At 16, Juanita Nelson boarded a train with her mother to travel from their Cleveland home to visit relatives in Georgia. While changing trains in Cincinnati they were assigned segregated seating.
When the African-American teenager asked if they could switch from what she called their “Jim Crow” car to one that seated white passengers, her mother said, “Oh, Nita, I’m just too tired,” Ms. Nelson recalled in an oral history interview recorded by the Memorial Hall Museum in Deerfield. “I sat and fumed,” Ms. Nelson continued, “and finally I got up and sat in every car in that train because I was so upset.”
No one tried to dissuade Ms. Nelson as she moved from car to car, except for a black porter who warned that she might get into trouble. She said she “went back and sat by my mother and I felt better because I had expressed myself.”
Racial equality was important to Ms. Nelson, who became a civil rights activist, but in later years “it became her conviction that we have to get over race,” said her friend Randy Kehler of Colrain. “She believed much more in the idea that we’re all human. That was her mantra.”
Ms. Nelson, a strong voice in the tax resistance and local agriculture movements, died of end-stage dementia March 9 in the Poet’s Seat Health Care Center in Greenfield. She was 91 and had lived for more than 40 years in Deerfield and Greenfield.
Through actions more than words, friends said, she demonstrated her beliefs by refusing to pay federal taxes and by growing and selling her own food, a skill she perfected and passed along to friends and neighbors. Those activities often go hand-in-hand because tax resistance generally requires a low income and self-sufficiency.
“She had a very sharp and able mind that never tired,” said Ellie Kastanopolous of the nonprofit Equity Trust in Amherst, which promotes sustainable approaches to property ownership. “You could talk to her about anything; she was incredibly wide open.”
Ms. Nelson believed that “in this crazy economic world we’re in, everyone has to figure out how to live with less,” Kastanopolous said. “She would hold you to the fire, but she would do it in a thoughtful and caring way that was very powerful.”
Ms. Nelson was arrested numerous times over the course of her life at civil rights and tax resistance protests.
“She really believed that all people were equal and should be treated equally,” said Bob Bady of Brattleboro, a tax resister who was 18 when he met Ms. Nelson and her partner, Wallace Nelson.
“What impressed me about Juanita was her accessibility, particularly because I was so young and searching for meaning,” he said. “They were people who’d integrated their philosophy into their lifestyle. And she was really easy to talk to and to get to know.”
Friends said Ms. Nelson and her partner, who was known as Wally, never married. In the past, the Globe referred to them as spouses, including in his 2002 obituary. Both were vocal opponents of war. Refusing to pay taxes, Ms. Nelson said in the oral history, is “the only way you can stop war . . . and stop so much consumption that requires war, at least that’s the way I look at it.”
Kehler, who was jailed for refusing to cooperate with the draft during the Vietnam War, described Ms. Nelson as “firm and tough-minded in her convictions.” He added that she was “as gracious and welcoming as could be.”
Kehler and his wife arranged for the Nelsons to settle on a half-acre of land at Woolman Hill in Deerfield, a retreat center owned by the Quakers, the Religious Society of Friends. The Nelsons built a small house with neither electricity nor indoor plumbing, and also planted and harvested in earnest, teaching neighbors to do the same. According to the center’s website, Ms. Nelson lived there until 2012.
Although the Nelsons were not Quakers, “some of our best friends are Friends,” she told the Globe in 1985. The Globe reported that on an Internal Revenue Service tax return that year, she wrote phrases including: “I do not wish to work one day each week for the Pentagon — there is better employment.”
Ms. Nelson submitted similar forms to the IRS each week at the beginning of 1985. The government considered the returns frivolous, and fined her and other protesters $500 for each one sent. “I have no idea how hard they’ll press us for the money,” she said, speaking on behalf of the group, “but so far, we haven’t been paid a personal visit by the IRS.”
Juanita Morrow was born in Cleveland and grew up in what she called the city’s “outer slums.” In the oral history, she said she won a poetry contest at 17 and used the money to buy her family’s first telephone.
After graduating from high school, she enrolled in Howard University, where she became secretary of the school’s NAACP chapter. She also was involved with the Congress of Racial Equality.
Transferring to what is now Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. While working as a reporter for a Cleveland newspaper, she interviewed Wally Nelson, who was serving a jail sentence.
After registering as a conscientious objector during World War II, he and some friends walked away from their civilian public service camp to work with the poor in Detroit, until they were arrested.
