Creating Positive Peace and Making Nonviolence Mainstream

In response to the political turmoil, prejudice, and violence plaguing our country, the Resource Center for Nonviolence held their twice-yearly Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training May 12th and 13th. Attended by a diverse group of individuals from different genders, ages, and ethnicities, the event provided participants with skills to peacefully navigate and effectively transform the violence in their lives. The workshop, led by co-trainers Drew Glover and Chris Van Breen was described by attendees as, “eye-opening and inspiring,” encouraging participants’ reflections and providing strategies for dealing with conflict in their public and private lives.

Kingian Nonviolence, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and developed by Dr. Bernard Lafayette and David Jensen, is a philosophy and methodology that outlines the principles, steps, and motivation for people to pursue a nonviolent life as well as the tactics to solve personal and community problems. This workshop focuses on acknowledging the different types of conflict and potential violence that can arise when issues are left unaddressed. The curriculum also provides historic context and tools for individuals to identify, de-escalate, and reconcile conflicts when they present themselves. In addition, the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training works to dispel the notion that nonviolence is just the passive absence of violence, but is rather a systemic framework of both conceptual principles and pragmatic strategies to institutionalize nonviolence and promote positive peace at the personal, community, national, and global levels.

Lead trainer and RCNV staff member Drew Glover wants to see the training implemented throughout the entire Santa Cruz Community, following “Dr. King’s final marching orders,”…, “to institutionalize and internationalize nonviolence.” “One of my personal goals is to have our local police department, elected officials, non-profit leaders, and even our Sheriff’s office complete this training.” These goals could be a step towards dismantling the oppressive institutions around us and embracing the nonviolent way of living.

As the newest staff member of the RCNV, this was the first Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training I, Cipi, had attended. With the hopes of being a Kingian Nonviolence Trainer like Drew, I came into the workshop with the intention to truly absorb what I can. The workshop proved to be immensely helpful for me by putting a lot of what I learned the past few months into perspective by placing these nonviolent skills in situations all the participants can understand. I greatly appreciated the amount of diversity in the workshop’s participants, making the stories and perspectives shared that weekend come from all different walks of life. It was apparent that a weekend was not enough and that nonviolence is something that we are constantly trying to learn, understand, and encourage within our individual lives and our communities.

If you missed out on our Spring Session, The Resource Center for Nonviolence will be offering the Fall Session on the weekend of November 17th and 18th, 2018, from 10 AM – 6 PM with breakfast and lunch provided on both days. There is a $10 registration fee for printing materials, but the training is set up through a gift economics model, similar to sliding scale in order for the experience to be accessible to everyone.

For more information, please e-mail Drew Glover: drew@rcnv.org. You are invited to learn more about the Resource Center for Nonviolence at rcnv.org or call them Monday – Thursday from 12 – 4 PM at (831) 423-1626. Community members can keep up with upcoming events by following the RCNV on social media through Facebook @rcnvsc and on Instagram @the_rcnv. The Resource Center for Nonviolence is located at 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA.

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