Rev. James Lawson

The acclaimed civil rights activist the Rev. James Lawson will explore how we, as members of the human family, are capable of envisioning and creating a more viable world –– a world of equity, liberty and justice for all –– at the next installment of California State University, Northridge’s Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series on Thursday, Feb. 26.

Lawson’s lecture, “Selma, Creativity, and Our History Healing,” is scheduled to take place at 11 a.m. in the Kurland Lecture Hall in the Valley Performing Arts Center located at the south end of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

“Rev. James Lawson has worked directly on civil rights and social justice issues for over half a century,” said Katherine Sorrells, chair of the Department of Communication Studies. “His perspective and experience is invaluable for understanding the challenges of our current times and for creating new possibilities for a more equitable and humane world. Given the unrest in the United States regarding racial injustice and violence and the escalation of wars, terrorism and militarism globally, Rev. Lawson offers a vision and strategies for nonviolent social change.”

Lawson worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. to train students and volunteers in the Gandhian tactics of nonviolent direct action. His teachings and work with students were instrumental in the lunch counter sit-ins to end racial segregation. Lawson helped coordinate the Freedom Rides in 1961, the Meredith March in 1966 and he played a major role in the sanitation worker’s strike of 1968.

On the eve of his assassination, King called Lawson “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world.”

Today, Lawson continues to teach and inspire others to stand up against social injustice. For the past five years, he has been affiliated with the Civil Discourse and Social Change initiative at CSUN.

The Commerce of Creativity Distinguished Speaker Series is organized by the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication to connect members of the campus, alumni and community with compelling and creative storytellers who have made significant contributions to the art of creative communication and the art of business.

CSUN’s Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication is inspired by a shared belief that art is community, community is art, and art and communication are essential pillars for building and maintaining community. Its programs, including those in art, music, theatre, cinema and television arts, communication studies and journalism, have an international reputation for graduating skilled professionals who succeed in their respective fields.

The speaker series is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. Reservations should be made by Feb. 25 through EventBrite at https://eventbrite.com/event/15616617724. For more information or questions please contact Jennifer Badasci at jennifer.badasci@csun.edu.

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