In 1948, the Nelsons helped form the pacifist group Peacemakers. Ms. Nelson graduated from Ohio State University in 1955 with a master’s in speech pathology. In the years that followed, the couple lived in Philadelphia, Americus, Ga., and Ojo Caliente, N.M., where they began supporting themselves through growing and selling food.
Moving to Deerfield in 1974, they grew beans and other produce and sold the surplus at a farmers’ market. They also made their own soap and ceramic dishes.
Ms. Nelson also wrote poetry and articles for magazines, and one poem captured the challenges of the life she chose:
Well, I try to grow my own food, competing with the bugs,
I even make my own soap and my own ceramic mugs.
I figure that the less I buy, the less I compromise
With Standard Oil and ITT and those other gouging guys.
Oh, but it ain’t easy to leave my cozy bed
To make it with my flashlight to that air conditioned shed
But then I get to thinkin’, if we’re ever gonna see
the end of that old con game, the change has got to start with me.
A service will be announced for Ms. Nelson, who leaves no immediate family.
Friends said she was very social, combining work and conversation when possible.
“She loved being a mentor to other people, especially young folks,” Kehler said. “She loved meeting new people and loved having visitors. But when people came over, Juanita would always say, ‘Let’s talk while we hoe.’ And she would.”
Kathleen McKenna can be reached at email@example.com.
Working to Eliminate Poverty, Racism and Militarism: Resource Center for Nonviolence Calls for Action to Prevent Militarization and Racial Profiling in Local Law Enforcement.
SEE PDF version:1.11.15 RCNV statement on justice issues
January 11, 2014
Working to Eliminate Poverty, Racism and Militarism:
Resource Center for Nonviolence Calls for Action to Prevent Militarization and Racial Profiling in Local Law Enforcement.
In 1967 the great nonviolent activist Dr. Martin Luther King identified the three greatest threats
to America: poverty, racism, and militarism.
48 years later America and Santa Cruz continue to suffer these threats.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence calls on local governments in Santa Cruz County to make
our democracy work for everybody by continuing to combat poverty, racism, and militarism.
Poverty: The Santa Cruz city council has for decades used economic development and progressive
commitment to social services to combat poverty. Still we have far to go. People who
are poor and homeless are disproportionately contacted by law officials in a way that does not
seek to address underlying causes that create inequality leading to crime and violence, but only
attacks the symptoms. We support efforts underway involving social service agencies to
Racism: The city council has taken stands of noncooperation with the federal INS in a significant
effort to combat racism and violence against local residents.
The killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner in New York City, by police
officers and ratified by Grand Juries, are visible examples of a reality in the American legal system
that Michelle Alexander calls “the New Jim Crow.” People of color are disproportionately
contacted by police, arrested, charged, convicted, and incarcerated across America. This reality
is institutional racism.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence calls upon local governments to study practices and policies
of law enforcement, legal systems, and incarceration in Santa Cruz County to combat racial
and social class profiling and bias that make justice unequal under the law.
Militarism: Across America, lines between the military and civilian law enforcement are blurring
and merging. Since 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security and the CIA have taken increased
combatant roles abroad and in America. The “war on terror” justifies invasions of foreign
countries, occupations, and police actions domestically. Now the Department of Homeland
Security provides grants to local police departments, in Program 1033 and other means, to supply
military equipment for local law enforcement.
City of Santa Cruz acceptance of this Homeland Security grant opens a door to a trend of accepting unnecessary military equipment.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence calls upon local government to prevent militarization of
local law enforcement. Military style vehicles, even if they carry no weapons, present a posture
of defensiveness and power that separates policing roles from community service. In this climate,
the Center calls upon the City of Santa Cruz to rescind the decision to purchase an armored
vehicle under a Department of Homeland Security grant.January 11, 2014
The job our society gives to police officers is one that most citizens refuse ourselves. The city
asks police to respond to difficult and dangerous conflicts and violence in our community. We
respect our officers’ dedication and safety, and we support a police force in our community that
does maintain peace and de-escalates violence without the use of military equipment.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence calls upon local government, law enforcement staff, and
all community members to come together, across all divides, to engage community safety issues,
build trust, and support constructive community responses to conflict and to those caught
The triple threats of poverty, racism, and militarism, need to be fought by everybody, working
together, and by local government as well as national government.
