Visiting Professor and Research Fellow George Lakey was honored on October 2 by the Peace and Justice Studies Association (PJSA) in its conference in Winnipeg, Canada.
The PJSA is the professional association of scholars and teachers in the U.S. and Canada, and is part of the International Peace Research Association. Its annual conference is held on university campuses in North America and this time was at the University of Winnipeg and Canadian Mennonite University.
George Lakey is in his fifth year at Swarthmore, the first three of which he served as Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change. His Peace and Conflict Studies courses at Swarthmore have included “Nonviolent Responses to Terrorism” and “Research Seminar in Nonviolent Struggle and Strategy.” In the latter course students create case studies which will be mounted on an internet website in the Global Nonviolent Action Database Project. The project, initiated by Lakey, aims to include all countries in the thousands of cases of “people power” aiming for human rights, peace, environmental sustainability, democracy, and economic justice. The web-based database will, in addition to a standardized database format, include 2-3 page narratives for each case.
The PJSA gave its “Peace Educator of the Year” award “for excellence in scholarship and dedication to peace education.” In addition to a teaching career that has included Haverford College and the University of Pennsylvania, Lakey has led over 1500 social change workshops on five continents. He is author of eight books and many articles both scholarly and popular. In his activist role he has led campaigns for social change on neighborhood, city-wide, state, national, and international levels, and was a founder of the Movement for a New Society and the Jobs with Peace Campaign. Lakey’s first arrest was for a civil rights sit-in in Chester, PA, and his first book was for the civil rights movement, A Manual for Direct Action, co-authored with fellow sociologist Martin Oppenheimer. At Swarthmore Lakey is based at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility and the Peace and Conflict Studies program of the College.