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UU Service

KhleberVanZandt Atencion

By Jon Sievert

At a time when many Americans despair the actions and direction of their homeland, the Rev Khleber M Van Zandt V reminds us that the path to fixing it rests squarely on our shoulders and that the outcome is not guaranteed.

We like to think that the victory of civil rights over the forces of hate and oppression in the United States was a foregone conclusion. Memorials to the great leaders of the movement such as Martin Luther King, Jr and Rosa Parks tend to etch their easiest legacies in stone, allowing their use by the broadest range of commentators and politicians. But Jeanne Theoharis’ new book, A More Beautiful and Terrible History: the Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History, reminds us that the outcome was always in doubt and that the way was often hard, the path never clear, and the stakes very high.

The mythologies that have grown up around the movement’s leaders emphasize the changes they brought about individually. But things don’t generally change because of one person; they change because we come together to do the hard work of organizing and educating and following through on our commitments to our neighbors. Excitement may be high right now in Mexico, and the election of AMLO may indeed bring about some changes. But if the actual legacy of the civil rights heroes of our past holds true, he won’t be able to do it alone.

Rev Van Zandt serves the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, Florida, as its first-ever settled minister. For the previous ten years, he was minister of the First Unitarian Church of Alton, Illinois. Before that, he operated a construction business while raising a family in St Louis, Missouri.

A native Texan (please note he was utterly uninvolved in stealing Texas from Mexico), he received engineering degrees from the University of Texas at Arlington, then moved to St Louis, where he found a church home at the local Unitarian Universalist church. His experience of lay leadership in that congregation led to study at Eden Theological Seminary and a career in UU ministry.

Rev Van Zandt and his wife Linda Van Zandt (nee Gonzalez) have seven grown children between them, spread across the continental US. Linda enjoys organizing the Dia de Los Muertos celebration each year at the congregation in Venice.

The UU Fellowship meets every Sunday at 10:30am at Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15, and welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity. For information about our Children’s Sunday Program, contact us at The meeting room is wheelchair accessible. For more information, visit our website at


UU Service

“A More Terrible History”

Rev Khleber M Van Zandt V

Sun, Jul 15, 10:30am

Posada de la Aldea, Ancha de San Antonio 15



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