Organizing: Practicing Organic Discipline



A few weeks ago I completed my Level II Certification in Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation (KNCR) at The Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island.  Level II focuses more on “organizing” for social change within the KNCR framework.  Happily, I had no expectations about how that might look. I just looked forward to learning directly from Dr LaFayette and meeting other Level I trainers.  As it turned out I learned exactly what I needed and I also appreciated the genius in Doc’s approach. [Read more...]

Dream Defenders Reflections from Highlander

By Phillip Agnew
Director, Dream Defenders

Highlander Training 077We arrived after an epic (seriously epic) 24 hour drive from Miami, FL to the Center. We picked up folks in Orlando, Gainesville, and Tallahassee, FL.  It was a crazy experience to start off the program with.  Someone (me) missed our turn into Georgia and wound up driving all the way to Pensacola.  That caused us to have to drive the whole state of Alabama on local/state roads in order to get back to our correct course.  In all, it added about 3 hours to our trek.  Still, [Read more...]

From Rosa Parks to Dream Defenders: Reflections from Training at Highlander

It was almost two in the morning by the time the taxi turned the corner into the Highlander Center.  The fact that it was so dark and quiet combined with long travel added a certain aura of mystique as we drove up the hill and saw the lights inside the famous, circular retreat center.  As we got out of the car and was greeted by their chef Thomas, it felt like I could taste the history and legacy that hung in the air.

I had been wanting to come here for years.  As a nonviolence trainer, as someone who appreciates history and legacy, as someone who understands how deeply we are indebted to those who came before us, and as a movement geek, there are few places anywhere in this country that holds as much meaning. [Read more...]

Tears are Great Medicine

Wow…  What a week.

Last Thursday, Theresa and I were inside the San Bruno County Jails, running our weekly Training of Trainers program.  Just another day.

We were training the men to present the “Violence Is” activity, and as part of it we were having a discussion about the various forms of violence and harm.  We recognize that violence is not just a physical act that you do to someone else.  The deepest pains in society are the emotional scars that we all carry inside.

Then, one of the men spoke up.  This young man had been one of the quieter, less engaged men in our group since we started this program over two months ago.  Typically, he would just sit back and not really say much.  He even told us later that he was thinking about leaving our group.   [Read more...]