Center Founder Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Ed.D

The URI Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies was first directed in 1998 by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. A Civil Rights Movement hero and nonviolence activist for nearly fifty years, Dr. LaFayette was a co-founder and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee Nashville sit-ins, a courageous Freedom Rider, an associate of Dr. King in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and national coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign. An ordained minister, professor, educator, lecturer, he is recognized nationally and around the world as an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change.

Bernard LaFayette

While directing the Center, Dr. LaFayette led education and training programs in Kingian Nonviolence on state, national and international levels, with successful projects world-wide, in countries such as South Africa, Colombia, Nigeria, the Middle East, and Mexico.

In January of 2009, Dr. LaFayette accepted an appointment at Emory University in Atlanta as a Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at the Candler School of Theology, where he now works with their Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding program, and the Religions and Human Spirit Cross-cutting Initiative.

Dr. LaFayette remains affiliated with the URI Center as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar during our International Nonviolence Summer Institute, held annually in June on the URI campus.