Better World Info is a central information hub covering topics related to our future, such as peace, human rights, the environment, climate change, one world issues and social justice.
We are a non-profit participatory website providing a user-friendly, comprehensive internet directory with 325,000 curated links on global affairs. Better World Info recognizes the profound need for accurate information about the world's most pressing issues which will shape our future. We aim to provide free access to thousands of carefully selected links regarding global current affairs, in order to help people make informed decisions, and affect positive change in this world.
Beautiful Trouble is a book, web toolbox and international network of artist-activist trainers whose mission is to make grassroots movements more creative and more effective.
Beautiful Trouble is an extraordinary alliance of artists, trainers and creative campaigners who continue to make, teach, and celebrate game-changing creative activism through a training network
Amnesty International tells the powerful stories of the people they work with, and mobilizes millions of supporters around the world to campaign for change and to stand in defense of activists on the frontline.
Amnesty has grown from seeking the release of political prisoners to upholding the whole spectrum of human rights. Our work protects and empowers people - from abolishing the death penalty to protecting sexual and reproductive rights, and from combatting discrimination to defending refugees and migrants’ rights.
Founded in 1917, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is a Quaker organization that promotes lasting peace with justice, as a practical expression of faith in action.
Drawing on continuing spiritual insights and working with people of many backgrounds, AFSC nurtures the seeds of change and respect for human life that transform social relations and systems.
NVI is proud to announce Michael Beer and Mubarak Elamin's (of the Sudan Policy Group) recent and important piece on Common Dreams. In their op-ed, they call on the US to revoke its decision to extort $335 million from the Sudanese People. Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world with not enough food or medicine for their citizens. Thus, punishing the people of Sudan for overthrowing their dictator in a nonviolent revolution is nonsensical.
Here is a short snippet from the article:
"US policies are adding to a nightmare for the Sudanese people who have just suffered from the worst flooding in a century. While the US wasted a year to free Sudan from this terrorist designation, Sudan was unable to trade worldwide and obtain support from multilateral institutions to rebuild its economy and deal with covid19. The US is extorting the Sudanese people for the terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda on US citizens. However the Sudanese people and the present government are in no way responsible for those criminal acts. It was the government of the Sudanese dictator Al-Bashir that protected Al Qaeda during the early to mid-1990s, prior to the attacks against U.S. interests in Kenya and Tanzania. In 2019, the Sudanese people revolted in a nonviolent struggle and successfully ousted the dictator and his ruling party. The new government has succeeded in signing peace agreements ending three civil wars.
The victims of bombings deserve reparations. If reparations are to be paid, let the US and Saudi Arabia lead the way. The US and Saudi are not solely responsible for Al Qaeda but their policies greatly boosted its growth. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden who used the Saudi supported Salafi theology to create a violent group opposing non-Sunnis and, ironically, later to the Saudi monarchy. Its success was attributed to the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia and by the US support for Israel."
This is part of our ongoing support for their brave nonviolent revolution. To learn more about their revolution, see our Webinar with Pramila Jayapal, Anthony Haggar, and other great leaders.
For those interested, please see the following links for more on this important subject:
Below is a mural in Sudan, thanking Michael Beer, Stephanie Van Hook, Stephen Zunes, Michael Nagler, Pramila Jayapal, Walter Turner and Steve Williamson ….for their steadfast support of the nonviolent campaign to remove AlBashir from power.
Michael Beer - Executive Director of Nonviolence International.
Stephen Zunes - Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco with a concentration in strategic nonviolence. Long time supporter and colleague of NVI.
Michael Nagler - President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence Education, and Professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Long time support of NVI.
Stephanie Van Hook - Executive Director of the Metta Center.
Steve Williamson - Human rights activist and educator.
Walter Turner - Host of Radio, KPFK, about Africa and the African Diaspora.
Pramila Jayapal - Washington State representative in Congress and Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus.
Michael Beer and NVI provided support for the people of Sudan by
- Offering webinars on nonviolent resistance seen by 350,000 people.
- Spoke at major Sudan protests in Washington, DC.
- Provided expert testimony for a Congressional briefing on Sudan,
- Provided daily coaching for some of the mediators from May through July.
- Raising humanitarian funds for the nonviolent resistance.
"It's great and an excellent contribution and push toward the conversation shifts that are emerging--yet still so lacking--in this moment. The writing and thinking is incredibly grounded, thoughtful and detail-oriented, while simultaneously very accessible and easy to read. The attention given to a huge swath of factors, possibilities and perspectives is quite impressive. I look forward to seeing this booklet become an important part of the paradigm shifts we deeply need!"
“Whatever your position about the conflict between Arab and Jew, Kuttab will make you re-think it.” “A brilliantly even-handed assessment of what might work in Palestine/Israel.” “Based on Kuttab’s many years of first-hand involvement with what is happening on the ground.”
