John Perkins, the son of a sharecropper, grew up in Mississippi amid dire poverty and rampant racism. Though he had fled to California after his older brother was murdered by a town marshal, he returned after his conversion to Christ in 1960 to share the gospel with his community. His leadership of civil rights demonstrations earned him repeated harassment, beatings, and imprisonment. However, in recent years Perkins has received recognition for his work with seven honorary doctorates from Wheaton College, Gordon College, Huntington College, Geneva College, Spring Arbor College, North Park College, and Belhaven College. He continues to speak and teach around the world on issues of racial reconciliation, leadership, and community development.