James Lawson

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Rev. James Lawson

Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. was mentor to Martin Luther King, Jr..[1]

Also to John Lewis.

Considered to be one of the leading architects of the Civil Rights movement and a personal tutor on nonviolence to Martin Luther King, Rev. Lawson served as President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for 14 years. He is Pastor Emeritus of the Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, where he served as Pastor from 1975 to 1999. He is the Chair of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), working to promote economic justice, community diversity and solidarity.[2]

Interfaith Worker Justice

Interfaith Worker Justice was founded in 1996 with the mission of "engaging the religious community in low-wage worker campaigns and rebuilding partnerships with the labor movement."

Kim Bobo, IWJ Executive Director, founded the organization using her bedroom as an office and a $5,000 bequest left to her by her grandmother as the initial budget. Despite these humble origins, she had mighty helpers as part of her original Board of Directors. This founding group included Rabbi Robert Marx, Bishop Jesse DeWitt, Monsignor George Higgins, Monsignor Jack Egan, Rev. James Lawson, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Rev. Michael Rouse, Rev. Addie Wyatt, Rev. Dr. Paul Sherry, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard, Monsignor Phil Murnion, Rev. Wayne Stumme, Bishop James Malone, Sr. Nancy Sylvester, Rev. Jim Sessions, Ms. Evely Laser-Shlensky, Mr. Thomas Shellabarger and Mr. J. Chris Sanders.

In just eleven years, IWJ has organized a national network of more than 70 interfaith committees, workers' centers and student groups, making it the leading national organization working to strengthen the religious community's involvement in issues of workplace justice.[3]

SNCC re-union

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee held its 50th anniversary conference at Shaw University here, April 15-18, 2010.

At its founding here on April 17, 1960, the now-legendary civil rights organization adopted its first formal program. Life long Communist Party USA activist Debbie Bell was a founding member, serving alongside Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis (now a member of Congress from Georgia), Freedom Singer and Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Revs. David Forbes and James Lawson, Joyce Ladner and Dick Gregory.

All these founders spoke at the anniversary event. There were speeches too by Attorney General Eric Holder and actor Danny Glover.[4]

Glover and Holder were too young to be part of SNCC, but both emphasized that they would not be where they are today without SNCC and its heroic struggle for African American liberation.
The Rev. Lawson said that "plantation capitalism" was the root cause of our problems and that we must understand the cost of a military budget that approaches a trillion dollars with over 800 bases for the sole purpose of protecting U. S. capital. He argued that an understanding is needed of the relationship of all our problems and their solution to the system as a whole.

References