Nearly 50 people of all ages and economic statuses made history in Selma, Alabama, last week. They completed a 5-day intensive training in Kingian nonviolence at the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth & Reconciliation. Black, white, young and old, college and high school students, citizens severely challenged by poverty and addiction, seniors, teachers and workers received their certificates with great pride at the Center located in plain view of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named to honor the Grand Dragon of the KKK in 1943. The Bridge is also known for the blood shed on March 7, 1965 as marchers marched to protest the killing of Jimmy Lee Jackson and to demand voting rights. Ironically, Selma is said to be the most violent city in Alabama. The training was very much needed, said Senator Sanders, co-founder of the Center.
The workshop was led by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. Lafayette is a living legend of the Civil Rights Movement. He came to Selma in 1962 and organized youth to lay the groundwork for the Voting Rights Movement. He was nearly beaten to death the same night James Meredith was killed in Mississippi. He talked to Dr. King 4 hours before he was killed and then he left for Washington, D.C. to help organize the Poor People’s March. As a survivor of the freedom rides in Mississippi, he has become internationally known for his teachings of Kingian nonviolence.
For more information about future nonviolence training contact : Attorney Ainka Jackson at (334) 526-4539.