Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley
Minister of the Week
The Rev. Dr. Leon Dunkley is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. The church of his childhood was the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Monmouth County in Lincroft, New Jersey. From this church and from its minister, Reverend Harold Dean, Leon learned about the sweetness of life. He learned about compassion, peace and possibility.
He received his undergraduate degree at Tufts University and his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh. He was interested in traditional drumming of Ghana and the Republic of Zaire, the Kora tradition of Senegal, the Gamelan traditions of Java and Bali in Indonesia, the African American and jazz tradition(s) in the Americas and, most recently, in Bluegrass and Country Blues. He sings and plays several instruments— including guitar, piano, conga, gangogwe (West African double bell), didjeridu. He is just getting started on the dobro and octave mandolin.
Leon entered the Starr King School for the Ministry in Berkeley, California. He studied under Rev. Dr. Rebecca Ann Parker for three years before moving to St. Paul, Minnesota to serve Unity Church—Unitarian. He was in St. Paul from 2008 to 2012. He served the Unitarian Universalist Church of Silver Spring in Maryland from August of 2012 until June of 2017. In September of 2017, he began his service to the North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock, VT. He is writing a book on spiritual growth and radical forgiveness in an age of racial violence and social strife.