It was a rousing, inspirational evening at the Jacobs Center on Euclid Avenue to celebrate the National Action Network's "Revival of the Movement." On the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's death, Professor Maurice Dyson of Thomas Jefferson School of Law addressed "the need for a revival of justice, a revival of love, and spiritual resistance" to racial animosity. Professor Dyson quoted Dr. King’s eloquent words: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that."
Thanking Reverend Al Sharpton, Reverend Shane Harris, President of the San Diego Chapter of NAN, and Reverend Jared Moten, the local chapter Vice President, Professor Dyson noted that the nation is in need of more moral leadership of their kind. Professor Dyson stated, "God corrects those whom He loves. Love is correction--and this nation is in need of a course correction--it is in need of love in action." Reverend Sharpton spoke of the need for unity among whites, the LGBT community, immigrants, and the poor to stand up for what is right against those who would serve to protect the business interests of gun manufacturers over the interest of children's safety. "The issue is not about a mentally ill person, but why a mentally ill person can get an AR-15." He called upon the audience to get involved, and to figure out what their purpose is in life.
Several honorees were acknowledged. The family of a San Diego police shooting, the Olangos, were honored for their advocacy with the Transformers Award, Estela De Los Rios with the Founders Award, and Attorney Dan Gilliam with the Vanguard Award. Congressman Scott Peters spoke emotionally about his own personal experience, and citation awards were given to Reverend Sharpton and the local NAN San Diego Chapter. NAN also received a citation from Representative Juan Vargas who could not be present but acknowledged the important work of NAN. Professor Dyson thanked NAN for their advocacy to find solutions for the homeless, foster care children and to increase the number of PERT (psychological emergency response team) clinicians in San Diego that can help assist police in encounters with the mentally ill in order to de-escalate conflict and save lives. Professor Dyson is the Co-Founder and Director of the CLIMB Program, the educational pipeline program sponsored by Thomas Jefferson School of Law and the Crawford H.S. Legal Academy. He is also the CEO and Founder of the Justice Now For All Network, an organization which promotes criminal justice reform and use of force accountability. Professor Dyson remains in private practice at the Dyson Law Firm, a civil rights practice that represents victims of brutality and discrimination.