- Michael Beer published NVI Canada - The Next Step in Humanitarian Disarmament in Updates 2020-10-23 13:09:54 -0400
As we continue to push for a nonviolent and peaceful world, we are pleased to announce our affiliate, Nonviolence International Canada’s new report: In Search of Enemies: The Governments holding Humanitarian Disarmament hostage.
NVI Canada’s timely and vital report is a contribution toward the pursuit of nonviolence globally. This report focuses on the how and why a small clique of nation-states are holding the humanitarian disarmament movement hostage and practicing anti-multilateralism. Just 30 governments continue to believe that military means can fix all the threats, however, this is not the case. As we continue to exploit our world’s resources and combat the natural crises of disease and disaster, one vital step is to continue to bring awareness to the potential benefits and outcomes of Humanitarian Disarmament.
Please click here to read the report!
Thank you for supporting Nonviolence International and our affiliates and partners. As we continue to strive for a nonviolent world, your help and support means greatly to us.
The Many Faces of Nonviolence - Rachel Corrie
By Chloe MacGillvray
Rachel Corrie was born in April 1979 and grew up in Olympia, Washington, United States. She was the third child to Cindy and Craig Corrie, who have worked extensively to tell her story and bring support to both the people of Palestine and Israel. As Rachel grew up, she had a clear interest in helping others around her, and a passion for adventuring. She longed to discover all that there was to know about the world, and she presented her findings through her writing and art beginning in her youth. She had a great sense of humor (Craig would jokingly say it came from him), and her independence took her to some of the most incredible areas of the world. Rachel was, above all, a human being with a great amount of compassion, and a talent for putting her experiences into words. Her writing, art, and compassion for others are part of the reason her story resonates with all of us today.
After 9-11, Rachel became involved with different peace groups and movements at the local level. While at The Evergreen State College, she connected with students engaged with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). ISM was founded in August 2001 and called for internationals who believed in freedom and self-determination for the Palestinian people to come and join Palestinians in nonviolent resistance against Israeli occupation. Some community members and Evergreen faculty had strong connections to Israel and Palestine, and after 9/11, Rachel was motivated to connect with them, to extensively research the issue of Palestine, and to study Arabic. This eventually led to her journey to Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza in January of 2003.
During her travels, Rachel developed a sense of life for Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza. She began to empathize with their issues, ones that many in the U.S could not begin to understand. Rachel sent emails back home describing the atrocities that she experienced – all of them illustrating her compassion for the families in Gaza, and the oppression that many Palestinians experience as normalcy. In one message written to her friends and family, Rachel spoke of experiences with the children she met in Gaza; “They know that children in the United States don't usually have their parents shot and sometimes get to see the ocean. But once you have seen the ocean and lived in a silent place, where water is taken for granted and not stolen in the night by bulldozers, and spent an evening when you didn’t wonder if the walls of your home might suddenly fall inward waking you from your sleep, and met people who have never lost anyone – once you have experienced the reality of a world that isn’t surrounded by murderous towers, tanks, armed ‘settlements,’ and now a giant metal wall, I wonder if you can forgive the world for all the years of your childhood spent existing – just existing – in resistance to the constant stranglehold of the world's fourth largest military – backed by the world’s only superpower – in its attempt to erase you from your home.”
The emails that Rachel sent home were powerful depictions of the situation in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel. She worked with children consistently during the months she spent in Gaza. She chose to be in Rafah, near the border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip, because she understood this to be where the need was greatest, largely because of mass home demolitions occurring at the time. Rachel wanted to be on the receiving end of U.S foreign politics in the area to witness firsthand the impact of U.S. policy and funding on the Palestinian people. By treaty, Israel had military control of a narrow corridor between Egypt and Gaza and kept expanding to gain control of an even greater area of land. Beyond this corridor, the Israeli military was carrying out mass demolitions of Palestinian homes. The Israeli government stated that this was necessary to control the smuggling of weapons, but 16,000 people in Rafah alone lost their homes to these demolitions, that multiple human rights organizations deemed “collective punishment.”
Rachel lived with different families at the time, and though many back home were concerned for her safety, she was more concerned about whether ISM was truly making a difference for people. She felt human connection was powerful and believed that by building relationships in Gaza she would be able to further determine how to be an activist for them. She worked fiercely to get the word out about everything she was seeing. She was both an observer working with human rights organizations, and a reporter to those unfamiliar with the pressing situation. She slept on families’ floors, hoping that her presence in their homes might provide some extra protection to those who lived inside. Rachel was determined to build and maintain relationships and to return again to Gaza, despite it being a challenging commitment. She spent hours with the children of Rafah. One was an 11-year-old boy who later reported that he had told his friends not to play with Rachel because she was an American. But after seeing how she was with people, how she stressed human connection, and watching her play “football” (soccer) with his friends, he changed his mind. Rachel worked not only to gain the trust of those who lived in Gaza, but to build off that trust to nurture others’ feelings and to strengthen friendships. She viewed everyone as human beings, as equals deserving of basic dignity and respect.
