Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr. played key roles in the civil rights movement. Lawson studied the Gandhian movement in India as a young man. He helped organize sit-ins by African American students in the late 1950s, which led to the end of racial segregation of lunch counters in downtown Nashville. He also served as director of non-violent education for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and was involved in other civil rights struggles including the Birmingham Campaign of 1963 and the Mississippi Freedom Summer of 1964. The James M. Lawson, Jr. Papers can be viewed in Special Collections and University Archives.