Absolutely incredible, life-changing class. Lawson worked with MLK in the civil rights movement and was one of the leaders of the student sit-in movement during the 60s--having the chance to take a class with him was amazing. He did most of the weekly lectures and is an incredibly charismatic & critical speaker--always tying issues to institutional inequalities & injustice such as the U.S. military having bases in hundreds of countries & politicians not advocating enough for the poor. He used several case studies--such as the women's suffrage movement, the immigrant youth movement, & labor organizing--to highlight the importance of nonviolent tactics. I will forever remember this course & honestly can't believe I had this opportunity.
When I first decided to take this class, I really had no expectations. I was in fact a little scared and overwhelmed when I read over the syllabus and saw that we had to get involve in a project and do 20 hours of service. On the first day, we were introduced to Professor Wong and my impression of him was a good one from the beginning. He introduced the course and seemed very knowledgeable but what I did notice was how much he spoke of Rev. Lawson. He gave us a brief overview of who he was and some of his work and as soon as he told us that he worked side by side Martin Luther King Jr., I already felt great awe to be in his presence. The first thing that ran through my head was, “Wow, this man is a piece of walking history!” When Rev. Lawson showed up to lecture the following week, the atmosphere in the classroom was one of excitement and anxiety to hear this man lecture. I was definitely not disappointed. He is a very wise man and I was honored to have have been thought by him. One of my favorite parts of being able to take this class with such amazing instructors was that we got a first hand account of the Freedom Riders, or Martin Luther King, of the Civil Rights Movement because who better to learn about the accounts than one of the most influential men present at the time. The class turned out a lot better than I expected. Although getting all 20hours of service is a commitment, the events that are available are really great experiences. I had so many first this year and I felt really important to be in the presence of both union workers and leaders and for once I felt part of the social struggle. Overall, this class is really an amazing experience and I would definitely recommend it to others!