Rachel was killed on March 16, 2003, during an Israeli military clearing operation in Rafah during which Palestinian structures and homes were threatened. The United States government immediately called for a “thorough, credible, and transparent” Israeli investigation, but high officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations have stated that investigation by Israel in Rachel’s case has never met that standard. As a result, Rachel’s parents took legal action against the State of Israel and the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Testimony from an original Israeli military “operational” investigation could not be used in an Israeli Military Police investigation that followed, nor in the civil lawsuit brought by the Corrie family. Rachel’s killing was deemed an accident by the courts, and she was even blamed for her own death. The lack of a transparent and credible Israeli investigation and strong evidence to suggest that the bulldozing was not an accident, made the ruling highly questionable. Nevertheless, the court proceedings with testimony from numerous military witnesses succeeded in exposing the destructive culture of the Israeli military as it performed in Gaza, as reflected by a Colonel who testified under oath that “there are no civilians in war.”
Rachel’s death was not simply a legal issue nor a question about lack of proper investigation. Rachel was a daughter, sister, and a best friend to many – and not only to those in the U.S. Until the day she died, she was a young woman developing into an incredibly talented writer and artist, who had a love for people that could not be matched. She recognized her flaws and built off them. She was constantly learning, not just for herself, but to better understand and support those who surrounded her. Human relationships meant everything to her. It never mattered their origin, age, or differences. Rachel was deeply ingrained with principles of nonviolence but was careful not to dictate to people who are oppressed what their own resistance should be. She instead learned from them and learned what she could do for them - whether it was sleep on the floors of homes to offer some protection, or be the best soccer player she could be with the children. Rachel believed that through nonviolent movements, the oppressed, and those in solidarity with them, seize more power than they do through violent response. She was critical of herself, but this didn’t present as weakness. Her greatest strength was her ability to evaluate her actions and to be strategic about what she could do.
Above all else, Rachel was a human being who deserved more time here. Her philosophy, her writing, and what she took with her will forever change the way many approach types of action and the response to injustice. Rachel’s story will be told for years to come.
The Many Faces of Nonviolence - Angela Davis
By Alfonzo (Fonzi) Mendoza
Angela Yvonne Davis is a lifelong civil rights activist, abolitionist, feminist - communist, author, professor, scholar, and more. She is widely known for her participation in the 1960’s uprisings against injustices and inequalities for Black people, people of color and oppressed groups in the United States and abroad; Davis was affiliated with the Black Panther Party at the height of their activism and helped build and lead the movement for prison and police abolition. Davis’ views on prison abolition and Black resistance come from her life experiences growing up in a segregated Birmingham, Alabama, and spending 16 months in a women's prison for her connection to the Soledad Brothers’ courtroom incident. She first came to prominence when she was wrongfully laid off from her teaching position at UCLA for her communist political views and affiliation with the Communist Party USA. After winning her lawsuit against the school, she was soon fired again for her use of inflammatory language.
Living in a segregated Alabama, Davis knew racial injustice all too well from a young age; her neighborhood in Birmingham was known as “dynamite hill” for the large number of homes targeted and bombed by the Klu Klux Klan. Violence has played a central role in Davis’ life, as much of it was spent trying to escape racism, homophobia, misogyny, and the prison industrial complex. One of the most prominent instances in her life took place during the Soledad Brothers’ trial in 1970. On August 7th, Jonathan Jackson, brother of George who was on trial at the time, stormed the courtroom taking the judge, prosecutor, and members of the jury hostage and hoping to exchange them for the release of his brother. Unfortunately, Jonathan, the judge, and others were killed during this incident by police, and the guns used to carry out the abduction were traced back to Davis. Going into hiding for over 2 months, Davis ended up on the FBI’s top 10 most wanted list and fled California as a fugitive. She moved at night, staying with friends and comrades until she was found in a New York City hotel, and was even labeled the “dangerous terrorist Angela Davis” by then President, Richard Nixon.
While in prison, Davis was interviewed and questioned by Goran Olsson for the documentary The Black Power Mixtape on her participation in the Black Panther Party, the Communist Party USA, and her characterization as a violent militant by the media. “Because of the way this society is organized, because of the violence that exists on the surface everywhere, you have to expect that there are going to be such explosions [revolutions]. You have to expect things like that as reactions,” stated Davis. In an interview with Black Journal in 1972, Davis said, “If there is violence in the process of waging a revolution, that will be determined by the ruling class, that will be determined by those who hold power.”
Davis has spent the majority of her life as an educator and activist, pushing the boundaries on how we view gender, race, and class. She is a highly regarded author and writes extensively on the intersections of identities and how those intersections affect the way one moves throughout the world. One of her most famous works, Are Prisons Obsolete?, discusses how gender, race, and class all affect the outcomes of one's life in the United States where the prison industrial complex looms over the lives of queer and poor people of color constantly. In a 2018 lecture on eradicating state violence, Davis said, “When we look at the struggle in Palestine, it becomes clear that state violence against Black communities in the U.S. cannot be eradicated by simply hiring better police officers, by hiring police who are less racist, or who have attended anti-racism workshops; And of course all the while keeping the police apparatus intact and that apparatus incorporates some of the histories of colonialism and slavery.”
