Bernard LafayetteRev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette Jr., Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence at Candler School of Theology, has been named the closing keynote speaker for the 2013 Practical Peacebuilding Program. An ordained minister, Lafayette is a longtime civil rights activist, organizer, and an authority on nonviolent social change. His most recent work includes training more than 25,000 Nigerians in nonviolent conflict transformation and mediating issues both domestically and worldwide.

LaFayette, the 2012 recipient of the National Civil Rights Museum’s National Freedom Award, co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960 and was a core leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville and Selma, Ala. in the 1960s. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and he was appointed by Martin Luther King Jr. to be national program administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and national coordinator of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.

“Bernard is an ideal speaker for this event because he can bring to life his own experiences of facilitating historic levels of conflict transformation in our nation and many other parts of the world,” said Luther E. Smith, Jr., professor of church and community at Candler. “Attendees will be inspired by his stories and energized to bring this good work to their own communities.”

Smith and Ellen Ott Marshall, Candler’s associate professor of Christian ethics and conflict transformation, are leading the Practical Peacebuilding program in New York City Jan. 9-12, 2013. A new joint program of Candler and The General Theological Seminary, the program will provide peacebuilding skills to clergy, other church leaders and anyone interested in the work of conflict transformation. The registration deadline is October 31. Space is limited. Learn more and register here.