Metta’s Opinion

The Gap Between Nonviolence & Social Sciences

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I was introduced to nonviolence and sciences in a university setting.

During undergraduate studies, I was a student and later a teaching assistant for a course on the philosophy and theory of nonviolence (textbook for the course). I also learned from Dr. Michael Nagler’s PACS 164-A, B, & C courses. I was familiar with various peace studies programs that considered nonviolence (e.g., Tromso; University of Peace; and the Kroc Institute) and organizations that engaged in thoughtful nonviolence work (e.g., Metta Center for Nonviolence; M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence; and the Albert Einstein Institution). Taken together, these examples suggest that a lot of folks are interested in shining thoughtfully about nonviolence and making connections with social and nature science evidence where appropriate (e.g., the Metta Center for Nonviolence Science of Nonviolence). (more…)

A Silver Lining Conference Call – Podcast

A Conversation About Violence & Healing

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Do you feel overwhelmed by the recent episodes of violence? Are you wondering whether there could possibly be a silver lining to any of it?

You’re certainly not alone. But if we’re going to build the saner society we all want, we cannot stay stuck in despair. It’s time to get constructive.

On July 20th, Metta Center hosted and recorded this productive, inspirational conversation about finding our way to mutual healing and reaching for our highest human potential.  For those of you who could not make, or for those who could and would like to review, click here to listen or use the audio controls below.

 

Nonviolence Education Call #2: Six Principles of Nonviolence

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This summer, the Metta Center for Nonviolence is hosting a series on nonviolence education and building community that particularly focuses on how and why nonviolence can be particularly effective for reconciling conflict in schools. Special guest Robin Wildman, a nonviolence educator from Broad Rock Middle School in Rhode Island with 25 years of teaching experience, leads this three-part series on June 9th, July 14th, and August 4th from 5 – 6pm PST (Register here!). Topics include breaking down conflict, understanding core nonviolence principles, and reconciling conflict.

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Intro to Kingian Nonviolence with Kazu – Podcast

This webinar is the first part of a two-part offering the Metta Center is making primarily to Bernie supporters going to Philadelphia, but essential as well for the long term.  In it, Kazu Haga of the Eastpoint Peace Academy offers the basics of nonviolence training.  Part two will be a long-term nonviolent strategy.  For the latter, those of you at the Philadelphia gatherings can contact Gail Koffman through Metta’s Facebook page or find her at the Progressive Democrats of America booth.  And/or have a look at our Roadmap tool and if it interests you sign up to be part of the strategy conversations at this link.

CLICK HERE to listen or use the audio controls below! 

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Nonviolence Magazine: Summer/Fall 2016

For the Summer/Fall issue of Nonviolence, we look at democracy—unifying theory and action.

Inside: Q&As with Erica Chenoweth and David Ragland, pro-democracy activist Hua Ze writes about the  challenges that dissidents face in China, essays that explore the roles of history and education in democracy. Plus, nonviolence case studies, poetry and short fiction.

Exciting news: we’ve just launched the Nonviolence website. Support us: become a regular supporter.

When you donate $10/month or more to the Metta Center for Nonviolence, you automatically receive a print subscription for Nonviolence (we publish the print edition biannually, in July and December). Want to make a donation on someone else’s behalf, as a gift subscription? No problem, just add that person’s name and mailing address in the Comments box on the Donate form. (more…)

The Time for Silence is Over

Grasping the Reality of Nonviolence

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The Background:

With a rainbow pin on his lapel, signifying–on that day at least–the most recent gun massacre in the United States, Congressman John Lewis made an impassioned cri de coeur before members of Congress and the people of this country: the time for silence is over. “Sometimes,” he said, “you have to do something out of the ordinary.” And that’s just what they did: he and other members of his party put their bodies in the way of the daily operations of the Congress, by using a nonviolent tactic known as a sit-in–when you occupy a space in order to dramatize an unmet need; in this case, the need to do something for gun control on behalf of the American people who put them in office to strengthen their common security. While the Speaker of the House had the C-Span cameras turned off, in an effort to censor what was taking place–knowing the power of the media–others whipped out their phones, sent a live-feed to Periscope, and C-Span picked it up anyway. It was “out of the ordinary,” indeed. It was the first time an event of this scale had taken place in the U.S. Congress. Lewis himself, of course, is a legendary Civil Rights-era nonviolent activist. He knows perhaps a little more about nonviolence, from first-hand experience, than just about any of his colleagues, to say the least, if not many of us watching. After 26 hours, the congresspeople end the sit-in, and Congressman Lewis claims it as a victory. (more…)

Nonviolence Education Call #1: Breaking Down Conflict

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This summer, the Metta Center for Nonviolence is hosting a series on nonviolence education and building community that particularly focuses on how and why nonviolence can be particularly effective for reconciling conflict in schools.

Special guest Robin Wildman, a nonviolence educator from Broad Rock Middle School in Rhode Island with 25 years of teaching experience, leads this three-part series on June 9th, July 14th, and August 4th from 5 – 6pm PST (register here). Topics include breaking down conflict, understanding core nonviolence principles, and reconciling conflict.

Throughout, participants are encouraged to read Letter from a Birmingham Jail and King’s Pilgrimage to Nonviolence. (more…)

Restorative Practices & Social Change Action

This is Part 2 of a two-part blog post. Part 1 looked at preparing for holding a difficult conversation about poverty. Here, I clarify how restorative practices might help facilitate a conversation about poverty and what to do to address poverty.


The preparations I mentioned in Part 1 included recollecting thoughts on the matter, nonviolent communication practice, and familiarity with using RPS circles. Perhaps we might also assume that interest in poverty emerged from previous discussions and that all participants are engaged in the conversation and have developed relationships and rapport through previous circle-based conversations. (more…)