Our Namesake

 Rev. Addie Wyatt

Rev. Addie Wyatt

The Addie Wyatt Center for Nonviolence Training is named after the late Chicagoan Rev. Dr. Addie L. Wyatt (March 8, 1924 – March 28, 2012), a noted labor, religious and civil rights leader.  As a union leader, Rev. Wyatt fought for principles of worker rights, such as equal pay for equal work and leadership roles for minorities and women.  She was the first female president of a local chapter of the United Packinghouse Workers of America. Wyatt worked with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and endured violent opposition during marches with King in Chicago in the 1960s. She was a member of the Action Committee during the Chicago Freedom Movement and she and her husband were founding members of Operation Breadbasket, the economic arm of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Instructional materials are being developed so that school children can learn about the significance of Rev. Wyatt's life.

Co-Founders and Trainers  

Pam Smith is Executive Director and Senior Trainer. She is a public historian and long-time Chicago consultant for nonprofit organizations. Her team conducted the feasibility study that set the stage for the Chicago Freedom School. Pam has worked with many youth groups in the city and served as a senior press aide to Jesse Jackson in his 1988 presidential bid and to Barack Obama in his primary campaign for US Senate. Pam teaches U.S. history at National Louis University and is coeditor of The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North.  pam@addiewyattcenter.org


Mary Lou Finley, PhD is co-founder of the Addie Wyatt Center, Senior Advisor and Senior Trainer. Mary Lou served on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s Chicago Project in 1965–1966 as secretary to the Reverend James Bevel. She is a sociologist and Professor Emeritus at Antioch University Seattle. She is a contributor to Chicago, 1966 and coauthor with Bill Moyer and two others of Doing Democracy: The MAP Model for Organizing Social Movements. Mary Lou is lead editor of The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. maryloufinley@gmail.com

Sherrilynn J. Bevel, PhD is Curriculum Associate and Senior Trainer. She is a political scientist and has engaged in human and community development for more than 30 years. Her work has included directing civic participation and democratization projects, providing technical support, and making presentations in the United States, East Africa, and Europe for universities and nongovernmental organizations. Sherri teaches courses in politics, human rights, and nonviolence, currently at DePaul University. She is a contributor to The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. sherribevel@gmail.com

Gail Schechter is Advocacy Associate and Senior Trainer. She has been a leader in advocacy for fair and affordable housing, discrimination investigation, tenant and community organizing, public school funding reform, and public policy research and development since 1984. For more than 20 years she served as executive director of Open Communities, the not-for-profit housing, economic, and social justice organization descended from the North Shore Summer Project. Gail is a consultant, grant writer and  a contributor to The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. ghschechter@gmail.com

Movement Veterans


Bernard LaFayette Jr. is a civil rights leader, past Distinguished Senior Scholar-in-Residence Emeritus at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, chair of the national board of SCLC, author of In Peace and Freedom: My Journey in Selma and coeditor of The Chicago Freedom Movement: Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism in the North. He is co-developer of the Kingian Nonviolence curriculum, founder of the Kingian Nonviolence training program at the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island, and he offers Kingian Nonviolence trainings in the US and abroad. LaFayette developed the Kingian Nonviolence curriculum in collaboration with David Jehnsen, working closely with Coretta Scott King.  


David C. Jehnsen has been a social change activist, organizer and educator with emphasis on special projects and systems related to nonviolence and social responsibility since the 1960s.  He has worked closely with Bernard LaFayette since 1964, and co-authored the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation curriculum and Leaders Manual. David has offered extensive trainings in Kingian Nonviolence both in the US and internationally for more than three decades. In 1962, his participation in the Albany, Georgia Movement as part of a delegation of interfaith leaders launched his work with Dr. King’s campaigns, which he continued through 1968.

Guest Trainers

Tiffany Childress Price is senior Kingian Nonviolence trainer, a science teacher and the Civic Engagement Director at North Lawndale College Prep High School. She has focused most of her work on job creation for youth, youth leadership development, education, and community safety initiatives.  In 2009, Childress Price introduced Kingian Nonviolence trainings at her school. In 2012, she was recognized as an Upstander by Facing History and Ourselves. She and the group of student leaders with whom she works–the Peace Warriors–were recognized for their innovative nonviolence work in a public high school.  Born on the West Side of Detroit, raised in Los Angeles and Cincinnati, OH, she has been a resident of the Greater Lawndale area for the past 14 years.

Kazu Haga is senior Kingian Nonviolence trainer based in Oakland, Calif. Born in Japan, he has been involved in many social change movements since he was 17. He conducts regular Kingian Nonviolence trainings with youth, incarcerated populations and activists. Kazu is the founder and coordinator of East Point Peace Academy, and is on the board of Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, PeaceWorkers and the OneLife Institute. Kazu helps to train students at North Lawndale College Prep and youth workers throughout Chicago with the Addie Wyatt Center.

Victoria Christgau is senior Kingian Nonviolence trainer and founder and Executive Director of the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence. She is also a Teaching and Performing Artist with the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism/Arts Division, and a Peace/Arts Educator for over 25 years. Victoria presents peace and Kingian Nonviolence training programs, lectures and gives Freedom Song workshops and residencies across the nation. Ms. Christgau is a recipient of the Hartford Courant’s 2010 Tapestry Diversity Award. She works closely Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. in Kingian Nonviolence training.

  Martin Luther King Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence performed as a song

Martin Luther King Jr.’s six principles of nonviolence performed as a song