Posts by Ben Dawson

  • The Country We Need to Create

    At a moment of so much uncertainty over where our nation is headed and what national unity really means, I return again to the wise words of my late friend Dr. Vincent Harding, the revered historian, theologian, social justice activist, and visionary who never lost sight of the “beloved community” his dear colleague Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed our nation and world could become.

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  • The Scratch Line

    My dear and much beloved preacher-teacher friend and spiritual mentor Dr. Samuel DeWitt Proctor was a great historically Black college president, a Peace Corps leader in Africa, and pastor of the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York.

  • “Dream and Labor”

    As our nation continues to mourn Rev. Lawson’s own death last month, his words are resonating deeply again right now. Rev. Lawson was honoring “the conscience of Congress” during another perilous political moment, and wanted to tell us what he believed our nation needed to do in order to move forward.

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  • Gun Violence

    Gun Violence: Acknowledging a Crisis

    In the midst of this season’s joyful graduation celebrations, one commencement ceremony stood out in a heartbreaking way because of the friends who were missing.

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  • Remembering Beloved Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr.

    When my friend and mentor Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. passed away on June 9 at age 95, our nation and world lost a prophet of nonviolence and a peerless teacher and role model who was the living embodiment of fierce love and nonviolent direct action organizing for effective social change.

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  • Gun Violence

    We’ve Seen Enough

    June is Gun Violence Awareness Month in our nation, and June 7-9 is Wear Orange Weekend.

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  • Building a “Great Society”

    Sixty years ago, as President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke to college students at Ohio University and the University of Michigan in May 1964, he spoke publicly for the first time about the idea of a “Great Society”—and told students that young people could be its builders.

  • Lessons for Young Graduates

    This is the joyous time of year when families, friends, and teachers are cheering on graduates of all ages who have worked so hard and made them all so proud.

  • Education

    Happy Birthday to Brown

    May 17 marks the 70th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. Like so many Black families, mine spent the spring of 1954 waiting anxiously for news of the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case.

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