Davis’ contributions towards Black liberation are continuing to inspire and lead a generation of abolitionists today. Her work is essential to the nonviolence movement, and helps others think critically about the structure of our society; systemic and institutional racism, classism and bigotry are not accidents of a flawed system, but rather, were intentional frameworks drafted into the fabric of our world to protect systems and people in power. Davis’ work force us to engage critically with our surroundings, and asks us to analyze the current political, economic and social structures in place today that frequently and continuously cause us harm. Her book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, make the connections of modern-day prisons to slavery in the United States. “Slavery, lynching, and segregation are certainly compelling examples of social institutions that, like the prison, were once considered to be as everlasting as the sun. Yet, in the case of all three examples, we can point to movements that assumed the radical stance of announcing the obsolescence of these institutions.” Davis’ work illustrates the true perpetrators of violence in our society and calls for a paradigm shift on how we attribute and recognize violence. By challenging our pre-existing beliefs and inherent biases, she implores us to evaluate our way of life and take the steps towards building a world free of violence, with that violence being: racism, capitalism, white supremacy, homophobia and all systems of power and oppression.
Barbara Deming wrote the words that serve as the title of our webinar series, “We Are All Part of One Another.” Her prophetic words ring true today more than ever.
The global pandemic has once again revealed how broken our system is. May it also remind us all of our shared humanity.
In this series, you will find stories of the amazing work being done by people all over the world, including our wonderful partners. We trust you will find a reason for grounded realistic hope. Even in the midst of so many daunting challenges, people all over are building a powerful, diverse, global nonviolent movement. We are glad to be able to play a key role as a backbone organization of this global movement and to share this knowledge with you.
In the coming weeks, we will continue to host inspirational conversations of hope in this new world we have emerged into and announce them on this page.
Stay tuned for future webinars to be announced on this page and via our social media channels…
We also encourage you to take the time to view the previous webinars in this series, linked below:
"Democracy Defense: Advice from Activists Around the World"
Please see our recording of this powerful webinar here.
Nonviolent Activism in the Islamic World in a Time of Islamophobia with Thai professor and activist Chaiwat Satha-Anand, Sudanese social justice activist, researcher, and feminist Hala Al-Karib, Kashmiri writer-activist Mushtaq Ul-Haq Ahmad Sikandar, and Lebanese-American scholar and former Director of NVI's Islam and Peace program, Karim Crow. Hosted by Nonviolence International board member and American University professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer.
In a time of substantial Islamaphobia across the world, Nonviolence International hosts experts in the field of Islam and nonviolent activism. They discuss the rich diversity of nonviolent resistance and activism in Thailand, Kashmir, Sudan, Palestine, and other Muslim states and communities.
People Power and Democracy in Sudan with Anthony A. Haggar from the Haggar Group, Sudanese civil society activist Asma Ismail Ahmed, Sudanese-American journalist and human rights activist Jalelah Sophia Ahmed, and progressive leader US Representative Pramila Jayapal. Hosted by Executive Director of Nonviolence International Michael Beer.
Watch a discussion about the country's nonviolent revolution and the current situation facing the Sudanese people and their government. Sudanese professionals, civil society activists, and journalists will share their hopes and plans for Sudan's future and articulate ways in which the international community, and specifically the USA, can help.
Co-Resistance and Solidarity with Palestinians with Elias D'eis and Said Durzi Zarar of the Holy Land Trust as well as Scout Bratt and Clare Jordan of the Center for Jewish Nonviolence. Hosted by new NVI board member Mohammed Abu-Nimer.
Observe our impressive partners, Holy Land Trust and Center for Jewish Nonviolence, lead the way to a model of grassroots co-resistance and solidarity that has the power to transform our beautiful and broken world.
Nonviolent Resistance to Nuclear Weapons and War with Patrick O’Neill and Martha Hennessy of the Plowshares Movement, Alyn Ware of Parliamentarians for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, Mani Shankar Aiyar of the Indian National Congress Party, and Divina Maloum of Children for Peace. Hosted by Paul Magno.
Listen to our discussion of important nonviolent campaigns that seek to eliminate the risk of nuclear conflict, hear the stories of inspiring actions that activists have undergone, and learn more about the role global citizens can take.
Creative Nonviolent Action for Palestine During COVID-19 with Alex McDonald of the US Boats to Gaza, Raed Shakshak of We Are Not Numbers, and Roshan Dadoo of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, South Africa. Hosted by NVI founders Mubarak Awad and Jonathan Kuttab.
