'Israel Palestine and the Nonviolent Alternative' Topic of Vincent Harding's Jan. 15 Presentation at Regis University

Donnie VeaseyJanuary 14, 2013

Historian, nonviolent activist and Martin Luther King, Jr. colleague Vincent Harding will give a presentation about “Israel Palestine and the Nonviolent Alternative: A Report to the Community” at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 in the St. John Francis Regis Chapel at Regis University’s North Denver (Lowell) campus.

Harding, who crafted the original draft for MLK’s 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence,” will be integrating MLK into his stories and comments about his recent experience in the West Bank. Harding traveled under the sponsorship of the Dorothy Cotton Institute for Human Rights. The purpose of the visit was to meet with people who are working for nonviolent resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. 

“This is so exciting to have a colleague of Martin Luther King at Regis University on King’s birthday,” said Byron Plumley, assistant professor of peace and justice at Regis University. “Vincent Harding is continuing the work of nonviolent social change in one of the most difficult conflicts of our time. His purpose and promise to the people is to tell the stories of his visit to the West Bank.”

Harding, who earned a doctorate in history from the University of Chicago, is currently professor emeritus of religion and social transformation at the Iliff School of Theology. 

In 1997, Harding and his late wife Rosemarie founded the Veterans of Hope Project at the Center for the Study of Religion and Democratic Renewal. The project is an interdisciplinary initiative on spiritual, cultural, and participatory democracy at the Iliff School of Theology. He was also the first director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center in Atlanta and served as director and chairperson of the Institute of the Black World. After beginning their work in the Mennonite Church in the 1950s in Chicago, the Hardings moved to Atlanta in 1961 to join with MLK and others as reconcilers and nonviolent trainers in the Southern Freedom Movement. 

He is the author of many books and also the recipient of numerous awards including the Award for Outstanding Achievement in Humanities from the Colorado Endowment for the Humanities. Among his books are: “There is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in America”; “Hope and History: Why We Must Share the Story of the Movement” and “Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero”.

Harding served as senior academic advisor for the PBS documentary “Eyes on the Prize,” an award winning account of the civil rights movement.

The Jan. 15 event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Regis University Office of Mission – Justice Education, Diversity and the Department of Peace and Justice Studies. 

For more information, contact Plumley at bplumley@regis.edu or at 303-964-3660.