From the Archives

Celebrating the life and legacy of civil rights leader James M. Lawson Jr.

September 22, 1928–June 9, 2024

When civil rights activist James M Lawson Jr. was expelled from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 1960 for participating in sit-ins in downtown Nashville restaurants, the Christian Century provided extensive coverage of the aftermath. The Century also covered Vanderbilt Divinity School’s creation of the James Lawson Institute for Research and Nonviolent Movements in 2022 in recognition of Lawson’s contributions. In 2023, the city of Nashville honored Lawson’s legacy by naming a brand new high school in his honor. We join in the celebration of Lawson’s ministry and leadership in championing nonviolence and civil rights.