Continuing the Revolution: A New Intergenerational American Freedom Movement
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 6:00pm
Continuing the Revolution: A New Intergenerational American Freedom Movement

Continuing the Revolution:
A New Intergenerational American Freedom Movement


Wednesday April 24, 2019

Columbia Falls Ballroom | University Place Hotel
310 SW Lincoln St, Portland, OR 97201


On April 24th, PSU's Students United for Nonviolence will bring the Reverend Dr. James Lawson to campus for a free public lecture.

Dr. Lawson is best known as the primary architect of the nonviolent Freedom Movement in the 1960s, serving as a teacher, leader, or staff person for the Freedom Rides, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and SNCC. He was a close associate of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and he chaired the Sanitation Workers' Strike Committee in Memphis, Tennessee, where Dr. King was assassinated in 1968. He was recently nominated to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Born in Pennsylvania in 1928, Lawson is the son and grandson of Methodist clergymen. After graduating from college in Ohio, he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a pacifist organization. During the Korean War, Lawson resisted the draft and served 14 months of a 3 year jail sentence. Prison transformed him. When he travelled to India for missionary service, Lawson encountered and studied satyagraha, Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolent resistance. While abroad, he read in the newspapers about the Montgomery bus boycott.

Inspired, Lawson returned to the US and sought out Dr. King, who persuaded him to come south immediately. Lawson moved to Nashville and was a catalyst for the sit-ins and other nonviolent mobilizations there against Jim Crow segregation. Lawson moved west in the early 1970s and served as minister at Holman Methodist Church in Los Angeles until he retired in 1999. He taught at UCLA and has been active in labor and immigration circles in California.

It is a special honor for SUN to host this truly distinguished figure, who is a living legacy to the highest values of democracy.


The mission of Students United for Nonviolence (SUN) is to unite PSU students and the Portland community in a common interest for peace and justice, promoting the awareness and practice of nonviolence through activities and events. Follow us on Facebook @StudentsUnitedforNonviolence.