Dear Labor Studies Students, Staff, and Faculty, 

As you may know by now, the wave of student protests that have swept the nation has reached our campus.

For over twenty years, the UCLA Labor Studies Program has proudly offered a course on “Nonviolence and Social Movements” taught by labor and civil rights icon, Rev. James Lawson Jr. This course has been instrumental in educating our students, faculty, and community members about the power of nonviolent resistance to help bring about a more just and peaceful world. From the Civil Rights and Anti-War movements of the 1960s and 1970s, to the Anti-Apartheid/Divestment in South Africa movement of the 1980s and the Black Lives Matter movement of the 2020s, students and young people have often served as our nation’s moral compass. In this spirit, we support the right of our students to express themselves on our campus and across the country in nonviolent direct action.

As we navigate the weeks ahead, we are inspired by Rev. Lawson’s words to guide our actions: 

“I am persuaded that nonviolence is the only way to manage creative change in the direction of liberty, justice, equality, and the beloved community for all.”

Chris Zepeda-Míllan

Chair, UCLA Labor Studies Program

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