"Decisions are 
 made by those
 who show up."

        Aaron Sorkin
               EVENTS & MEETINGS      
Action & Advocacy

Events on this calendar are provided for your convenience and are not endorsed by Cal-Pac MFSA unless specifically stated.

Nonviolence  Workshop
with Rev. James Lawson
Usually the last, or fourth, Saturday of the month
Please note: sometimes the date for this workshop will change. To confirm the next workshop and to be added to the mailing list for notices, see the contact information below.

9:00 am  to Noon
Holman United Methodist Church
3320 W.  Adams,  Los Angeles

The Rev. James Lawson, is a United Methodist pastor and civil rights leader. As a young man, Lawson visited India and studied satyagraha, the principles of nonviolence resistance that Mohandas Gandhi and his followers had developed. Subsequently, Lawson served as a colleague of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., and played a primary role in the Civil Rights Movement.  Now retired clergy, he continues to teach non-violence and fight for the rights of the oppressed
on many fronts

This is a free event.   Refreshments will be provided.
No RSVP  required.   We have room for you!
Contact:  Walter Johnson 
wlj619@gmail.com    310-570-3776 

What is a Nonviolence Workshop?
Rev. Lawson’s nonviolence workshops are something like a college course teaching the basics of Nonviolence as it was practiced by Gandhi.   
The goal is to train the participants  in the principles and practice of Gandhian  nonviolence to the level at which the participants are qualified  to lead a grassroots nonviolent community  movement  to overcome an injustice,  or to achieve an improvement in the lives of the community’s members.  The community can be a neighborhood,  a group of employees,   an ethnic community…..etc.

It differs from a college course in that participation is informal and there are no grades. Nearly every  workshop has new participants,   so it is impossible to adhere to a curriculum.  While many participants have covered much of the material,  its necessary to go back to the basics for newcomers.

The workshops include a lecture.   Most also include audio-visual material.   And most of the workshops include breakout discussion sessions.     Every workshop includes a refreshment break which actually turns out to be about a 20-minute social time where participants  get up to date with each other’s  lives and work.

Why is it important?
Because nonviolent  tools have been proven to be among the most powerful  tools for overcoming  injustices  and achieving permanent change  around the world.   The tools include public protest,   nonviolent resistance to governmental  efforts to stymie change,   nonviolent non-cooperation with governmental  schemes to  maintain the status quo,  boycotts,  strikes,  and many more.

What types of problems can it solve?
Could be something as simple as an employer ‘s  unjust  treatment of employees,   or as complex as the U S civil rights movement.     Poland’s  Solidarity movement  nonviolently replaced Poland’s  totalitarian government with democracy.     The “Occupy”  movement  is working  of overcome extreme income disparity in the U. S.     These movements typically  take years to play out.   Nonviolent change produces change with little or no loss of life.   Compare Egypt’s  nonviolent  revolution  with Libya’s  violent revolution.

About James Lawson
Jim Lawson studied  Gandhi’s methods in India,  and was one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s  advisors  during the U S  Civil Rights movement.    He organized and led  the successful  non-violent sit-ins  in Nashville,  which resulted in the integration of Nashville’s entire downtown community.    He personally participated in the “Freedom Rides”  from Birmingham to Jackson,  Mississippi.   

In recent years he has taught nonviolence college courses at Vanderbilt  University,   Cal State Northridge,  and other schools,  and he participates in numerous nonviolence conferences across the United States.  

See two excellent articles about Rev. James Lawson:

A Totally Moral Man: The Life of Nonviolent Organizer Rev. James Lawson - by Peter Dreier
read it online »   
download it »

James Lawson: Conscience of History - by Rev. Jim Conn
read it online »  
download it »


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