Nonviolence activist Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr. public lecture

    Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr.

    “Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr. is giving a free public lecture on Monday evening, March 12, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in McClelland Hall, Room 207, 1130 E. Helen St. (that’s one block north of Speedway and between Park Ave and Mountain Ave.). Watch for further information about this important presentation by a life-long nonviolence activist and community organizer.

    Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. was a co-founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a Freedom Rider, an organizer for voting rights in Selma, and National Program Administrator for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

    The public is invited to hear this civil rights icon and world authority on nonviolent social change. The lecture will be followed by a graduation ceremony for participants finishing their 7-day Level I Kingian Nonviolence Certification.

     The United States is once again witnessing a powerful and organized response from high school students to injustice and violence and a call for action to finally begin to address the issue of gun violence and mass shootings in our country. So too in the 1960’s, college and high school students in the South rose up and took organized nonviolent action to dramatize the epidemic problem of racial injustice in our nation.

    Thanks to a grant from the Agnese Nelms Haury Program in Environment and Social Justice, the Culture of Peace Alliance has brought Dr. LaFayette back to Tucson to participate in several events all designed to help institutionalize nonviolence in our community.”

    He is a professor at Emory University.

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    Carolyn Classen
    Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).


    1. About 80 people at this talk tonight to hear Dr. Lafayette Jr. speak of Dr. King as someone who “had a briliant mind, was special” and told jokes to the vehicle driver on their night rides to different states in the south. He said that MLK was a “pool shark” and they went to pool halls and barber shops to organize & recruit others in their movement. He said they were fighting for “respect/honor” of the right to vote . Where are we now, to build a future for the sake of our kids, to preserve good things. He also spoke of recent work in Nigeria to bring tribal chiefs together with allies, supporters, suppliers. “The End pre-exists in Means” (peaceful bringing of people together). Questions from audience were about advice for students re: School Walk Out and March for Our Lives movements to build coalitions; advice for discouraged BLM activists; opinion on arming teachers in the classroom; and the Dakota Access pipeline fight/tactics. Dr. Lafayette said there should be no more access to guns and to invite/include media in the movement, that economic pressure/sustainability is needed. “Violence is the language of the inarticulate” so to keep talking to the Others. Last question was about if the BLM movement is using non violence trainers. NVLP youth team members then presented two dances, followed by their graduation ceremony for Level 1 trainers.

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