“We citizens have to take the future of our country into our own hands. There’s no one to solve the problems of our country and our world anymore except us.”
That was the message Friday night to 1,500 of us at the national Call to Action conference, called “Justice Rising,” in Louisville, Ky., from civil rights leader Diane Nash. Use the power of nonviolence and get to work, she said.
For my part in the weekend, I led a daylong workshop on the resurrection accounts of Jesus and their connection with our work for peace and justice. One hundred fifty of us wrestled with the texts and came away with new hope to carry on our work for justice and peace by keeping our eyes on the peacemaking Jesus, welcoming his resurrection gift of peace, becoming people of active nonviolence and resisting the culture of war, violence and death. Nash’s evening lecture not only confirmed our reflections, but challenged us further.
A native of Chicago, Nash enrolled at Fisk University in Nashville in 1959 and was shocked by the reality of segregation. She decided to try to do something about it, but was told by friends not to cause trouble. There’s nothing that can be done, they said. Then she discovered that the Rev. Jim Lawson was holding weekly classes nearby on the practice of nonviolence…