Black Woman Sues Billy Graham Group Over Race

Mike Baker, WRAL-TV (Raleigh), September 3, 2009

A black woman is suing the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, saying she was abruptly fired after complaining that the organization was not reaching out to African-American churches.

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Kimberly McCallum said in the lawsuit that was moved into a federal court Wednesday that she was the only black employee working in the executive offices in Charlotte when she started in February 2007. She complained to her superiors later that year when she was asked to recruit congregations to a camp program but found that a list of 635 prospective churches had only three memberships that were primarily black.

McCallum said it was apparent that black churches were excluded.

A week after raising her concerns, McCallum said she was told her job with global offices was cut because of downsizing. Her boss never raised concerns about the quality of her work, according to the lawsuit filed in June in a local court.

McCallum said she tried to get other jobs at the association, based in Minneapolis, but that she was blocked from other positions and had a later job offer revoked.

“Subsequent to her discharge, plaintiff learned that the global offices had not been downsized and that the only job that was eliminated there was the one occupied by the plaintiff,” the lawsuit says. She wants a job reinstated, back pay and damages for what she describes as discrimination because of her race.

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