Witness some of our partners and friends address the situation in Palestine in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will also discuss important campaigns that promote nonviolence in the Levant, with a specific focus on the Gaza Strip, during the pandemic. Women Fighting for Our Planet (Climate Change Activism) with Phyllis Omido from Kenya, Kehkashan Basu of the United Arab Emirates, Tamara Lorincz from Canada, Juhee Lee from Korea, Raeesah Noor-Mahomed from South Africa, and hosted by Dr. Maia Hallward Learn about the global ecological movement to discuss important campaigns that help promote effective action on the climate crisis. Discover campaigns that will make a difference promoting a more nonviolent world during the pandemic and provide a counternarrative to the increasing militarism around the world. Find out about some of the new creative tactics of resistance activists have been using during this time of crisis. Nonviolence in Palestine with Sami Awad of Holy Land Trust Listen to Sami Awad discuss the role nonviolence has in the struggle of the Palestinian people, as well as hear updates about the situation on the ground during this time of the pandemic. Nonviolence in a Time of Crisis with Mubarak Awad Hear Mubarak Awad, the founder of Nonviolence International, share his warmth and wisdom and tell how he got his start in nonviolence resistance.
We don’t know what the future will hold, but we believe that nonviolence is a force more powerful. And, we know nonviolence is both an effective tool to create real and lasting social change as well as a way of life for many of us.
We urge you to reach out to us and to your friends, family, and community. We must not allow the medically necessary social distancing to limit our equally necessary need to connect with other people. At this moment, we must rise up as one and declare that a new and better world is possible.
The forces of the status quo, from governments to corporations to far too many leaders, have once again been proven to be cruel and heartless. How many canaries in the coal mine do we need before we wake up and create a path - a bold and beautiful path - out of this darkness?
May you stay safe and healthy and may your life be a blessing to others.
- Michael Beer published The Many Faces of Nonviolence- the Me Too Movement in The Many Faces of Nonviolence 2020-08-05 17:19:40 -0400
The Many Faces of Nonviolence- The Faces of the Me Too Movement
By Maegan Hanlon
On October 7, 2018, the New York Times published a story in which actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd accused entertainment giant Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. The women claimed that Weinstein promised to advance their careers in exchange for sexual favors. Most of the women subject to his abuse wanted to get a foot in the Hollywood door. In the New York Times article, victims detailed horrors such as Weinstein stripping naked in front of them, asking for or giving women massages, and forcing them to watch him bathe. Many of the victims who spoke out against him said that he often tried to coerce women into bed with him. When a woman said no to him, he would ask more and more favors until she said yes or left. Humiliated and confused, victims believed they had nowhere to turn.
Rose McGowan. Creative Commons, Rhododendrites.
Most victims did not speak up about the abuse out of fear of retaliation. Weinstein was one of the biggest names in Hollywood and working with him brought fame and money. However, his victims also reported his explosive anger. Furthermore, Weinstein used generosity to manipulate his victims. Abusing his power within the industry, he would help them make connections to go farther in their careers. One meeting with Weinstein could secure magazine covers, roles, or endorsement deals. One meeting with Weinstien could be the meeting that launched a career. Because of this, women felt pressured to stay silent.
After her assault in 1997, up and coming actress Ashley Judd could not stay silent. According to her testimony in Time Magazine, Judd says she felt she had to warn others of Weienstien’s behavior. After telling a friend in the business about her experience, Judd learned shocking news - whispers of Weinstien’s inappropriate behavior had been circulating around Hollywood for years. Judd realized that many Hollywood executives and actors were aware of Weinstien’s behavior but said nothing. In fact, Harvey Weinstein was not the only perpetrator of abuse. There was an epidemic of misconduct happening in the entertainment industry. As more women in the entertainment industry learned of the widespread sexual harassment issues, they realized they were not alone. Rather, they found a community of women who experienced similar horrors, and they banded together to expose both their abusers and culture of silence surrounding the abuse.
McGowan and Judd’s actions sparked a global movement called Me Too. Starting in the entertainment industry, celebrities, such as Alyssa Milano and Selma Blair, began telling their stories about their sexual assault horrors. Actor Anthony Rapp detailed abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of film legend Kevin Spacey when Rapp was still a minor. As more victims spoke up, more Hollywood royalty faced accusations of misconduct. The floodgates had opened, and the truth came out. While some men’s careers were left unscathed, some men were held accountable for their actions with lawsuits from victims like Ashley Judd and Taylor Swift. In fact, Taylor Swift had photographic evidence of her assault, yet she still faced a trial. She won, and her abuser was sentenced to pay her a symbolic one dollar. Swift was not concerned about financial compensation, but rather she wanted to set a legal precedent for future assault trials.
