Reverend James Lawson

Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. will receive Public Counsel's prestigious 2017 William O. Douglas Award on June 29th in Los Angeles, CA.

Rev. Lawson is one of the Civil Rights Movement's leading activists, theoreticians, and tacticians who worked directly with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and went on to lead multiple historic protests.  After traveling to India in the 1950's and studying the Gandhian principles of nonviolenceRev. Lawson would later use these principles to combat and end racial segregation in the United States.  Rev. Lawson worked with Dr. King to train students and volunteers in nonviolent direct action and helped coordinate the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins in 1960, the Freedom Rides in 1961, the Meredith March in 1966, and played a major role in the sanitation workers strike of 1968. On the eve of his assassination, Dr. King called Rev. Lawson "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world," and also praised his leadership in his historic "Mountaintop speech."  According to Time Magazine, Rev. Lawson is one of the seven "icons of the civil rights movement" who "paved the way for Barack Obama's historic Inauguration."