumni/ae Hall of Fame.
Dr. Sindab earned her doctorate in political
science from Yale University (May 1984). Her two
masters degrees, in political science and in
international relations, also are from Yale.
Board memberships included the Peace
Development Fund, Third World Women's Project of
Institute of Policy Studies; United Black Fund,
Sustaining Compassion Project, Learning Alliance,
and Washington Office on Africa Educational Fund.
She authored many articles and publications,
including several World Council of Churches
publications, among them Churches Struggle for
Justice in Southern Africa and We the Women, We
She was a member of Canaan Baptist Church, New
York City, and of the Progressive National Baptist
Dr. Sindab is survived by five sisters -- Debra
Pitts Ross, Rose Wallace, Martha Andujar and Susan
Gocan, all of New York City, and Sadie Crockett of
Dale City, Va. -- and by several nieces and nephews,
who were very dear to her.
JEAN SINDAB/Page 3
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m.
Friday, Jan. 12, at The Riverside Church, 490
Riverside Drive, New York City. A reception will
follow at 3:30 p.m. next door at The Interchurch
Center, 475 Riverside Drive, where the National
Council of Churches has its headquarters. Burial
will be in Rosehill Cemetery, Linden, New Jersey.
Arrangements are being handled by Bentas
Funeral Home, 630 St. Nicholas Ave. Visiting hours
are set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at Canaan
Baptist Church, 132 W. 116th St.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that
gifts be made to the Sisana Fund, established by Dr.
Sindab to care for children in need. Checks to the
Sisana Fund may be sent c/o the Ecumenical
Development Initiative of the NCC/WCC, Ninth Floor,
475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.
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