AUBURN — The Auburn Public Library and Lewiston-Auburn Senior College have announced the start of the May lineup of the Curious Minds Lecture Series. Attorney Leonard Sharon and activist Ray Luc Levasseur will discuss the intersection between the law and social movements.
It will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, at the Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring St.
In the 1960s and 1970s, the Civil Rights movement and anti-war movements were in full force. The term “movement lawyer” was coined to describe the lawyers and legal workers who not only represented the protesters in court, but who were also active participants. The tradition of “movement” law continues today with projects such as the Black Movement Law Project.
Sharon and Levasseur will talk about their experiences during the 1960s and 1970s and the importance of legal protections for those who protest.
Sharon is an attorney with a multi-state, federal and criminal defense practice centered in Androscoggin County. Known as Lenny to his clients and friends, Sharon is a defense attorney who has represented hundreds of people in courtrooms throughout New England as well as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Kansas and South Dakota. He is a past professor at the University of Maine Law School where he taught evidence and negotiations, and is a frequent speaker on the topic of criminal defense. He is a member of the Maine and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
Levasseur, a former political prisoner who spent more than 15 years in solitary confinement, was raised in Maine and born to a working-class family of Quebecois origin. He became politically radicalized about race and class at a young age, first after serving a term of duty in Vietnam, and again after he spent two years in a Tennessee prison. After his release in 1971, Levasseur worked with Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), as well as a prisoners’ rights group Statewide Correctional Alliance for Reform (SCAR). In 1975, Levasseur and several others founded the United Freedom Front.
The Curious Minds Lecture series is a joint partnership with the Lewiston-Auburn Senior College. The partnership brings several speakers on a wide variety of topics.
To find out more about the Senior College, visit usm.maine.edu/seniorcollege or attend one of the lectures. All of the lectures are free to the public.