The Me Too movement extends far beyond the world of Harvey Weinstein. In 2006, sexual assault survivor Tarana Burke coined the phrase Me Too on MySpace, but the phrase did not become mainstream until later. The hashtag #metoo trended on Twitter in 2017 after Alyssa Milano tweeted about her experience with Weinstein, and the hashtag quickly went viral. Women all over the world began speaking up about sexual misconduct in the workplace and in their personal lives. Time Magazine highlighted some stories of women who suffered from sexual abuse at their jobs. For example, Crystal Washington worked in the hospitality department at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. She detailed almost daily crude comments from her boss. Fearing for the security of her job, Washington stayed quiet. However, despite her own struggles with sexual harassment, she fielded complaints of sexual harassment almost daily. Washington often listened to reports about guests cornering and harassing her staff. According the Time article, Washington and six other employees are suing the hotel for sexual harassment.
Anita Hill, 1991. AP Images.
McGowan and Judd were not the first women to face their abuser publicly in court. In 1991, American lawyer and professor Anita Hill accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct. After her accusation she endured polygraph tests and investigations. Hill testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991 where she was subjected to extreme doubt in her experience. Former Senator Joe Biden was head of the all white committee, and he handled the hearing poorly. After saying Hill could testify first, he let Justice Thomas testify before Hill. Then, Biden did not let other accusers testify with Hill. Justice Thomas still served on the Supreme Court. Today, Hill is a professor of Social Policy, law, and Women’s Studies at Brandeis University. Similarly, in 2018, American professor and research specialist Christine Blasey Ford accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of rape when the two were in high school in Bethesda, MD. Like Hill, Ford went through a Senate Judiciary hearing in which the committee doubted her allegations. She was subjected to polygraph tests and psychiatrist testimonies to validate her claim. In Ford’s case, believing the victim became a political stance. Justice Kavanaugh has been serving on the Supreme Court since October 2018. Unfortunately, due to the wide media coverage of her committee hearing, Ford has been forced to keep a low profile for the safety of herself and her family.
McGowan and Judd’s New York Times article blew the whistle on a widespread problem around the world. Strong women continue to take down powerful men with their reports of misconduct. Their bravery has led to a new understanding of sexual misconduct, and has helped the topic shed some of its taboo reputation. The Me Too Movement didn't stop there, it continues to evolve and expand to this day. New and deeper understanding of the issue sparked the creation of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which helps victims afford to go to trial against their abusers. Since January 2017, cities across the world have participated in annual, peaceful Women's Marches to advocate for change. While the awareness of sexual misconduct has grown enormously since 2018, there is still more to be done to help victims and prevent future victims. To learn more about the powerful nonviolent Me Too movement or to donate to help victims, please see the links listed below.
Nonviolence is the Recognition of the Humanity of Others
We named our webinar series, “We Are All Part Of One Another.” This is a line from the great feminist nonviolent activist Barbara Deming. That line is, of course, reflective of an ancient truth that lies at the heart of all the world religions and the scientific understanding of humans as intensely social and interdependent creatures.
We know we can’t harm another human being without harming ourselves.
We can’t allow unjust systems to remain in place oppressing our precious sisters and brothers and call ourselves nonviolent. Instead, nonviolence calls on us to actively pursue justice for all.
We want to hear from you!
We know nonviolence is a powerful force in our world. And we also know we all think of it differently! At Nonviolence International, all of our own definitions fit within the big tent of nonviolence.
So we want to know: what does nonviolence mean to you? How would you define it? Please join the conversation and let us know by filling out the form!
By filling out the form, consent to us adding your response to our website.
Nonviolence is in its Infancy
While nonviolence is an ancient power with a long and proud history that we can learn much from, as a society we have focused far too much of our energy on learning how to make war. Thus the study of active nonviolence remains in its infancy. In this time of interconnected global crises, we must quickly embrace the call to study war no more and instead must focus our collective power on building a new and more impactful version of nonviolence that rises to the challenges we face.
In the US alone we have five major tax payer funded colleges established to study how to make war.
What if we spent a fraction of our excessive military budget addressing the pressing human and environmental needs facing us today? And, we established a top-notch degree granting school that helped advance our understanding of how to build and maintain a peaceful, just world.
What if we from an early age, we taught young people how to resolve their conflicts without resorting to violence?
We might just find that peace is indeed possible.
In addition to Gene Sharp’s powerful work on Nonviolent Tactics (which we feature in our free online database), Gene also did groundbreaking work on Civilian Based Defense.
Along with Nonviolent Third Party Intervention we are just starting to build realistic alternatives to war. Together we must quickly advance this vital work.
Nonviolence is a Way of Life
For many of us, nonviolence is central to who we are. It recognizes our connection to others and allows us to put into action our deeply held values.
You will find examples of nonviolence in many spiritual and religious traditions, but its active embrace is in no way limited to people of faith. Instead, nonviolence can become a guiding light for all who seek to help create a more peaceful, just, and environmentally sustainable world.
For more information on this aspect of nonviolence, please see these posts.
Also, if you want to see our partners and the wonderful work they accomplish through nonviolence, please visit Our Partner's Page.
Nonviolence is a Powerful Tool
Nonviolence is a powerful tool that can be used in a wide variety of settings to advance deep and lasting social change.
