[Catalyst #4] Season of Nonviolence

By Stephen Dinan, founder and CEO of The Shift Network

In this issue, we focus on The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence now underway, which has been created by our friends at the Association for Global New Thought. This important yearly season spans from the memorial days of Martin Luther King (January 30) and Gandhi (April 4) and it takes us into the heart of how to create non-violent, evolutionary change.

To invite your full participation, we feature an overview video plus articles from AGNT leaders Barbara Fields and Michael Beckwith, peace pioneer Michael Nagler, an inspiring report from the Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan, and two profiles of inspiring peacebuilders in New York and Rishikesh, India, including the amazing world servers Swamiji Chidanand Saraswati and Sadhvi Bhagawati.

Movement News offers you more resources on how to get involved—AGNT has made it easy, inspiring and fun for everyone to participate. And if you would like to go deeper into the study and practice of nonviolence, see the Metta Center for Nonviolence resources in Movement News.

From the Sudan overview in this issue, you can see how the principles and practice of nonviolence are global in scope. We each can apply them in our daily lives and engage our places of worship and communities, right alongside our brothers and sisters in Sudan and beyond.

This month also marks the 5th anniversary of the National Peace Academy, launched by the courageous Dot Maver (see Movement news for more)—an essential part of the "peace infrastructure" we need to build to create a culture of peace worldwide.

We also honor Pete Seeger who passed away in January at the age of 94. Pete Seeger's music and social activism inspired me and millions of people. We are grateful for his life-long commitment to making the world a better place and offer our love to his family. (see Featured Artist for more)

As Gandhi famously said, this is a great time for us to "be the change we want to see in the world."

At Shift, we're doing that with a number of long-range initiatives, such as initial work on a World Peace Summit in China and a new collaboration with Green World Campaign to reforest the world's denuded lands in a single generation. We are committed to making the Shift real, tangible and impactful in lives around the world.

17th Annual Season for Nonviolence: Video Introduction
Through an educational and community action campaign, we honor those who use nonviolence to build a community that honors the dignity and worth of every being.
2013 Season for Nonviolence Task Force Activities
See highlights from the 2013 Season of Nonviolence.

The Gandhi King Gyatso Season for Nonviolence Celebrates its 17th Year: More than a Decade and a Half of Spiritually-motivated Action
By Barbara Fields

The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence is a grassroots awareness campaign growing out of the passion and creative expression of spiritual and civic-minded individuals and communities worldwide. Our vision is of a world that works for everyone, carried forth by the proactive, life enhancing philosophy of nonviolent action as demonstrated by legendary leaders Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar E. Chavez, and President Nelson Mandela, as well as living legends such as His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Its purpose is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action . . . [read more]

Love: The Ultimate Peacemaker
By Michael Bernard Beckwith

How fitting it is to compose this article on a day when millions of individuals are participating in festivities honoring the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Membership in what he coined as the "Beloved Community" continues to find a home in countless lives, acknowledging our interconnectedness as a global family . . . [read more]

The Science of Being Human
By Michael Nagler

I remember right where I was standing when my friend Sarah told me, "They're massacring the students." It was June 4, 1989. For several weeks I, and the other residents of the ashram, had been feeling hope not unmixed with frustration because the students who were encamped at Tiananmen Square were dedicated to nonviolence but—like those in many nonviolent movements before and since, they did not have a clear idea how to go about it. Now my frustration turned to agony, because I had not been able to do anything even though I believed—and still do—that things could have been done differently for a much happier result. It was when I heard about the needless death of those students (I was still a professor at the time) that I dedicated my active life to finding ways to help anyone caught up in a struggle like that to "carry out nonviolence more safely and effectively" (the mission statement of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, where I work). What could I do? . . . [read more]

Nonviolence Peaceforce: Update From South Sudan – January 24, 2014
Update from Tiffany Easthom, Nonviolence Peaceforce County Director in South Sudan

Women in South Sudan are not waiting for peace to be delivered, they are making peace happen. They are tired of the violence and the sense of helplessness that the chaos of war brings. Women from both the Dinka and the Nuer communities sheltering within the UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) base in Bentiu, Unity State came together as a women's peacekeeping team (WPT)—a force for real peace. They started their work together by having both Dinka and Nuer women meet for tea. This simple act of sharing tea and conversation challenged the notion that Nuer and Dinka could no longer be together. This has been the foundation for a rapidly escalating agenda of women's participation in peace and security . . . [read more]

For submissions and recommendations, email editor@theshiftnetwork.com.

George Anthony and Students – New York City
By Kathryn Carse, Assistant Lifestyle editor at the Staten Island Advance

A group of students in the Conflict Resolution program at Susan Wagner High School are preparing a presentation at the United Nations to celebrate the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence. The presentation seeks to dramatize the relevance of the words of King and Mahatma Gandhi and the choices teens are confronted with today.

George Anthony, coordinator of the program, coached the students through their parts. In it, students Jubin and Jesus are ready to go at it, but are interrupted by students who inspire them to consider an alternative . . . [read more]

Swami Chidanand and Sadhvi Bhagawati – Rishikesh, India – Divine Shakti Movement in Rishikesh Joins Season for Nonviolence through Service for All

Violence is not merely that which is committed through wars, bombs, grenades and guns. Every choice and decision we make has the potential to be a decision for peace or a decision for violence. Making choices that lead to polluted and depleted water, soil and air due to which our brothers and sisters suffer and die from hunger, thirst or water-borne illnesses is also violence. Making choices that lead to a grossly inequitable distribution of critical resources such that vast percentages of people in our world needlessly perish is also violence. Making choices to permit—through apathy, indifference or complacency—a continuation and growth of global starvation, lack of sanitation and hygiene, inadequate health care, illiteracy, and subjugation is also violence . . . [read more]

The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) – FREE RESOURCES

  • Find SNV events near you – click here (and then click on the events listed on the calendar for more details).
  • Submit your own SNV events – click here.
  • See Selected SNV Events for Inspiration – click here.
  • Program templates and materials – click here.
  • Resources for individuals, schools, spiritual centers, and families – click here.

Nonviolence Tools, Trainings and Studies – From the Metta Center for Nonviolence

  • Roadmap Compass: a tool to learn about nonviolence while building community and strategy – click here.
  • Short Roadmap "Prezi" – a short presentation about the Roadmap and what it offers as a tool for strategic thinking – click here.
  • Roadmap Training Guides – click here.
  • Metta's latest issue of Emergence Magazine – click here.
  • Metta's Certificate in Nonviolence Studies, next cohort starts April 7, 2014 – click here.

Nonviolent Peaceforce – learn how you can support frontline nonviolence peace efforts in Sudan and around the world – click here.

The National Peace Academy USA is celebrating its 5th birthday with a special teleconference on March 4 from 8-9pm ET. NPA President, Dot Maver and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Tony Jenkins will be joined by Abigail Disney—the producer of the film Pray the Devil Back to Hell and the groundbreaking PBS mini-series Women, War & Peace. She will be sharing her thoughts about Building a Culture of Peace in the USA: Addressing the "Entertainment Industrial Complex". Abigail will also take questions from the NPA community – click here to join.

ADMISSIONS is a film that stars Academy Award nominee James Cromwell and tells an inspiring tale about what it takes to find lasting peace, even in conflict-ridden places like the Middle East. The film's purpose is to start a conversation that heals. To date, Admissions has been honored with 25 International Awards. ADMISSIONS is now being offered as a free screening in conjunction with a global campaign to promote PeaceNow.com and their efforts to gather ONE BILLION signatures for global peace. The signatures will ultimately be presented to the U.N. and will be used to help enact The International Resolution for the Establishment of Peace Departments and Ministries of Peace in governments around the world. To lear more about the film – click here. Also, go to PeaceNow.com to sign the petition.

The Institute of Global Education is sponsoring a conference "Focus on the Future: Empowering Agents of Change" in San Jose, Costa Rica on March 3–4, 2014. An afternoon of the conference is co-sponsored by the United Nations mandated University for Peace and the Earth Charter International Secretariat at their campus in San Jose. To learn more - click here.

On Tuesday, March 11, Idealist will launch a new network—online and on the ground—that will help people everywhere connect and take action on any issue that concerns them, locally or globally, online and in person. "We will start with a live online presentation, take your questions, and then start building this network with you." To learn more – click here.

2014 Catalyst: (#4, 2/22) (#3, 2/8) (#2, 1/26) (#1, 1/12)

2013 Catalyst: (#22, 12/14) (#21, 11/30) (#20, 11/16) (#19, 11/3) (#18, 10/20) (#17, 10/6) (#16, 9/21) (#15, 9/8) (#14, 8/25) (#13, 8/4) (#12, 7/21), (#11, 7/7), (#10, 6/16) (#9, 6/2) (#8, 5/12) (#7, 4/28) (#6, 4/14) (#5, 3/24) (#4, 2/24) (#3, 2/9) (#2, 1/26) (#1, 1/13)

Birth 2012 Catalyst: (#15, 12/9) (#14, 12/1) (#13, 11/22) (#12, 11/10) (#11, 11/3) (#10, 10/20) (#9, 10/6) (#8, 9/16) (#7, 9/8) (#6, 8/25) (#5, 8/16) (#4, 8/4) (#3, 7/28) (#2, 7/21) (#1, 7/14)

  2014 Issue 4 • Feb 23
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Like Us. Collaborate!
Join The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) – participate in an event, create your own activities and/or study nonviolence with your family and friends!!
Plugging into Body Intelligence: How to Access More Vitality and Embodied Joy: A unique online event with renowned teachers Katie Hendricks and Lamara Heartwell on Wednesday, February 26th at 5:30 pm PT.

Creating from Higher Guidance: Becoming an Aligned and Effective Change Agent: A 9-month Intensive with renowned teacher Tim Kelley. Starts Tuesday, February 25th.

Authentic Awakening: A 7-week Virtual Retreat to Live an Enlightened Life in the 21st Century: With Renowned Mystic Thomas Huebl. Starts February 27th.

The Way of the Feminine Mystic: Opening Your Heart, Embracing the Mystery and Repairing the World: A 9-month Advanced Immersion with spiritual teacher Mirabai Starr. Starts Wednesday, March 5th.

Masterful Manifestation: Accessing Your Divine Power to Create Real Results with Greater Ease: A 7-week course with Dream University CEO Marcia Wieder. Just started.
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) commenced for the 17th consecutive year on January 30, 2014 in cities across the globe. The annual 64 day campaign, co-founded in 1998 by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought, is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year the celebration has a new program honoring Nelson Mandela. To learn more – click here. (See extensive resources in Movement News.)
Remembering Pete Seeger
By Eleanor Tara

Pete Seeger died this past January at the age of 94. Pete Seeger was America's best-loved folksinger and an untiring environmentalist. He was at the forefront of the labor movement, the struggle for Civil Rights, the peace and anti-war movements, and the fight for a clean world. We thank Pete for being an inspiration and source of hope for millions of people around the world. We send our love and best wishes to his family and friends. To read more about Pete Seeger and to listen to his music, visit his appreciation page – click here.
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