Richard Westmoreland
Awakening Co-Founder

Lock-step with his wife Fran, Richard "Rabbit" Westmoreland was the co-founder of the social movement the Awakening, official co-chair of the Discovery Working group from 1991-1995, and co-founder and honorary trustee of the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia Police Athletic League chapter from 1973-1975. Mr. Westmoreland also served as primary recruiter of the Morning Sun youth recruitment program until his retirement in 2006.

Memorable Quote

“Since a bevy of new organizations were standing up to champion the cause of blacks in America, we sat back to see what would happen. I think we made a big mistake doing that. We should have tried to start our social change movement then because maybe we would’ve been able to gather a stronger initial following. I say that because most of our people were still into our families back then. We still lived with or supported our parents and grandparents, we still had “community moms,” who were de facto parents and could discipline you like you were their own, and you heard words around the family dinner table like “solidarity” and “soul power” just as much as you heard James Brown on the radio, Soul Train and Afro Sheen on the television.

“In short, we were more into us as a people then. People in the last couple of decades are more into themselves than they were back in the ‘60’s, and the family structure has broken down greatly. But regardless of when we started, we knew we had the grace of God with us, and that alone assured us of success.”