September 21, 2023

LaFayette to Deliver Keynote for UMW’s Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Dr. Bernard Lafayette

Dr. Bernard Lafayette

“Institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” These are the orders Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bestowed on Bernard LaFayette Jr. in 1968. Still devoted more than 50 years later to carrying out the edict for nonviolent social change, LaFayette will deliver the University of Mary Washington’s MLK Jr. Celebration keynote address Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., in the University Center’s Chandler Ballroom.

The speech is part of a series of events hosted by UMW’s James Farmer Multicultural Center (JFMC) to recognize the life – and assassination – of the great civil rights leader. Activities include a MLK Jr. Kid’s Day for Fredericksburg area children, Day of Service for UMW students to get involved in community projects, and documentary film viewing and discussion.

A minister, educator and lecturer appointed by King to national leadership positions in the civil rights movement, LaFayette led the 1961 Freedom Rides alongside longtime civil rights leader James Farmer, who taught history and American Studies at UMW from 1985 to 1998. King named LaFayette to national roles as program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign. LaFayette also co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Nashville Movement lunch counter sit-ins, and directed the 1962 Alabama voter registration project in Selma, Alabama.  Read more