Wednesday, June 10th, 2015
1:00pm – 2:15pm EST
Description: In the 1960s, the Reverend Dr. James Lawson organized and led one of the most effective campaigns of nonviolent civil resistance in the 20th century: the Nashville lunch counter sit-ins, which added significant momentum to the US Civil Rights Movement. In the years that followed he was involved in strategic planning of other major campaigns and actions and was called “the mind of the movement” by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The James Lawson Award for Achievement in the Practice, Study or Reporting of Nonviolent Conflict is presented annually by the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict during the Fletcher Summer Institute. It is awarded to practitioners, scholars, international actors and journalists whose work serves as a model for how nonviolent resistance can be developed, understood and explained.
This year, Palestinian activist Iyad Burnat received the 2015 James Lawson Award. Steadfastly leading nonviolent resistance since 2004, Iyad Burnat is head of the Bil’in Popular Committee against the Israeli Wall and Settlements, which campaigns against Israel’s plan to replace the village of Bil’in with Israeli settlements. As dominant narratives of Israel and Palestine have focused on the threat of violence on both sides, Burnat has exercised outstanding leadership in nonviolent resistance, achieved victories for his community, and remained steadfast in his commitment to nonviolent means. While he, his family, and friends have been subject to life-threatening violence for their actions, Burnat insists: “We are not against the Jews. We are against the occupation.”