Rev. James Lawson Lecture: Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?

Event date: Wednesday, November 07, 2018, from 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
Location: Alumni Hall, Rm. 400, 121 St. Joseph St.

Rev. James Lawson, Pillar of Nonviolence Movement, to Speak in Toronto


TORONTO – The man Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once described as “the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world,” will be in Toronto November 7 to deliver a talk on the philosophy that has inspired his life.

Pastor, professor, and activist Rev. James Lawson will deliver a lecture entitled Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, with the title of the talk a nod to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s book of the same name. The event, co-sponsored by The University of St. Michael’s College Faculty of Theology, Emmanuel College, and the Multi-Faith Centre in the University of Toronto, takes place at 3:30 on Wednesday, November 7, in Alumni Hall, Rm. 400, located at 121 St. Joseph St. 

From the protests that marked the American civil rights movement in the 1960s to teaching and facilitating social justice workshops more than 50 years later, James Lawson has devoted his life to creating peace and justice through nonviolence.

He first demonstrated his commitment to nonviolence by serving 14 months in jail rather than be drafted during the Korean War. Then, as a missionary in India in the 1950s, Rev. Lawson studied Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolent resistance and then employed those strategies upon returning to the United States.

His seminars on nonviolence gave rise to sit-ins that helped desegregate lunch counters in the southern U.S., and he worked with the Freedom Riders to end segregated transportation terminals. He chaired the strike committee when sanitation workers went on strike in Memphis in 1962 for safer working conditions.

Over the ensuing years, as a pastor and a professor, Rev, Lawson has continued to work for social, racial and economic justice, both by teaching nonviolence strategies, but also in many hands-on ways.  Today, while retired from his position as a pastor, he continues his active support of the causes that are close to his heart, including protests against poverty and military action.

Rev. Lawson will be available for interviews immediately preceding his lecture. To book an interview, please contact Catherine Mulroney, Programs Co-ordinator at St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology, at 416-926-7128, or

About Emmanuel