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Peace Studies to Host Author, Activist & Retired Professor

St. Lawrence University will host author, activist and retired professor George Lakey for its Peace Studies Lecture, which will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, in Hepburn Hall room 218. The event is free and open to the public.

At the age of 79, Lakey recently retired from Swarthmore College, where he was Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change and managed the Global Nonviolent Action Database research project. He also held teaching posts at Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania. 

Lakey has served as an unarmed bodyguard for human rights defenders in Sri Lanka and recently walked 200 miles to protest mountaintop removal coal mining in the Appalachia region. His first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in. He has also founded a number of social change organizations, including Earth Quaker Action Team.

He has led over 1,500 social change workshops on five continents and founded and directed for 15 years Training for Change. In 2010, he was named “Peace Educator of the Year” and published his authoritative text on adult education, Facilitating Group Learning (Jossey-Bass).

His ninth book, released in July, is titled Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians got it right and how we can, too (Melville House). He has received the 2008 Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award, the Paul Robeson Social Justice Award, the Ashley Montague Conflict Resolution Award, and the Giraffe Award for “Sticking his Neck out for the Common Good.”

His lecture, “Beyond Protest: Mobilizing Social Power Through the Nonviolent Campaign,” will discuss how students at Swarthmore College researched over a thousand direct action campaigns in almost 200 countries. The Global Nonviolent Action Database reveals campaigns that have been sustained for as long as 20 years, and as short as a week, in which enough power was mobilized even to overthrow military dictators. 

The St. Lawrence Peace Studies Lecture is sponsored by its Peace Studies Program and is financially supported by the Rainer Oppenheim Fund for International Understanding.

For more information, contact Peace Studies at 315-229-5222.