As a young man attending the University of Virginia, Dean Nelson had given little thought to abortion, until a conversation with a fellow Christian opened his eyes.
“A young woman asked for my opinion on abortion. At the time I was pretty ambivalent. Abortion was legal, so I figured there wasn’t much debate about it.”
Then the student asked him a question that would change the trajectory of his life. “I remember her saying to me, ‘Wasn’t slavery legal?’”
That single question, in tandem with Dean’s growing relationship with the Lord, transformed his worldview. “I began to realize the abortion issue did not reside outside of my faith.”
Following graduation, as Dean became more involved in the political arena, the issue of abortion continued to resurface. “I soon realized there were many platforms to help raise awareness about the abortion crisis.”
“One thing led to another, and I ended up serving with organizations like Care Net, which eventually connected me with Human Coalition.”
In 2014, Dean joined Human Coalition as the National Outreach Director working out of the D.C. area. And in just three years, he’s built bridges with several predominantly African-American churches, including Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
“Partnering with a key denomination like COGIC has been a significant victory for Human Coalition in terms of our capabilities to rescue more children from abortion in urban neighborhoods.” The partnership between COGIC and Human Coalition to educate and activate their congregations is the direct result of Dean’s passion for the cause and for people. “I love people and I love engaging the Church.”
More recently, Dean has shifted his focus to Washington D.C., where he daily interfaces with members of the Executive and Legislative Branches in hopes of garnering support for Human Coalition’s mission. “We have found some pro-life champions in the Oval Office and among the Vice President’s staff, as well as within the Department of Health and Human Services. We are actively working with several members of Congress as well. It is our intention to identify resources at the top tier of government to help us expand our work.”
Currently, the percentage of abortions obtained within the African-American community far exceeds the percentage of blacks in the general population. This is due in no small part to the targeted marketing efforts of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood. With Dean at the helm, Human Coalition is seeking federal funds so that at-risk women in urban communities have access to life-affirming options.The percentage of abortions obtained within the African-American community far exceeds the percentage of blacks in the general population. This is due in no small part to the targeted marketing efforts of abortion providers like… Click To Tweet
“Whether we acquire federal funding or private dollars, we are excited to get more people actively involved in helping rescue children and serving women and families.”
2018 is an important year for Dean. In addition to his role at Human Coalition, Rev. Nelson is the founder of the Douglass Leadership Institute and the Frederick Douglass Foundation. So this year he’ll be working with the Trump administration to commemorate the bicentennial celebration of the 19th-century African-American statesman.
“Frederick Douglass is a hero of mine. He was deeply committed to justice. My hope is to use his stories to awaken the Church and the country to the injustice of abortion.”“Frederick Douglass is a hero of mine. He was deeply committed to justice. My hope is to use his stories to awaken the Church and the country to the injustice of abortion.” Click To Tweet
When asked how Douglass’s struggle against slavery might inform his own fight against abortion, Dean says, “The reality of a slave who had no rights and was powerless is similar to a child in the womb whose rights are not affirmed. My hope is to point to the parallels of both movements and draw attention to the greatest injustice in our culture today.”The reality of a slave who had no rights and was powerless is similar to a child in the womb whose rights are not affirmed. Click To Tweet
Although each day brings its own unique set of challenges, particularly as he navigates the labyrinth of government bureaucracy, Dean acknowledges that 2017 saw some key pro-life victories. “A pro-life Justice was appointed to the Supreme Court through the president’s efforts, and the Vice President is very welcoming to our team.” With that in mind, Dean covets the prayers of Human Coalition’s supporters. And when asked how we can pray for him, his request is simple…
“Please pray that doors would be open and that we might expand our work into more cities, so we can rescue more children and serve more families.”