Polarization as Possibility: The Justice Strategizing of Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Join in dialogue with George Lakey and Terrance Wiley, both of whom bring extensive research on and practice with “angelic troublemaking,” through understanding the philosophy and practice of Rustin, King, and effective organizers for liberatory justice.
Conflict is challenging for many of us, but the insights of King and Rustin offer hope. King encountered violent conflict across America yet received the Nobel Peace Prize. His mentor Rustin urged “angelic troublemakers” to act more boldly. What can we learn from the organizing leader behind much of the Civil Rights Movement, Bayard Rustin, who was born in nearby West Chester, PA, and raised in a Quaker household? How did King and Rustin’s theories of change leverage polarization toward possibility, and what does it mean for us in today’s environment?
This event will take place on Zoom from noon to 1:30 pm ET on Friday, Jan 21. Register here.
George Lakey and Terrance Wiley both bring extensive research on and practice with “angelic troublemaking” and understanding the philosophy and practice of Rustin, King, and effective organizers for liberatory justice.
George Lakey has been a leader in the field of nonviolent social change since the 1960s and has published extensively for both activist and academic readers. He was the founder and executive director of Training for Change, a Philadelphia-based organization internationally known for its leadership in creating and teaching strategies for nonviolent social change. Lakey has worked in the United States with mineworkers, steelworkers, and civil rights leaders, and, internationally, with South African anti-apartheid activists, Cambodian human rights organizers, and many others. He is a recently retired Swarthmore professor who focused on peace and conflict studies. He is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
Terrance Wiley is currently an assistant professor of Religion and Africana Studies at Haverford College. Terrance’s work rests at the intersection of religious ethics, theology, political philosophy, and African American Studies, with an emphasis on nonviolent social movement theory and praxis. Terrance’s first book, Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in Henry David Thoreau, Dorothy Day, and Bayard Rustin, interrogates the theological anthropologies, ethics, political philosophies, and social theories of three exemplary American religious radicals. He is currently working on a prison reform activism project and a book of essays that explores how engagement with Franz Fanon and Martin King have shaped Africana social and political thought since 1968.