This is where Nonviolence International focuses a great deal of our effort. We provide a growing series of resources to people all over the world.
Those interested in learning more about how NV can be used as a powerful tool might enjoy visiting our online Nonviolent Tactics Database. This database provides over 350 specific tactics that you can use today. You will find examples of where these tactics have been used.
Please also check out our partnership with Rutgers University, our Nonviolence Training Archive. There you will find top-notch training material sorted to make them easily accessible to both scholars already immersed in the field and those just beginning to explore the force more powerful than any in the world - active nonviolence.
The following is a statement from our board members, Mubarak Awad, Jonathan Kuttab, Mohammed Abu-Nimer, and Peter Weinberger.
Unilateral annexation of portions of the West Bank by Israel is a path of oppression and injustice. The whole world must say no.
There are two major arguments against annexation from the Jordan Valley or near Jerusalem:
The first is that it basically violates the bedrock of international law, which holds that you cannot annex territory that comes into your possession as a result of war. After WWII, with the creation of the United Nations, 75 years ago, the international community cannot tolerate “border adjustments” taken unilaterally no matter what the justification. There are 194 countries in the world, and most of them have historical, tribal, economic, or security interests in taking portions of land from their neighbours. If that is allowed, there would be chaos in the international community. That is why the few attempts made (Turkey in Cyprus, Morocco in Western Sahara, Iraq in Kuwait, and Russia in Georgia, and Ukraine; and now Israel in Jerusalem, the Golan and the West Bank) have been roundly condemned. It is unfortunate that the current US administration is so contemptuous of international law and the international community that it would allow such an outrage.
Secondly, many people oppose annexation, because it undermines any possibility of a two-state solution along the lines of UN Resolution 242, and 338, and the principle of land for peace that many people hoped would be a reasonable pragmatic solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Those who still hold on to this idea are among the most active opponents of the Annexation scheme, which they see as eliminating the possibilities of a globally supported peaceful solution, and ensuring continued conflict and war, just as in the past each additional act of settlement and land confiscation had been wrong. It is illegal and it undermines both international law and the prospect of peace.
Some (even among Israel’s most right-wing friends) acknowledge that Israel has in fact been slowly but surely annexing the West Bank, and acting as a sovereign there, while pretending its presence is temporary, pending the arrival of peace, and that Israel gains nothing from annexation other than headaches. They argue that the annexation will not really change anything on the ground, and that it is only a provocative move rendering de jure what has been the de facto reality on the ground. NVI’s co-founder Jonathan Kuttab said “Open annexation only forces the world to deal with uncomfortable realities which the world has been quite willing to accept with a nod and a wink. The world verbally rejects such actions, while doing absolutely nothing to bring an end to the occupation or the settlements or the creeping annexation.”
NVI co-founder, Mubarak Awad agrees saying “There is much in that argument since annexation will in fact end the charade and force the world to recognize the inherent racism and discrimination of the system, and the settler-colonial nature of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians.” As Israelis debate and discuss with the US the question of annexation, it is amazing how brazenly they announce that they wish to annex as much land as possible with as few non-Jewish people as possible. Their probable unstated end-goal is the establishment of a rump Palestinian state in Gaza on 2% of original Palestine.
NVI Board Member Mohammed Abu-Nimer says, “For the rest of the world, the annexation, large or small is a wakeup call to recognize the illegal actions of Israel in the occupied territories and the need to take active, not just verbal steps to address it. Israeli impunity only encourages further illegalities.” This is the moment when the international community, as well as the Arab countries that have been labeled “moderate” by the West, need to take a firm stand and address the entire issue of Israel’s policy in the occupied territories and not just the actual steps Israel will be taking in the coming few weeks or months. NVI Board member Peter Weinberger says, “Border adjustments or land swaps between Israel and a future Palestinian state are fine, but in order to have legitimacy, must be part of a negotiated settlement and cannot be unilaterally implemented by Israel.”
For the Palestinians, nonviolent resistance to occupation, annexation, and 2nd class status will continue and strengthen. Our NVI partners, including the Holy Land Trust, the US Boats to Gaza, We Are Not Numbers, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence will redouble their efforts. Palestinians make up 50% of the population between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Palestinians and much of the world will relentlessly push for equal rights and dignity. Surrender or mass emigration would be a form of cultural suicide. As Dr. King said, we have a choice between nonviolence or non-existence. We know which choice the Palestinians are taking. In the meantime, how much monumental suffering and injustice must happen before the world says no to injustice and yes to peace.
At Nonviolence International, we take pride in our role as a leading nonprofit organization within the worldwide movement for nonviolence and peaceful conflict resolution. We advocate for active nonviolence and support creative constructive nonviolent campaigns globally. To fulfill our mission we provide training resources, tactical strategies, educational materials, timely webinars fostering community and furthering engagement, inspirational stories of nonviolence, and updates on nonviolent campaigns around the world.
