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Meet Lawrence Hamm

Early Life

Raised in Newark New Jersey, he attended public schools and emerged at age 17 as a forceful and articulate spokesperson for the educational needs and aspirations of Newark students and the community.

Lawrence Hamm has been a relentless advocate for African-Americans and the cause of human rights and civil rights for all oppressed people for more than 48 years.

Raised in Newark New Jersey, he attended public schools and emerged at age 17 as a forceful and articulate spokesperson for the educational needs and aspirations of Newark students and the community. He was appointed to the Newark Board of Education, making him at that time the youngest voting school board member in the United States.

Mr. Hamm is in demand as a public speaker and has addressed audiences throughout the United States and in other countries.  He is the proud father of three daughters, Laini, Nia, and Imani, all of whom are college graduates.

Education

He received his bachelor’s degree and graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 1978.  While at Princeton University Larry was an organizer of the campus anti-apartheid movement. He organized daily student protests and a sit-in of more than 200 students calling attention to Princeton’s financial investment in apartheid South Africa. These protests, and the rising tide of public indignation, resulted in Princeton University’s divestment in the apartheid South African economy.

His impact as a student activist at Princeton is chronicled in the documentary film, “Blacks at Princeton.”  He was given the honor of Addressing the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid.  

Upon graduation, he received various awards at Princeton for his activism and humanitarian efforts.  He also has a master’s degree in business administration.

CAREER

After graduation, Mr. Hamm returned to Newark and has been active in the struggle for human and civil rights for more than 30 years.

He has served as president of the 24th District Assembly, founder and director of the People’s Energy Cooperative, a community fuel oil cooperative, Director of the Community Organization Program of the United Church of Christ, Commission for Racial Justice, a leader in the New Jersey Anti-Apartheid Coalition, co-chairman of Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in New Jersey, president of the New Jersey Rainbow Coalition, coordinator of the Malcolm X Commemoration Coalition, chairman of the New Jersey Million Man March Coalition, and president of the New Jersey Chapter of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials.

people's organization for progress (pop)

He is a founder and current Chairman of the People’s Organization For Progress (POP), a statewide, independent, grass roots organization. POP works for racial, social, economic justice and peace. As Chairman, he has consistently worked toward building unity among community organizations.

The struggle for quality education, employment opportunities, access to health care and against racial profiling and police brutality continues through the efforts of its Chairman and the activism of the organization’s members.  Under his leadership, POP conducted a 381-day campaign of daily protests for jobs, peace, equality, and justice.

Currently, he has been leading POP’s Justice Mondays protests against police brutality  at the federal building in Newark every Monday for the past 100 weeks.

POLITICS

Larry Hamm is quoted in the press, and interviewed on television and radio.  His activities have also been discussed in several books including Nation Within A Nation by Komozi Woodard and Crashing The Party by Ralph Nader.  He has appeared in documentary films, including “Revolution 67,” which focuses on the 1967 Newark Rebellion.

awards

Over the years he has received many leadership and service awards.  

More recently in 2015, Mr. Hamm received the Key To The City Of Newark from Mayor Ras Baraka. In 2016, he was a National Education Association Human And Civil Rights Award Winner, receiving the organization’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Award. In 2017, he was placed on “The 2017 INSIDERNJ 100: Power” list of influential people in New Jersey.

In 2018, he was included on InsiderNJ’s African-American Political Power List In Honor Of Black History Month. Also, in 2018 he was the recipient of the Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. Black History Month Award.

In 2019, he has been included on “The 2019 INSIDERNJ 100: Power” list. And he has once again been included on InsiderNJ’s African-American Political Power List In Honor Of Black History Month.