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PPWN HAS A NEW WEBSITE!!!
PLEASE CHANGE YOUR BOOKMARKS AND VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE AT:
We will no longer be updating this site.
To our Beloved Community,
And we thought 2012 was a big year.
Barely five months into 2013, PPWN has already directly exposed close to 500 individuals in Kingian Nonviolence. We partnered with Selma’s Freedom Foundation to offer a three-week Alternative Spring Break program for 250 college students. We hosted a concert, “Rock the Movement,” featuring Hip Hop artists Talib Kweli and Jasiri X. We partnered with Christian Peacemaker Teams for our first fundraising event. We helped Dr. LaFayette receive UC Irvine’s Citizen Leadership Award, an honor he shared with the Dalai Lama and President Jimmy Carter.
And we’re just getting started. As you read this letter, Jonathan is in Medellin, Colombia conducing a Level I training for a group of Hip Hop artists and youth workers, and I am heading to Tokyo, Japan to participate in an international interfaith event and speaking in front of Japanese youth.
This summer, we will certify over 100 youth to become peer educators in Kingian Nonviolence, and they will be working with our local partners to create a culture of peace in their communities all year. Read the rest of this entry »
Globe was watching “Survivor” the other day on the computer, and I had mentioned that I still had never seen single episode of that show. So when we got back to the house later that night, we put it on the TV. At one point two of the contestants were having a heated debate (of course they were, It’s a reality show). One of them said to the other, “please don’t yell at me,” to which the other replied back aggressively, “I’m not yelling at you!”
And technically that contestent was right, he wasn’t “yelling.”
The dictionary defines “yelling” as to “utter a loud cry.” And this character wasn’t being loud. His volume wasn’t high. But his tone was aggressive, his language was sharp, and the tension in the conversation had clearly escalated.
You can “yell” without “yelling.” You can “yell” without raising your voice. And yes, I’m saying the dictionary is wrong.
“Stop yelling.” I’m sure we’ve probably all had that said to us. And I’m sure there are plenty of times that we didn’t feel like we were yelling, so we responded with a sharp (and quiet), “I’m not yelling!” I know I have.
And as I think about it, in many of those cases I was technically right. I rarely “yell.” I have a loud voice naturally as people who know me know, but I don’t “utter a loud cry” very often.
But conflict can escalate even if the volume doesn’t. Even if you’re talking in a whisper, depending on the tone of the conversation it can feel like you’re being yelled at. And it can be annoying to be accused of being yelled at when you technically aren’t. When I feel like I’m being falsely accused of yelling, I often times end up escalating the conflict even more by responding back, “I’m not yelling!”
And I usually whisper it really loudly.
Often times when people accuse each other of yelling, they’re not actually talking about the volume, they’re not talking about the dictionary definition of “yelling.” They’re not accusing you of raising your volume, they’re accusing you of raising the level of conflict from a normal level to a pervasive level. They’re not asking you to lower your volume, they’re asking you to lower the level of conflict.
It could be tone. It could be language. It could be body motion or posture. It could be about interrupting each other and not listening. It could be about one person standing up, or stepping closer to the other. It could be about facial expressions. There are many ways for conflict to escalate, and volume is just one of them. There are many ways to be aggressive, and any of them can cause fear and/or harm. Any one of them can make someone feel like they’re being yelled at.
So next time I feel like I’m being falsely accused of yelling, I’m going to try to take a deep breath and reflect on Survivor. Maybe I am “yelling,” even if I’m whispering.
Many folks have been asking us how our work is going in the jails and prisons. Due to some changes in regulations, we have not been able to take pictures inside as freely as we had been in the past, so we have not been able to share images of our work. But the amazing, inspiring stories continue to flow.
We are excited to start thinking about moving into the next phase of our work inside – certifying men and women to become presenters in Kingian Nonviolence, so that they can become peer educators and help us with the workshops. We will be sharing more on that work later, but in the meantime we wanted to share with you a few of the most inspiring stories we’ve seen recently.
Recently, I had the honor of bringing in author/poet/activist Luis Rodriguez into the San Bruno County Jail and to San Quentin State Penitentiary to share some of his work and talk to the guys.
For those who may not know, Luis is a man who has gone through many of the challenges that these men have gone through. In his own words, he has been involved with gangs, battled addiction for years, served time, has a son who served 15 years, has shot at people, been shot at…..
Yet he was able to turn his life around to become an incredible peace activist, mentor to countless youth, an internationally known poet and best selling author. I knew his life story would really connect with the men we’ve been working with, and it was a real treat and an honor for all of us, myself included, to be able to spend time with such an inspiring man. I encourage everyone to check out his work here. Read the rest of this entry »
At the end of January, PPWN was able to join our chair Dr. Bernard Lafayette at the University of CA Irvine, as he received the prestigious Citizen Peacebuilding Award, an honor that has previously gone to the Dalai Lama, President Jimmy Carter, and Mikhail Gorbachev. During the trip, we were able to help with two workshops, one for students and another for faculty, and Doc was able to present to two classes in addition to the evening event where he received the award.
UCI seems very interested in exploring what it might mean for them to institutionalize Kingian Nonviolence on their campus. We are grateful to all the students and faculty that made this all possible, especially student leader and Kingian Nonviolence trainer Angelina Dayfallah, who took the lead in organizing all of the events. We look forward to working with UCI in the future to continue to expand our Beloved Community!
Check out videos of Doc’s presentations below.
More People! More Power!! More Progress!!!
“Now, Bernard, the next movement we’re going to have is to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.”
It was a comment made almost in passing. Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., then the national coordinator for the Poor People’s Campaign, was walking out of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s motel room in Memphis, Tenn.
Dr. Lafayette figured this was a conversation that they would finish later, and he walked out of the room and headed to Washington, D.C., to attend a press conference. But the two would never go on to finish that discussion; five hours later, Dr. King was assassinated.
Dr. Lafayette was determined to not let Dr. King’s vision die with him. He took those last words, “institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence,” as what he has since called his “final marching orders” and has been working ever since to accomplish just that.
In the late 1980s, Dr. Lafayette joined forces with David Jehnsen, another activist who was involved in the civil rights movement and was responsible for drafting the first proposal for the U.S. Institute of Peace. Together, they created the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation training curriculum. READ THE REST OF THIS STORY AT WAGINGNONVIOLENCE.ORG
Today, January 15th, would have marked Dr. Martin Luther King’s 84th birthday. I find myself wondering how things might be different if he were still with us today. But while his heart may have stopped beating in 1968, his legacy continues to live with us today. His dream is far from being realized, and it’s up to all of us to ensure that one day, we will reach the Beloved Community he spoke so passionately about.
As the nation moves into a week filled with activities, ceremonies and events organized in his honor, let’s remind ourselves of what Dr. King really stood for. If we are going to continue to use his name and image as a moral compass for this nation, we owe it to him to never forget what his real legacy is.
While it is great that many communities will come together over this weekend to celebrate, to participate in neighborhood clean up projects and other activities as part of the “Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service,” I can’t help but think what he would have thought of people cleaning up trash from the streets in his memory as homeless people sleep on those same sidewalks. What would he have thought of us celebrating the work he did in the 60s as young people are being murdered in the streets today? What would he have said about big banks and corporations spending lavishly to build him statues while kicking people out of their homes, or of McDonalds celebrating Black History while poisoning the community?
Not all of those things are “bad” things. People should be beautifying our neighborhoods, corporations should be honoring the legacy of great leaders of the past. But if that’s all we do when we think of King, we are doing him, and the nation a disservice.
Today, tomorrow, and every day from this point on, let us remind ourselves what King really stood for, and let’s commit ourselves to being a part of his living legacy.
King was not simply a “nice” person who wanted all people to get along. He was a fierce organizer who was not afraid of confrontation. He was not only a man who had some wonderful dream one night, but a man who had the courage and the audacity to take to the streets and demand justice. He was a man who called his government the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world” and wanted to see a movement that was “nonviolent, but militant, and as dramatic, as dislocative, as disruptive, as attention-getting as the riots.”
If we are to ever get anywhere close to seeing his dream come to reality, we must never water down his message. We must always have the courage to stand up and speak out against all forms of injustice, no matter where it is coming from. That is how we will honor his legacy. And that is how we should celebrate his birthday.
We need to shift how his Holiday is framed and celebrated. It is not enough to have a “day of service.” No, we need to demand a “day of justice.” And in our struggle for justice, let us also keep in mind that King reminded all of us that Agape, unconditional love for humanity, is the most powerful weapon at our disposal. As radical and as militant as his politics and tactics were at times, it was always grounded in the power of love.
I want to leave folks with this, a video of Dr. King’s favorite singer, Mahalia Jackson, singing Precious Lord, Take My Hand. After he was shot in Memphis, his last words were to musician Ben Branch, who was at King’s side. He said, ”Ben, make sure you play ‘Take My Hand, Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”
I sorta agree with Mike Huckabee. There, I said it.
If you haven’t already heard, former Presidential candidate and current Fox News personality Mike Huckabee caused a minor uproar for some comments he made last week in response to the shooting in Newtown, CT.
Appearing on Fox News, Huckabee said that part of the reason for the violence in our school systems is that we have “systematically removed God from our schools.”
And, understandably, many people came out and criticized him for making such comments.
But I sort of agree with Huckabee. Sort of.
I’ve been struggling with this for a few days and I recently saw a post from a Facebook friend expressing similar thoughts, so I thought I’d put mine down on paper (also known as a laptop) to see if I can make more sense of it. So hear me out.
Huckabee went on to say that our school systems have become “a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability.”
“People are going to want to pass new laws,” he continued. “This is a heart issue… laws don’t change this kind of thing.”
Speaking as a non-Christian Read the rest of this entry »
As you know, we just announced our upcoming Advanced Training in January. By participating in this 5-day training, you will be able to assist trainers in presenting sections of the Kingian Nonviolence training curriculum.
Several people have already expressed interest in this training, but we need EVERYONE’s help to make it happen! We have just launched our first online fundraising campaign through IndieGogo. Every dollar we raise on this site will go to supporting scholarships for this training.
Please help us out by donating and spreading the word about our IndieGogo campaign with your friends on Facebook or by sending an email to your friends. And remember, with the $10,000 matching challenge from PeaceWorkers, each dollar you give will count twice.
Thank you all for your support!
Boycott Violence! Invest in Peace!!!
Greetings to our Beloved Community!
Over this past year, many of you (over 1,000 and counting!) participated in one of our many two-day workshops, which is an introduction into the philosophy of Kingian Nonviolence. And many of you have reached out to us since then to ask the question, “so what’s next?” “How can I learn more,” and “how do I become a trainer?”
We are thrilled to hear about people’s interest in studying more about this philosophy, and the reality is is that we need you. We need more and more people to have the capacity to educate others about King’s vision of building a nonviolent society. And as our own work expands in the local jails and with community and youth
groups throughout the country, we need to expand our team to meet the demand for our work.
We are happy to announce two upcoming oppurtunities for you to go through the next stages of training!
This January in Oakland, CA, we will be hosting a 5-day Advanced Training, which will take place over two weekends. We will begin with full day sessions on Saturday and Sunday, January 12th and 13th, and continue into Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, training all day from the 19th – 21st of January. This will include a “field trip” on the 19th, attending a workshop and panel discussion hosted at the Church of Fellowship, a church founded by King’s mentor Howard Thurman as the country’s first fully integrated, multi-cultural church (more on that below).
After participating in this advanced training, participants will be certified as Kingian Co-Presenters. This means that you will be able to facilitate certain portions of the two-day curriculum, and be able to assist full time trainers during presentations in the jails and our in the community. CLICK HERE to find out more about this oppurtunity.
Also, this coming August in Selma, Alabama, PPWN will be partnering with the Freedom Foundation to host a full, two-week Level I Certified Training. This intensive, held from August 5th through the 16th, will certifiy you to present the entire two-day introductory workshop in Kingian Nonviolence. Through participation in lots of small group work, research projects, role plays, lectures, video presentations and other activities, you will be fully briefed in the philosophy of Kingian Nonviolene and the history of the movement from which it was born.
This will also be an oppurtunity for you to learn directly from Dr. Bernard Lafayette, who was one of the first national organizers to work in Selma. It is a great chance for you to learn the history of the movement there from one of the people who led the organizing in that very city. CLICK HERE to find out more about this oppurtunity.
Participation is limited in both trainings, so please register early. Even if you are not able to participate in the actual trainings, you will be receiving updates soon about how you can still contribute to these trainings, and to the expansion of our Beloved Community. Stay tuned.
And make sure to check out two more upcoming events in the Bay Area!
On Saturday January 19th, come celebrate the Martin Luther King Day Weekend with PPWN, Occupy Be the Change Caucus, and the Church for Fellowship of All Peoples, the country’s first fully integrated, multi-cultural church founded by King’s Mentor Howard Thurman. Panelists include PPWN’s own Kazu Haga. CLICK HERE for more.
And save the date for Friday, February 1st as PPWN partners with Christian Peacemaker Teams to host a production of Ted & Company’s “Peace, Pies and Prophets: Who Wants to Buy An Enemy?” This is a comedic theater piece that explores how society uses fear to control us. This will be a joint fundraiser for PPWN and CPT. More details to come, CLICK HERE for more about the play.
We look forward to continuing to build with each and every single one of you!