Soulforce Applauds Rev. James Lawson蔘サs Return to Vanderbilt University

For Immediate Release
Contact: Paige Schilt, Media Director
Cell: 512-659-1771

(Austin, TX) – In response to the news that Rev. James M. Lawson has been appointed as a Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University, Soulforce board chair Chuck Phelan expressed Soulforce’s support: "we are thrilled to see that Rev. James Lawson has been welcomed back to Vanderbilt 46 years after the university expelled him for his role in the lunch counter sit-ins."

As a divinity student at Vanderbilt, Mr. Lawson led workshops on nonviolence and played a pivotal role in the campaign to de-segregate Nashville’s lunch counters. Lawson was expelled for his activism in 1960, but he remained a leader in civil rights movements.

According to Phelan, in recent years "Lawson has been a loyal supporter of Soulforce" and civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. James Lawson’s brother, Rev. Phil Lawson, currently serves on the Soulforce board of directors.

Says Phelan, "we look forward to a future day when our society fully welcomes LGBT people in the same way Vanderbilt is welcoming James Lawson."

Soulforce’s purpose is freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from religious and political oppression through the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance. For more information go to