“My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” | Encore Performance by Lanny Kaufer


Event Details



On Wednesday, January 23, at 7 p.m., to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jewish Community of Ojai (JCO) will host an encore performance by Lanny Kaufer of his musical multimedia presentation, “My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”  Kaufer will share the experiences he had in the Voting Rights Movement, including meeting and volunteering for Dr. King in the South in 1965, and share socially conscious music of the era. 

The presentation consists of a slideshow of approximately 200 slides, many of which have music embedded to represent the “soundtrack” of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. Kaufer also sings, raps, and plays guitar and harmonica to add more musical flavor to the program. 

The current presentation will be similar to one he gave for JCO in May, 2018, but will include new and updated content. Speaking as the son of a Holocaust refugee, Kaufer will discuss the little known influence of American anti-black racism on Adolf Hitler’s philosophy as well as share Jewish contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. JCO member Sharon West, who was at “Ole Miss” in 1962 when James Meredith became the first African-American student admitted to the segregated university, will introduce Lanny.

In 1964 Kaufer volunteered for Dr. King’s SCOPE Project (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) initiative designed by Dr. King to educate, organize, and register voters in the South just as the 1965 Voting Rights Act was passed.  He served in southern Virginia where he was fortunate to meet and shake hands with Dr. King after hearing one of his speeches. The local SCOPE Project which Kaufer and his team helped to establish was able to extend the hours of voter registration, register new voters, and launch an Improvement Association that is still going strong today. 

The event is free and open to the public with donations accepted. Jewish Community of Ojai is located at 530 W. El Roblar Drive in Meiners Oaks. For more information, please visit www.ojaitemple.org and select “Bulletin Board”.


Calendar Listing:

  • “My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” a musical multimedia presentation by Lanny Kaufer.
  • Jewish Community of Ojai, 530 W. El Roblar Dr., Meiners Oaks Wednesday, January 23, 2019.
  • Presentation begins at 7 p.m. Open to the public. Free admission with donations accepted. 
  • For info visit www.ojaitemple.org and select “Bulletin Board”

Biography of Lanny Kaufer

Lanny Kaufer is a musician, songwriter, retired Santa Paula High School teacher, and part-time university professor from Ojai, CA. The son of a Holocaust refugee, he was raised to respect all cultures and to stand up against prejudice and discrimination. Lanny has a long history as a non-violent social activist which began with his participation in the Free Speech Movement on University of California campuses in 1964. His commitment to social change became more serious when, as a freshman at UC Santa Barbara in the Fall of 1964, he heard Rev. Hosea Williams speak about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s new voter registration project scheduled for the summer of ’65. Lanny volunteered for the SCOPE Project (Summer Community Organization and Political Education), a Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) program designed to educate, organize, and register voters in the South just as the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Lanny served in southern Virginia where he was fortunate to meet and shake hands with Dr. King after hearing one of his speeches. The local SCOPE Project in which Lanny worked was able to extend the hours of voter registration, register voters, and establish an Improvement Association that is still going strong today. He was greatly inspired by the courage and determination of the local African-American community who took great risks to earn the right to vote.

After a 50-year reunion of the SCOPE Project in Atlanta in 2015, a non-profit organization was formed called SCOPE50. Lanny is a member of the Board of Directors of this group committed to continuing the voting rights work and education begun by Dr. King.

Today, Lanny and his wife Rondia are adult advisors of the Ojai Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Committee. Lanny is also a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. Committee of Ventura County, an associate member of Veterans for Peace, and a supporting member of Greenpeace, the Native American Rights Fund, the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, and other organizations dedicated to peace, social justice, and environmental restoration.

The experiences he had in 1965-66 in the Civil Rights Movement, his subsequent involvement in nonviolent social actions in the peace and environmental movements, and the music that accompanied those movements are the subjects of his musical multimedia presentations for schools, colleges, and community groups entitled “Martin Luther King and the Spirit of the ‘60s” and “My Summer Working for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Lanny is listed in the Veterans Roll Call on the Civil Rights Movement Veterans website at www.crmvet.org/vet/vethome.htm – vets-k. His article on the UC Santa Barbara SCOPE Project is at www.crmvet.org/nars/kaufer1.htm.

Other Internet links about Lanny Kaufer:

www.reverbnation.com/lannykaufer

www.scope50.org/your-story


Get Citizensjournal.us Headlines free  SUBSCRIPTION. Keep us publishing – DONATE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *