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CDSC Events

Fall 2015: Survive & Thrive!

CDSC presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from a living legend:

Spring 2016 Class offered and taught by Rev. James Lawson!

Sign up to learn about Nonviolent Struggles, Civil Rights and Social Change with Rev. Lawson himself.

Sign up for COMS 400 C

Class #10547

Tuesdays 4:00-6:45 p.m.

Email: kathryn.sorrells@csun.edu for more information

November 4th, 4-6:45 p.m. Location USU Flintridge Room. Black Lives Matter Symposium and Workshop.

blm flier

Click this link for the full line up of CDSC Fall 2015 Events.

All events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Related Campus Events

Please send information on related campus events to sheena.malhotra@csun.edu


CDSC Sponsors at CSUN

Academic Departments:

Student Organizations




  • News Note: Pan African Studies has changed its name to Africana Studies.
    Students entering this fall may major in any one of three options:
    1. African and African American Social Sciences
    2. African and African American Humanities and Cultural Studies
    3. African American Urban Education.

    Students may also declare a minor in Africana Studies, or an African Studies Interdisciplinary minor.

  1. Videos of Rev. Lawson's Public Lectures 2010-11
  2. Videos of Student Marches and Protests
  3. Article on "Why Civil Resistance Works"

Education Protests

4. Game link on Civil Disobedience

5. Curricular Resources on Nonviolence

6. CDSC - Working Bibliography

7. Film Recommendations

8. Library Resources for Researching Civil Discourse & Social Change

9. Office of Student Affairs


Contact Information

The CDSC Initiative was co-founded by Marta López-Garza and Kathryn Sorrells in 2010 for the purpose of addressing student concerns regarding access to education, their future aspirations and larger issues of social justice. This year, it is co-directed by Aimee Carrillo Rowe and Marcella De Veaux

Aimee Carrillo Rowe
Dept: Communication Studies
Phone #:818 677-5378
Dept Office: MZ 353
Email: aimee.carrillo@csun.edu

Marcella (Marcy) De Veaux
Dept: Journalism
Phone #:818 677-3135
Dept Office: MZ 365
Email: marcella.deveaux@csun.edu

Previous Facilitators

Marta López-Garza (2010-14)

Chicana/o Studies & Gender and Women's Studies.
Chicana/o Studies Office Location: JR 121A
Gender and Women's Studies Office Location: JR 340
Office Phone Number: 818-677-4785
email: marta.lopez-garza@csun.edu

Kathryn Sorrells (2010-14)

Communication Studies
Office Location: MZ 344
Office Phone Number: 818-677-2104
email: kathryn.sorrells@csun.edu

Theresa White(2013-14)

Pan African Studies Department
Office Location:  SN 217  
Phone Number: (818) 677-6136  
Email: theresa.white@csun.edu,



Site Credits

Click here for Site Credits

Civil Discourse & Social Change: Vision Statement

Civil Discourse and Social Change (CDSC) is a campus-wide initiative that combines education, community involvement and sustained activism on issues around social justice and social change. The initiative operates under the auspices of the Provost, offering dynamic programming designed to provide social justice education opportunities to students and faculty.


CDSC Presents an exciting line up of Fall 2015 Events

flier of events for Fall 2015





The problem is not a budget crisis but a vision crisis.

Reverend James M. Lawson Jr.

Education Protests

Reverend James Lawson, a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King and a leading architect of the Civil Rights Movement, remains committed  to working closely with California State University, Northridge campus community on our Civil Discourse and Social Change Initiative. Devoting his life to nonviolent social change informed by the philosophy practiced by Mahatma Gandhi, Reverend Lawson, now in his eighties, reminds us that nonviolence does not mean passivism. Rather, nonviolent action means engendering another view of power—an alternative to violent, destructive power—where people power is used to create equity and justice.

Reverend Lawson's Bio

James Lawson was born in Pennsylvania in 1928. His father and grandfather were Methodist ministers, and Lawson received his local preacher's license in 1947, the year he graduated from high school. At his Methodist college in Ohio, he joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), America's oldest pacifist organization.

Rev. Lawson being arrested in Nashville during the civil rights struggle.

After spending time in prison for refusing the Korean War draft, he obtained his B.A. in 1952, and spent the next three years as a campus minister and teacher at Hislop College in Nagpur, India. While in India, Lawson eagerly read of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the emerging nonviolent resistance movement back in the United States.

By 1957, Lawson decided he could no longer sit on the sidelines. He began holding seminars to train volunteers in Gandhian tactics of nonviolent direct action. James Lawson helped coordinate the Freedom Rides in 1961 and the Meredith March in 1966, and played a major role in the sanitation workers strike of 1968. On the eve of his assassination, Martin Luther King called Lawson "the leading theorist and strategist of nonviolence in the world."

In 1974, Lawson moved to Los Angles to be the pastor of Holman Methodist Church. He spoke out against racism, and challenged the cold war and U.S. military involvement throughout the world. Even after his retirement, Lawson was protesting with the Janitors for Justice in Los Angeles, and with gay and lesbian Methodists in Cleveland.

Congressman John Lewis, and recent author of March Book 1 recounts his activists years in the Civil Rights Movement, and mentions our own Reverend James M. Lawson Jr. as one of the most influencial men in his life. Watch John Lewis’ interviews with Bill Moyers (Jul 26, 2013) and with National Public Radio (August 14).



Source: PBS website http://www.pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith/witnesses/james_lawson.html