ashland.news
May 23, 2024

Noted activist, teacher and author to give two talks in Ashland

George Lakey speaking at CU Boulder.
March 7, 2023

George Lakey to appear at Peace House on Tuesday afternoon, UCC in the evening

Longtime activist, teacher and author George Lakey will give two talks during his visit to Ashland on Tuesday, March 7. Lakey will share stories and effective strategies included in his new book, “Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice.”

“We are thrilled George Lakey will take the time to meet with us in Ashland,” said Elizabeth Hallett, executive director of Peace House. “He has been at the forefront of nonviolent movements that have changed the fabric of our society, including in the early days of LGBT liberation, and key moments in the nonviolent struggles against war and racism. George Lakey has much to offer us from his vast experience.”

The cover of George Lakey’s new book.

“Dancing with History,” Lakey’s latest book, reads like a memoir but it is more than that. The master storyteller offers insights into strategies and tactics that have secured significant victories across a range of movements, including civil rights and BIPOC, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment. After coming out gay in public in 1972, the author took bold actions to advocate with his community in Philadelphia. The life of the author is also the subject of a full-length documentary film in production directed by Glenn Holsten.

One of the most memorable events documented in the book includes an inside look into the historic action where Lakey and fellow activists sailed a boat filled with supplies to a Buddhist anti-war movement in North Vietnam. Through this and other stories, the author weaves together a powerful narrative as an alternative to many recollections of the past. 

“’Dancing with History’ is an alternative to the temptation to resist history, reciting grim news, promoting anxiety,” stated Lakey in the introduction to the new book. “Resisting reality keeps us stuck. Accept reality, and then work with it, or, accept the invitation to dance with it.”

“As we face grave consequences in our world right now, we also have an unprecedented opportunity for change,” continued Hallett. “George Lakey can help us here in the Rogue Valley in a path toward that change.”

The stop in Ashland is one of dozens hosted by peace and justice organizations along the route of George Lakey’s tour across the country. To read more about the tour and George Lakey’s column visit WagingNonviolence.org.

The events will take place at 2 p.m. at Peace House, at 523 S. Mountain Avenue, and at 7 p.m. at United Congregational Church, 717 Siskiyou Blvd. in Ashland. Both events will be available online. Email editor@peacehouse.net for more information.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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