Director of URI's Center for Nonviolence and Peace Center
to speak at Honors Colloquium
KINGSTON, R.I. -- September 18, 2000 -- Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., a
civil rights activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and authority on the
strategy of nonviolent social change, will speak on "A Lifetime of
Nonviolence Activism and Education" as part of the University of Rhode
Island's fall honors colloquium series, "Nonviolence: Legacies of the
Past, Bridges to the Future."
LaFayette will speak in the Barry Marks Auditorium, Room 271 of the
Chafee Social Science Center on URI's Kingston Campus, Sept. 26 from 7:30
to 9 p.m.
LaFayette had a key role in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1960, he was
one of the eight students who led the Nashville Movement to desegregate
that city and who were the subjects of David Halberstam's recent book, The
Children. He has also been featured in Taylor Branch's authoritative
book, Pillar of Fire, and in John Lewis's memoir, Walking With
He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960 and
was a leader of the 1961 Freedom Rides and the 1965 Selma Movement. He directed
the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, was appointed national program
administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and was
national coordinator of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1968 Poor Peoples' campaigns.
In her speech on Sept. 12 at URI, Mrs. Coretta Scott King praised LaFayette
and said he was one of the world's most knowledgeable teachers of nonviolence.
LaFayette is the director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies
at URI where he is a distinguished scholar-in-residence. Under his leadership,
URI's Center has trained students and Rhode Island community members in
nonviolence methodology. He is chair of the Governor's Commission on Race
and Police and Community Relations. Outside the state, LaFayette is helping
establish peace centers in South Africa and Columbia.
He has been described as "a leading spokesperson for the traditions
of nonviolence and their translation to contemporary conditions in America,
South Africa, and elsewhere. He is a direct link to many of the great achievements
of nonviolent reconciliation of the 20th century, and a repository of the
peace-building skills needed for the 21st."
Dr. LaFayette earned his B.A. from the American Baptist Theological Seminary
in Nashville, TN, and his Ed.D. from Harvard University. He serves as chair
of the executive planning committee for the International Conference on
Nonviolence; and has served in numerous national and international positions
throughout his career including: director of peace and justice in Latin
America; chair of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development;
Scholar-in-Residence at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Alabama, director
of the PUSH Excel Institute, among others.
URI's Colloquium series runs Tuesdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. and is free
and open to the public.
For Information: Lynne Derbyshire, 401-874-4732,
Arthur Stein, 401-874-4059, Jan Sawyer, 401-874-2116,
Jennifer Smith, 401-874-2116