Thank you for your consideration and dedication to conducting fair, well-publicized
meetings to include a diversity of voices on these issues.
The Resource Center for Nonviolence
THANK YOU to our Resource Center for Nonviolence Annual Dinner hosts, all of those who attended, and our Business Sponsors:
We appreciate your support! All of you made the Dinner the most successful ever! Proceeds from the Dinner, held on October 22, 2014, support our ongoing Resource Center for Nonviolence programs.
Table hosts: Santa Cruz Friends Meeting, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom- Santa Cruz Branch, Palestine-Israel Action Committee, United Services Agency, Santa Cruz County Community Coalition to Overcome Racism (SCCCCOR), Darrell and KarenDarling, Kris Kennedy and friends
Sponsors: Markley Morris, Senator Bill Monning and Dr. Dana Kent, Diane K. Pike, NAACP-Santa Cruz Branch
Supporters: Nancy Abbey, Tatanka Bricca, Maria Elena de la Garza, Debra Ellis and Kali Rubaii- The Islah Reparations Project, Chris Johnson-Lyons, Tom Helman and Mary Ann Balian, Deena Hurwitz, Yolanda Henry, Iverne Rand, Barbara Rogoff, Diana Rothman, Dan Spelce and Yolanda Provoste-Fuentes, Joe Williams, Stephen Zunes and Nanlouise Wolfe
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Chef Eileen Balian, Peace United Church of Christ, Pat Arnold, Liz Klotz-Chamberlin and The Flower Garden Wedding Florist, Maitre’D Brian Murtha, Edgar Ontiveros, Kris Kennedy, Kate Doyle, Stephen Zunes, Joe Williams; Eric Thiermann, Michael Hernandez
THANK YOU to our Business Supporters:
Mitchell Page, Bob Taren, Darling House Bed and Breakfast, Ron and Kay Bailey, Monarch Cove Inn, Land of the Medicine Buddha, The Hotel Paradox, Best Western Plus All Suites Inn, Larry Bernstein, CST, Ron and Kay Bailey, Chardonnay Sailing Charters, La Posta Restaurant, NHS, Inc., Ken Foster, Manuel’s, Restaurant, Hula’s Island Grill, Nickelodeon Theaters, Riverside Lighting and Electric, Linda’s Seabreeze Café, Lundberg Studios, Christokiffer Designs, Go Green Cab, Sones Winery, Pacific Coffee Roasting Company, Play It Again Sports, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Way of Life, Pacific Cookie Company, The Bagelry, Penny Ice Creamery, Artisans’ Gallery, World Market Bazaar, Native Revival Nursery, Martinelli’s, New Leaf Community Markets, Kelly’s French Bakery, Beckmann’s Bakery
THANK YOU to our ANNUAL DINNER VOLUNTEERS
Willow Katz, Nanlouise Wolfe, Gabriel Skinner, Dan Spelce, Juan Salinas Robert DeFreitas, Gigo da Silva, Steve Schnaar, Alexander Gaguine, Tom Monahan, Kathleen Eschen- Pipes, Mari Clare Daly, Tom Monahan, Teela Williams, Racquel Felix, Vasiliki Argyris, Leslie Munoz, Shanti Zunes -Wolfe, Kalila Zunes-Wolfe, Felicia Davidson, Christian Villamil, Cappy Israel, Mary Mykhaylova, Karen Puerta, Arlon Johnson, Jamie Epstein and all Staff and Steering Committee members
This speech was delivered by Resource Center for Nonviolence co-founder Scott Kennedy in 2008 when he was awarded the 2008 El-Hibri Peace Education Prize. In May, 2014, the El-Hibri Foundation produced this Youtube video that combines audio from Scott’s speech with a slideshow.
The photos are courtesy of Bob Fitch Photo Archives © Stanford University Libraries, Matt Fitt and include other photos from the Kennedy family, Resource Center for Nonviolence and El-Hibri Foundation archives.
Excerpts from the speech: “there are so many on whose shoulders I rise.” Scott highlights the importance of a place and community: of local work that is also national and international in scope; deeply rooted in our community- that is the heart of social change work, the essential Gandhian practice of truth seeking.
He quotes from a book by Jean Zaru, a Palestinian Quaker christian: “Occupied with Nonviolence” about her life in Ramallah and her sacrifices… “How do I teach a culture of nonviolent action? I raise critical and decisive consciousness; consciousness of the value of justice over injustice, peace over warfare; human institutions over against dehumanizing institutions, I try to make clear that we are against evil not against people…Human well-being is our ultimate goal; We should be ready to say what we think is the truth, and be ready to pay the price… that is what all peace education is about… to build a world that is more nonviolent.”
