Dr. Gerald L. Durley was born in Wichita, Kansas, grew up in California, and graduated from high school in Denver, Colorado. Being endowed with exceptional basketball skills and a deep interest in improving the civil and human rights of African Americans, Dr. Durley chose to leave the west and venture south to Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee.While earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, playing on a championship basketball team, and serving as student government president, he became very active in the civil rights movement. After graduating, Dr. Durley became one of the first Peace Corp volunteers to enter Nigeria, West Africa. From Africa he ventured to Switzerland where he enrolled in postgraduate studies at the University of Neuchantel. While there, he was invited to play for one of the Swiss National basketball teams.When he returned to the United States, Dr. Durley enrolled in Northern Illinois University where he again became intensely involved in the struggle for human dignity, and earned one of the first Masters Degrees in Community Mental Health. He earned a Doctorate Degree in Urban Education and Psychology from University of Massachusetts and a Master of Divinity Degree from Howard University.
Rev. Dr. Durley is now Pastor Emeritus of Providence Missionary Baptist Church and is a highly sought speaker on civil and human rights issues, as well as for global warming and climate change discussions across the country. For many years he has been talking to African-American pastors about something that was not on their screen: Earth Day. Understanding that God created a perfect earth and that we’re destroying it, he teaches the obligation to enlighten people and discern what we can do. He recognized that the ecological movement is similar to the civil rights movement, and that everyone must be involved, knowledgeable, and aware.Dr. Durley appears in the film The Great Warming, has participated in the Climate Leadership Retreat at the Garrison, and has testified before the Environmental Protection Agency.