Emory University has announced that is offering a massive online open course (MOOC) on the use of nonviolence in the civil rights movement. The course, “From Freedom Rides to Ferguson: Narratives of Nonviolence in the American Civil Rights Movement,” will be taught by Bernard LaFayette Jr., a distinguished scholar in residence at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Dr. LaFayette is the co-author of the book In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma (University of Kentucky Press, 2013). The book chronicles LaFayette’s efforts as director of the Alabama Voter Registration Project when he was one of the primary organizers of the 1965 Selma voting rights movement and the Selma-to-Montgomery marches. Dr. LaFayette is a graduate of the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville, Tennessee. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Harvard University.
The MOOC will be offered online to students worldwide with no limit on enrollments. The course is in the on-demand format, meaning that students can start the course at any time and proceed at their own pace. The course may be accessed here.
The first half of the course will examine the civil rights movement and the nonviolent strategies used by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders. The second half of the course will focus on how the same strategies may be applicable today.
Lynn Zimmerman, Emory University’s senior vice provost of academic affairs, stated that “the stories of the struggle for civil rights and the importance of nonviolent approaches to conflict and protest are as relevant today as they ever have been. The opportunity to hear those stories from the individuals who lived and led that struggle is something that we are proud to share with the world.”