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Civil Rights, Labor Activist to Speak at Juniata

(Posted October 13, 2003)

HUNTINGDON, PA. -- A longtime activist in the civil rights and labor movements will speak at Juniata College on how some of the lessons the United States learned in the Vietnam War could have informed the country?s understanding of the current crisis in Iraq, at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 21 in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science Center on the Juniata campus.

Staughton Lynd, a retired lawyer and activist, will lecture on ?Vietnam and Iraq? His lecture is part of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies Lecture Series.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

Lynd has been an activist for more than 60 years. He served as director of the Freedom Schools as part of the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964, putting Lynd and other volunteers at the center of the then-emerging civil rights movement. Before volunteering in the civil rights movement, Lynd taught history at the historically black Spelman College in Atlanta, Ga.

Lynd earned a bachelor?s degree from Harvard University and went on to earn a master?s degree and doctorate from Columbia University. In the fall of 1964, Lynd accepted a teaching position from Yale University and became immersed in the growing antiwar movement.

He chaired the first march against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. in 1965. In 1965 Lynd and other activists made a trip to Hanoi in North Vietnam on a mission to clarify the peace terms of the Vietnamese government and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam.

When he returned to the United States, his teaching position at Yale had ended and he could not find employment as a history professor. He entered law school at the University of Chicago, graduating in 1976. He worked as a lawyer for Northeast Ohio Legal Services in Youngstown, Ohio. In his tenure as a lawyer he fought to keep steel mills in Youngstown from closing and represented union workers as well.

Lynd and his wife, Alice, have collaborated on editing four books: ?Rank and File: Personal Histories by Working Class Organizers;? ?Homeland: Oral Histories of Palestine and Palestinians;? ?America: A Documentary History;? and ?The New Rank and File.?

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.