Called the “architect of the nonviolent movement in America” by John Lewis, Rev. James Lawson discusses the roots and power of nonviolence.
by Rev. John Dear, published by Waging Nonviolence on October 21, 2021
“In 1957, Martin Luther King, Jr. described Rev. James Lawson as “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.” For the more than 60 years that followed, Lawson continued to be a key figure that movements turned to for advice. From civil rights campaigns to anti-militarism struggles to labor organizing, Lawson has been the guiding force for active nonviolence and strategic social change. And today, at age 93, he continues to offer a wisdom that’s grounded in the teachings of Jesus and Gandhi.
“Born in 1928, Lawson joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation, or FOR, in college, which first exposed him to the nonviolent teachings of Gandhi and Howard Thurman. In 1950, he became a draft resister to the Korean War and was later arrested and spent 14 months in federal prison.”