Reverand and Community Activist
Born in Jacksonville, Florida, and reared in Sanford, Florida, Rev. Walden resides in Seattle. She is a mother of four sons, has four grandchildren and is an avid reader who enjoys reading books on spirituality and philosophy.
Rev. Harriett Walden grew up in Sanford (Goldsboro), Florida. The town is known as one of the first self-governing all Black municipalities in the United States. A young Rev. Walden had the same address her entire youth. A section of land filled with love and happiness along with orange, mulberry, guava, avocado, and sugar cane was more than enough for her.
Segregation being the law of the land at the time meant she only had Black teachers, read newspapers written by/for Blacks, and ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ was her national anthem. She was only a child when she snuck a look into the infamous JET magazine issue featuring Emmitt Till’s open casket.
Raised by her grandparents, who taught her to not be afraid or to be a hater, Walden doesn’t waste her time hating on white people. She grew up hearing the story of her Great Grandfather Rufus Clark. He was known for fighting off a white man in 1898 and lived to tell the story himself. This incident helped her assert the notion of never being afraid of white people.
She took all her learned life lessons with her when she left home at 17. Walden would find herself settled in Seattle, WA in the mid-70s. There she opened Salisbury Photography with then husband James Salisbury Jr.. Later she would raise four sons, each of which grew up knowing they were strong, smart, capable, Black men.
In 1986, Walden would become the first Black woman in the state with an optical license. For the next 25 years she made at home trips all over the Pacific Northwest to service seniors with the right eyeglass.
In September of 1990, Rev. Walden co-founded Mothers Against Police Harassment, a neighborhood group that was aimed at improving relations between black youths and the police. She has continued to lead this organization, which has since changed its name to Mothers for Police Accountability.
Co-founded in September of 1990 over a violent police encounter that involved her children, Mothers Against Police Harassment was founded based on assisting victims in filing complaints of police misconduct with the said police department or other agencies. The organization also worked towards educating the public about police misconduct issues.
In October of 1990, while being featured in an article by the Seattle P.I. quotes Rev. Walden with wanting to “stop police harassment aimed at African Americans, particularly young men”.
In 1996, the organization changed its name to Mothers for Police Accountability since its mission now went beyond ending harassment. They were one of the first justice groups to call for police accountability in the country and have made a name for themselves in the Pacific Northwest and the US. That message hasn’t stopped in the past 30 years and won’t any time soon.
Mothers would not be the organization it is today without the countless hours put in by volunteers.
Family Empowerment Institute
Started by Rev. Walden after years of concern around the growing disenfranchisement of people of African descent, particularly the trouble of students in the public school system. With the mission statement of “setting the intent of co-presenter and maintenance of own creation under leaving the initiate”. The program created a program that supports parents and youth to reclaim a sense of excellence. Based on the values of healthy strong African American families, academic support for African American children/youth in school, a united African American community free from peace and making choices for peace. Their programs include: “The Silent War Project”, “African American Family Movie Night”, “Pledge of Excellence”, and “A Better Day: An African American Conference”. The Silent War campaign focuses on breaking the silence on Black-on-Black violence.
Since co-founding Mothers Against Police Harassment in 1990, Rev. Walden has spoken at multiple rallies; ranging from police reform, women’s rights, and pro-medical marijuana. Mothers for Police Accountability was the first group to speak about “What to do if you get stopped by the Police”. Rev. Walden credits being raised with the AME Methodist church giving her confidence to speak in front of large crowds. Over the last 30 years, Walden has made herself a pillar in the community with her expertise in Police Accountability. She has traveled across the nation to speak on her knowledge, on one occasion traveling to Temple University in Philadelphia in 1997 at the National Coalition for Police Accountability.
Mothers Justice show
Starting in 2014, the Mothers Justice show started with a goal of keeping the grassroots movement alive, not just in Seattle but worldwide. Since its inception, people from all over the US have been interviewed to amplify their platform and educate listeners on different issues. Being a radio show it is required to raise its own money to stay on the air. With great supporters, the show plans to make its independent entity. In December of 2020, the show expanded from radio and started adding previous shows on major podcast networks like Spotify and Apple Podcast. Through this Walden has been able to expand her platform and educate more listeners.
Rev. Walden has worked with multiple mediums of art. Most frequently she works with watercolors due to the unusual mixing of colors. It was on a trip in 1997 that Walden learned the techniques of watercolor. Green is frequently used in her art due to its visually healing properties. Living in Seattle has a large impact on the paintings created, especially in early spring when the different shades of green are visible. For years she had a studio on Bainbridge Island where she would focus on her artwork. There she should start pieces and not take a break until it was done. Her art is self-described as abstract at heart even though nature in the Pacific Northwest has had a large influence. Other forms of media she has worked with include jewelry and sewing. Walden learned to sew from her grandmother at age 7.
Growing up, Rev. Harriett Walden was a member of an AME Methodist church. This denomination is rooted in Black history. Growing up in Sanford, FL she went to church every Sunday with her grandmother. Walden has credited the church in giving her the confidence to speak in front of crowds today. She was only 4 years old when she started speaking in front of the congregation. She learned at a young age that her spirituality is always with her. As she also credits her spiritual knowledge to allow her to continue her work with Mothers for Police Accountability.
In 1995 Walden was officially ordained. There she can cover multiple denominations as a spiritual advisor. Intending to empower people Walden wants to, and it sounds typical, loves among those she comes across.
Over the past 30 years, Walden has been a student of metaphysics. She is currently a Master Facilitator for the Virtues Project. There she has presented with Virtue Training that she has spoken as the language of love that will heal the world. Walden is also an author of “Repetitious Journaling”, a book that is used for creating a new groove in your subconscious mind. It was through Repetitious Journaling that she was able to create a space for her subconscious that was her personal paradise.