He mentions his favorite quote from Gandhi: “an abstract principle has no meaning without its concrete application” and includes more stories and quotes from Jean Zaru on truth: “truth speaking must be put into practice…. “I will never kill for truth- truth is incompatible with violence.”
The Joan Baez Benefit Concert for the Resource Center for Nonviolence Building for the Future Campaign, on Friday, May 9, at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, is nearly sold out. There are no more tickets available through Ticketweb, the Rio Theatre or Tomboy.
RCNV has begun a Waiting List for a very limited number of Sponsorship seats (Sliding Scale $100 per ticket up to $10,000 or more Sponsor donation) available only through RCNV. Please be as generous as possible. We cannot promise that being on the Waiting List will result in tickets. Contact us
We had no idea the concert tickets would go so quickly! Thank you for your support!
An Evening with JOAN BAEZ
Friday, May 9, 2014
1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,
(Doors open 7:00pm)
BENEFIT CONCERT for the Resource Center for Nonviolence Building for the Future Campaign
Joan Baez will perform a rare Benefit Concert to support RCNV’s Building for the Future campaign. This benefit is the public launch of our community campaign to fund the renovation of our 50-year old building. We invite you to join us for the concert and to consider sponsorship.
We ask for your support of this campaign in addition to your regular financial support of Resource Center for Nonviolence programs. Please be as generous as possible. Thank you for your support!
Click for a brief Letter about the concert and campaign
Click for information about Joan Baez’ Long History with RCNV.
TICKETS: The concert is nearly sold out. There are no more tickets available through Ticketweb, the Rio Theatre or Tomboy.
RCNV has begun a Waiting List for a very limited number of Sponsorship seats (Sliding Scale $100 per ticket up to $10,000 or more Sponsor donation) available only through RCNV. There are only a very limited number of these seats available. We cannot promise that being on the Waiting List will result in tickets. Contact us for more information about sponsorship.
For more information: 831.423-1626
The NAACP Santa Cruz County Branch, and the
Resource Center for Nonviolence
Invite you to the
MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION WEEKEND
Two Concerts and Youth Day
A creative and musical celebration in the spirit of
the Courageous Leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela
FRIDAY, JANUARY 17 – SUNDAY, JANUARY 19, 2014
Friday, January 17, 7:30p.m.
John McCutcheon In Concert
One of the most dynamic and iconic live performers in Folk Music, six-time Grammy nominee John McCutcheon has a unique blend of stunning instrumental skills, incisive songwriting, and subtly seductive storytelling.
John’s latest recording highlights courage, current events and love. 22 Days pays homage to the “Cellist of Sarajevo,” who, in honor of 22 people killed by a bomb in a Bosnian breadline in 1992, played for 22 days in a row at the bombing site. The song Forgotten is inspired by Malala Yousafzai, targeted by the Taliban for her support of education for girls in Pakistan. Other songs are playful and insightful.
Tickets: Sliding scale $18-35, available at www.rcnv.org or call 831-423-1626 for reservations. Proceeds benefit the Resource Center for Nonviolence.
Saturday, January 18: 7:00p.m.
The Annual MLK, Jr. GOSPEL NIGHT
Featuring local soloists and choirs: An array of stirring and inspiring songs by prominent local Gospel choirs, featuring the Inner Light Choir, Progressive Missionary Baptist Church Choir, the Santa Cruz Community Choir, and others. Soloists include Valerie Joi, Dave “Woody” Wood, Janice Blume, Franklin Marshall and others TBA. Limited seating: come early!
Tickets: $10.00- 20 sliding scale, available at the Door. For more information: 831-429-2266. Sponsored by NAACP, Santa Cruz Branch
Sunday, January 19: 2:00 – 5:00pm
“Youth Day”- free for youth of all ages: UCSC’s Rainbow
Theater performs Excerpts from “A Song for Coretta” A Free Performance, and Theater Workshop for Youth by UCSC’s Rainbow Theater. “A Song for Coretta” is a sharp, funny play about Coretta Scott King with wit, personality and life-affirming energy that has a lot to say to youth of all ages. A warm and infectious comedy, and a joyful and affectionate tribute to one of the great women of our time. Followed by a hands-on, empowering theater workshop for youth led by Rainbow Theater.
