Free Online Labor Studies Course: Nonviolence and Social Movements

How has the theory and practice of nonviolence shaped social movements in the United States and across the world? How can nonviolent movements confront the challenges facing us today?  Join the Rev. James Lawson, Jr. and UCLA Labor Center Director Kent Wong for a 10-week Labor Studies course offered free to the public. In a series of conversations with prominent movement leaders, Rev. Lawson explores the development of nonviolent strategy in efforts to overturn segregation in the U.S. and Apartheid in South Africa, win rights for workers and immigrants, and contest mass incarceration. 

For the past 20 years, Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. has taught the undergraduate course Nonviolence and Social Movements offered jointly by the UCLA Labor Studies program, the Department of African American Studies, and the Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the course will be taught online allowing us to share elements of the UCLA course with the public.  

Access the free course through the UCLA Labor Center Facebook, IRLE website, and YouTube channel. Supplementary readings are available for purchase at

(This course is available to UCLA students for credit, and listed as: Labor Studies M173, African American Studies M173, Chicana/o & Central American Studies M173)

Course Format

From 3/31/2021 – 6/2/2021, watch live on the UCLA Labor Center Facebook page every Wednesday from 11am – 12pm (PST-Pacific Time) or anytime after on Youtube here”.

Course Readings

Please order the readings that will be used in the course, and will enhance your knowledge and understanding of nonviolence. The first 2 books can be purchased at: & A Force More Powerful can be purchased at most book retailers.

Course Updates

Stay updated, fill out this form to receive updates and communications regarding the course:


Streaming DateTopic & Guest SpeakerClass Recording
3/31/2021Soul Force and the Nonviolent Movement of America, 1953-1973
4/7/2021The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike
with Bill Lucy
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

4/14/2021Black Lives Matter with Professor Melina AbdullahWill be uploaded after scheduled class

4/21/2021The Montgomery Bus Boycott
with Bryan Stevenson
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

4/28/2021The Nashville Sit-in Movement
with Angeline Butler
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

5/5/2021The Grape Boycott
with Dolores Huerta
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

5/12/2021The Hotel Workers of Los Angeles
with Senator Maria Elena Durazo
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

5/19/2021Nonviolence in the Global Community: The struggle against Apartheid in South Africa
with Rev. Alan Boesak
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

5/26/2021“Undocumented and Unafraid”
with Leticia Bustamante & Hugo Romero
Will be uploaded after scheduled class

6/2/2021A Conversation with Rev. James Lawson Jr.Will be uploaded after scheduled class