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Richard Lawrence, a retired Methodist clergyman whose ministry is committed to social justice, organized and has served as the first chair of the San Diego Affordable Housing Coalition for nearly 10 years. The Affordable Housing Coalition is an active member of ACCORD (A Community Coalition for Responsible Development), and Richard led negotiations on the housing component in the recently negotiated Community Benefits Agreement with JMI. He is an adjunct faculty member at Springfield College (San Diego Campus) and the Western Institute for Social Research in Berkeley.
Richard graduated from Albion College in Michigan with a BA and secondary teaching certificate in English, German and social studies. He has a Masters Degree in social ethics from the University of Chicago and completed the post-graduate Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School.
During the civil rights movement, he took an interracial group of students from Chicago to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march; and he was a member of the local leadership that worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the two-month, open-housing campaign in the summer of 1966 . He has contributed leadership to dozens of community organizations including: Chair of Negotiations for Operation Breadbasket (PUSH) � Chicago, the Englewood Action Committee � Chicago, Cummins Engine Foundation Minority Community Development Program - Chicago, Greater Lawrence (MA) Community Foundation, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO - NYC), the Chicago and National Black United Funds.
Richard's campaign for alderman in Chicago in 1972 was unsuccessful. He was elected in 1994 to two terms on the Lawrence (MA) City Council; then lost a run for mayor of Lawrence in 1997. Richard moved to San Diego in 1998 to retire and enjoy time with the San Diego wing of his large, extended family. He is a founding member and director of Info Power to the People.
"Richard Lawrence Day" was declared by the City of San Diego on December 5th 2006. He was most recently honored as a "Nonviolent Revolutionary" at the "Footsoldier Reunion" during the 50th Anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" in Selma, Albama. Richard's autobiography, "Light, Bright, Damn Near White: Stories and Reflections of a Multi-racial Black Man's Battles with Racism in America", is available through the WISR (Western Institute for Social Research).