All events at the RESOURCE CENTER FOR NONVIOLENCE, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA
John McCutcheon Tickets available at www.rcnv.org or call 831-423-1626.
Gospel Night Tickets available at the Door or FMI: call 831-429-2266
Co-sponsored by the Resource Center for Nonviolence and the NAACP, Santa Cruz Branch
January 18-20, 2013- MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CELEBRATION WEEKEND- The Power of Songs for Social Change
*THERE IS STILL ROOM for all concerts and BOTH SATURDAY Workshops… You can simply sign up and pay when you come.
TICKETS: will be on sale at the DOOR FOR ALL EVENTS. NO MORE ONLINE TICKET SALES or WILL-CALL. See you there! For more info: 831-423-1626.
All events at RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz
January 18 – January 20, 2013. The Santa Cruz County NAACP and the Resource Center for Nonviolence invite you to share in a musical celebration:
Martin Luther King, Jr. Weekend Events-
The POWER of SONGS for SOCIAL CHANGE:
Featuring: John McCutcheon Concert and or Music Workshop; Aileen Vance: “Zabalaza” Music Workshop; NAACP Annual MLK, Jr. Gospel Night, Youth Day, Hip Hop Concert
*Friday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.: Folk musician extraordinaire. TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR: $20-35 sliding scale donation.
John McCUTCHEON IN CONCERT:
One concert only! One of the most dynamic and iconic live performers in Folk Music, six-time Grammy nominee John McCutcheon\’s four-decade career has taken him around the world with his unique blend of stunning instrumental skills, incisive songwriting, and subtly seductive storytelling. Hilarious, heartwarming, stirring, and always entertaining.
*Saturday, January 19: NEW this year!
MUSIC WORKSHOPS: The Power of Songs for Social Change. Attend one or both workshops. Light vegetarian lunch available at Noon. THERE IS STILL ROOM IN BOTH WORKSHOPS. SIMPLY SHOW UP AND PAY AT THE DOOR: Workshops only $10-$65 sliding scale for one workshop; $20-65 for both workshops. Light lunch available for $8-15 sliding scale, but you must RSVP for lunch in advance of the workshops. For more info, call 831-423-1626.
10:00-Noon: John McCutcheon: Sing Out! The Power, Purpose & Pedigree Of Music in Our Times. John’s first up-close and personal workshop in Santa Cruz! Gather for a conversation about the history and possibilities of music in social movements; lots of singing, and how to find, make, and spread music that is, as McCutcheon describes, “artful and useful.”
1:00-3:00: Aileen Vance: “Zabalaza!” Revolution in 4-Part Harmony- Songs for Social Justice in the South African Choral Tradition.
Songs of freedom and struggle, hope and healing, peace and justice. Aileen Vance is an award-winning songwriter, singer, songleader and music educator.
Featuring songstress Tammi Brown and her choir, the Inner Light Choir led by Valerie Joi Fiddmont, and an array of stirring and inspiring songs by prominent local Gospel choirs.
Sunday, January 20: 1:00-5:00p.m.- YOUTH DAY and 5:00-6:00p.m. Abstract Rude HipHop Workshop-FREE- for youth of all ages. Create (Y)our Future Now! Celebrating the Youth of Today and Tomorrow. Focus on the four elements of HipHop: Music, Art, Dance, Spoken Word; also open mic, food! Sponsored by NAACP with SCCCCOR and RCNV. Info: 831-429-2266, or 831-425-4500
MORE DETAILS: ML King, Jr. Celebration Weekend: The Power of Songs for Social Change
Throughout America’s history, music has been a catalyst for change, a medium for protest, and a way to deliver a message of hope. Songs have rallied support for social justice and civil rights, influenced public opinion, united us for a common cause and created a powerful tool to impact the world. Music can amaze and inspire us to action; then, suddenly we become optimistic that change is possible.
