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U.S. Consulate General Hosts American Scholar Clayborne Carson

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JERUSALEM, February 26, 2010 (WAFA)- Dr. Clayborne Carson, an American professor of history at Stanford University in California, scholar on Martin Luther King, Jr., and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement, visited the West Bank on a U.S. Department of State-funded program to commemorate the annual February celebration of African-American History Month. 

Several Palestinian civil society organizations and institutions hosted Dr. Carson for lectures and roundtable discussions about nonviolent resistance and civic engagement from February 22-24, 2010.

Dr. Carson joined prominent leaders in the Palestinian nonviolence movement, social and political activists, community and religious leaders, students and academics at events in Bethlehem, Ramallah, Hebron, and Jerusalem.  Topics included the history of nonviolent activism during the American Civil Rights Movement, the role and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the potential of proven nonviolence tactics to achieve social and political change in general and in Palestine.

In his discussions, Dr. Carson noted that, “the question of whether nonviolence can really bring about change is present in every struggle, and I asked myself the same question during the African-American struggle in the 1960s.  But I ask everyone to consider the benefit it serves in bringing all sectors of the population into the movement – women, children, and the elderly.  This has greater mass appeal than armed conflict, and that is why I advocate for nonviolence as an effective vehicle to bring about change.”

U.S. Consulate General Public Affairs Officer Frank Finver said, “The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem is proud to have sponsored Dr. Carson’s visit to the Palestinian Territories.  His vast knowledge about nonviolence movements in the U.S. and around the world, plus his personal experiences on the front lines of the American Civil Rights Movement, make him uniquely qualified to advise Palestinians who are interested in bringing about change in their communities through peaceful means.”

Dr. Carson’s lecture series is one of many programs sponsored by the U.S. Consulate General throughout the year in the arts, culture, and education.  These programs engage Palestinians in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza and promote dialogue and mutual understanding between Palestinians and Americans.

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