Scope and Contents
This collection includes biographical material, correspondence, information about walks and marches for peace and social justice, 1983-1989. There is extensive information about "A Walk of the People : a Pilgrimage for Life" in which peace marchers attempted to walk from California to Moscow, leaving Point Conception, California on March 1st, 1984, and arriving in New York on December 15th, 1984, then flying to Europe, and walking through Ireland and Britain and on to Germany, where they were turned back at the East German border and were officially refused permission to march through the Soviet Union in October, 1985. The annotated manuscript of Shay's book about the march, "Have Feet, Speak Truth" is included in the papers. The collection also includes information about the Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament and a peace march in India.
Kevin James Shay was born in Washington, D.C., and was one of four children born to the late James Shay and Dorothy Shay of Dallas. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of North Texas. He has been a journalist and editor for newspapers in Maryland and Texas (Maryland Gazette of Politics and Business, Dallas Morning News, Arlington Morning News, Dallas Child Magazine, Arlington News, Metrocrest News, and the Addison/North Dallas Register), for more than 25 years. Shay has also been a staff member of, or contributor to, numerous magazines or newspapers, including One World News Service, Dallas Peace Times, Minority Business News USA, Peace and Freedom, Dallas Advocate for Jobs, and Texas Monthly. He has won national, state and local writing and photography awards, including awards from the Suburban Newspapers of America, Maryland-D.C.-Delaware Press Association, and the Texas Press Association.
Shay's passion for peace and justice has been displayed not only in his work as a journalist, but also in his activities. In 1982-1984, he participated in demonstrations in Texas and Washington, D.C. for justice and against nuclear weapons/power. In 1984-1985, he joined A Walk of the People sponsored by the Fellowship of Reconciliation and other organizations; he walked from Texas to New York, then through countries of Europe, Eastern Europe and the former USSR, approximately 5,000 miles in all. The purpose of the walk was to witness against government spending for nuclear weapons, instead of for human needs. Shay participated in the first few days of the Great Peace March in California in 1986, and then conducted his own peace mission by visiting East Germany, the USSR and other countries the same year. In 1988-1989, he walked the entire 1,000 miles of an international march in India. Other activities have included volunteering in soup kitchens, homeless shelters and with youth organizations, and serving as a board member of the Dallas chapter of the ACLU and of Rainbow Bridge, a youth advocacy group in Dallas, and being a Cub Scout den leader and youth sports coach.
Shay wrote a book, Have Feet, Speak Truth about A Walk of the People, published in 1987. He co-authored a book, Time Change, published in 1992, which told Dallas history from the viewpoint of the disenfranchised who worked for justice; it was expanded and reprinted in 2000 with the title, And Justice for All! He authored a book, A Parent's Guide to Dallas/Fort Worth, published in 2003, about educational and fun activities for families in North Texas.
Shay, currently living in Rockville, Maryland, has one son, Preston (born February 3, 2000), and one daughter, McKenna (born November 8, 2002).
[Biographical information from Kevin Shay, May 2010]