Waynesburg University’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration will be held Monday, Jan. 19, at 11 a.m. in Roberts Chapel. Charles DiSalvo, the Woodrow A. Potesta Professor of Law at West Virginia University, will present the convocation. Admission is free, and the public is cordially invited to attend.
DiSalvo teaches one of the few law school courses in the United States on civil disobedience. He has represented civil disobedients in state and federal trial and appellate courts, written widely on the subject of civil disobedience and the law, and lectured on the subject here and abroad. He is an expert on Mohandas Gandhi’s law practice. (Before he took up the cause of Indian independence from British rule, Gandhi served as an attorney in South Africa from 1893 to 1911 – a time during which Gandhi invented and experimented with his philosophy of nonviolence.)
DiSalvo has recently published a book on Gandhi’s life as a lawyer in which he argues that Gandhi was led into civil disobedience by the failures of the South African legal system.
He was educated at St. John Fisher College (B.A., history), Claremont Graduate School (M.A., East Asian studies), and the University of Southern California (J.D.), where he was a member of the Southern California Law Review. Upon his graduation from law school, he was awarded a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellowship to practice poverty law for the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky.
He is the co-founder of the West Virginia Fund for Law in the Public Interest.