The Santa Cruz County NAACP
and the Resource Center for Nonviolence
invite you to share in a musical celebration:
The POWER OF SONGS FOR SOCIAL CHANGE -
a full weekend of Folk, Gospel and Hip Hop concerts,
Music Workshops, and a Youth Day
Friday, January 18 – Sunday, January 20, 2013
At the new Resource Center for Nonviolence
612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, CA
For More information: call 831-423-1626
Title: Innocent…On Death Row, featuring Juan Melendez
Location: RCNV, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz
See PDF flier: NOV 2- Juan Melendez flyer SC Nov 2
Description: Juan Melendez spent nearly 18 years on Florida\’s death row for a crime he did NOT commit. In January 2002, he became the 99th death row inmate to be exonerated and released since 1973. His case highlights persistent pervasive problems in our death penalty system. Don\’t miss this unique opportunity to hear Juan\’s inspirational story of human resilience, courage, faith and forgiveness. \”Juan is a living testament to the injustice of capital punishment and his talk is more effective than anything I could teach my students.\” – Law Professor, Thomas Jefferson Law School.
Suggested donation: $10. No one turned away for lack of funds. Sponsored by IF, RCNV and Voices of Angels.
For more info: call RCNV, 831-423-1626.
Title: Occupation Art: Untold Stories, Eyewitness Accounts
Location: Pacific Grove Art Center, 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA
Description: Occupation Art: Untold Stories, Eyewitness Accounts featuring Nora Barrows-Friedman & others and video featuring artist Suzanne Klotz. SUNDAY, MARCH 4, 2-4 p.m. Come starting at 1:00 to see the exhibits!. Pacific Grove Art Center, 568 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA. Nora Barrows-Friedman is a staff editor and reporter with The Electronic Intifada. She has been regularly reporting from occupied Palestine since 2004, and worked with youth in broadcasting and photographic arts at the Ibdaa Cultural Center in the Dheishah Refugee Camp in the West Bank for several years. .
Start Time: 1:00 -see the exhibits; 2-4 Presentation
“Popular Resistance in Palestine: A history of Hope & Empowerment”
Meet & hear Palestinian author & activist Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh
3 events on Saturday April 2!
12:00 noon Book-Reading
Resource Center for Nonviolence
515 Broadway, Santa Cruz
Militant Nonviolence & the Palestinian Struggle
2:30 presentation at SubRosa, a community space.
703 Pacific Avenue
7:00 p.m.* United Methodist Church
250 California Street, Santa Cruz
* Several speakers have been invited to share the platform and to represent Israel’s interests but their participation is not yet confirmed. The evening will not be a strict debate format, but a frank and clarifying exchange of views to help people in this community better understand what is happening, what is at stake and what is possible as we observe or examine the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Viewpoints will galvanize around the following topic:
“Given the current turmoil in Egypt, the impasse in making progress towards a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the prominent role that the US government plays in the Mid East region, what should be the priorities of US Middle East policy and why?”
Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh (pictured above when arrested by Israeli soldiers at Al Walaja in May 2010) teaches and does research at Bethlehem & Birzeit Universities in Israeli occupied Palestine. He previously served on the faculties of the University of Tennessee, Duke and Yale Universities. Qumsiyeh is president of the Palestinian Center for Rapprochement Between People and coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlements in Beit Sahour. His most acclaimed book is “Sharing the Land of Canaan: human rights and the Israeli/Palestinian Struggle.” He published an activism handbook on his web site qumsiyeh.org. Qumsiyeh’s main interest is media activism and public education, having been published in and interviewed in print and on TV and radio extensively (local, national and international) including the Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, CNBC, C-Span, and ABC. He also regularly lectures on issues of human rights and international law. His new book “Popular Resistance in Palestine” reviews Palestinian nonviolent civilian resistance to displacement and occupation dating back to the beginning of the 19th century until today.
Dr. Qumsiyeh’s “rather complex background” — born a Christian Palestinian in the Bethlehem area, exposed as a boy to the harsh realities of Israeli military occupation, trained in biology & teaching in US Colleges & Universities, field research in Israel & Palestine, extensive experience in civil society & nonprofit organizations, & leadership in nonviolent organizations & movements in the occupied West Bank — helped Qumsiyeh “come to understand the importance & the centrality of a pluralistic solution to the simmering conflict in the Land of Canaan.” Qumsiyeh’s electronic human rights newsletter” has made him the most important chronicler of contemporary popular resistance in Palestine, brilliantly evoking the spirit of Jesus, Gandhi, Edward Said, Rachel Corrie and many others, to tell the unvarnished truth about Palestine and Zionist settler colonialism, with a focus on ‘history and activism from below.’
Sponsored by Middle East Program of Resource Center for Nonviolence 831.423.1626 rcnv.org and the Palestine Israel Action Committee http://palestineisraelactioncommittee.com