Would you like to learn about the power of nonviolence and the global diverse movement currently taking shape while engaging in research assistance, virtual event preparation, social media outreach, and nonprofit management best practices?
***NOTE: Applications for our 2020 Fall program are now CLOSED. ***
We hope you will stay involved with our great work as we announce the opening of applications for our 2021 Spring Internship Program on this page and our social media accounts in the months to come...
(For information on Nonviolence International-NY internship program, please view the link at the bottom of the page.)
As Nonviolence International’s staff is relatively small, interns play an integral role in NVI’s projects and functioning as a cohesive organization. While interns work closely with NVI staff members and volunteers, they are also expected to exhibit independence, creativity, and initiative. Each intern will split their time between research, programmatic support, organizational outreach, and administrative tasks, but will be able to invest significant time and work within their preferred projects of choice.
Our Fall Internship Program will commence at the beginning of September and will wrap up in December. Internships are available at our organization for students and non-students and can be arranged for-credit with colleges and universities. Currently, these are unpaid internships. Interns must be able to dedicate at least 15-20 hours per week on average for a minimum of three months. Given the ongoing uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are unsure as to our return to the office and will be willing to accept remote candidates given the success of our entirely remote summer internship.
In terms of qualifications, we are a very open-minded organization, understanding that applicant’s talents, personal qualities, and experiences go far beyond a static, one-page resume. Thus, we welcome everyone interested in our internship program to apply, regardless of your educational background, professional experience, skills, and accomplishments. However, that is not to say such objective qualifications will not be considered or boost an applicant’s candidacy. We here at Nonviolence International think it is important to take a holistic approach to candidate’s applications which includes their passions and interests.
Responsibilities of this internship will include but are not limited to...
- Research and analyze global examples of nonviolent resistance and enter them appropriately within our database, the world’s largest on nonviolent tactics of resistance.
- Improve professional writing skills by writing tactical summaries based on research to accompany these examples.
- Learn about database structure and best practices for management and maintenance within a database.
Event Management (Currently Virtual):
- Set up webinars that will be attended by ~80 people and live-streamed to an external platform. This will include setting up scheduled Zoom calls, creating event pages, editing autoresponders, updating existing web pages for consistency, tracking RSVPs, configuring the live stream to external platforms, and assisting with the breakdown of the webinar and pages post-event.
- Learn how to manage live webinars from a technical support role.
- Draft and publish social media to promote our webinars and reach out to supporters, followers, and participants.
- Draft segmented emails to market our webinars.
- Regularly create content for the website, in the form of Many Faces profiles, updates, videos, with a preference for more interactive features.
- Regularly create content for our Facebook and Twitter accounts including monitoring them to interact with supporters and prospective supporters.
- Help draft mass emails for our NationBuilder supporter lists and research email communications best practices.
- Gain experience interviewing established professionals within the field of nonviolence/peace and conflict studies and improve your interviewing skills as well as your public speaking skills.
- Improve your writing skills by writing profiles on incredible professionals within the field of nonviolence/peace and conflict studies.
Nonprofit Management/Administrative Assistance:
- Learn how to navigate through a Knowledge Management system as well as the categorization and cataloging of documents.
- Assist with timely and accurate reporting of donations to us and our fiscally sponsored partners.
- Practice handling, working with, and sharing sensitive documents within an organization.
- Assist with financial reporting to the federal government and completion of 990 forms.
- Help draft and send out acknowledgment letters to our donors.
***NOTE: Applications for our 2020 Fall program are now CLOSED. ***
To read about the experience of some of our interns check out this post.
To learn about the internship program at Nonviolence International-NY, please visit: https://www.nonviolenceny.org/internships.
- Michael Beer published The Many Faces of Nonviolence - Reverend Joseph Lowery in The Many Faces of Nonviolence 2020-06-04 12:24:05 -0400
The Many Faces of Nonviolence- Reverend Joseph Lowery
By Maegan Hanlon
Reverend Joseph Lowery dedicated his life to the civil rights movement. Growing up in the Jim Crow era in Alabama, Reverend Lowery saw first hand the damage violence and racism caused in everyday life. In fact, Reverend Lowery cites an incident with Alabama police that sparked his dedication to nonviolence and civil rights. He recalls as an eleven-year-old, a police officer in his hometown of Huntsville, Alabama “jabbed him with a nightstick.” The police officer then accused Reverend Lowery of not respecting white men. Rather than letting this incident allow rage to fester internally, the reverend said it inspired him to dedicate his life to nonviolent resistance. After college Reverend Lowery worked on a newspaper column about racial injustice, and later decided to attend seminary school to become a minister. He was ordained into the United Methodist Church and joined the NAACP. His experience with faith greatly inspired his commitment to nonviolence throughout his life.
As a minister in the American United Method Church, he believed in using nonviolent tactics to advocate for equal rights under the law. He organized his first nonviolent protest with the goal of desegregating buses in Mobile, Alabama during the 1950s. Later, he helped organize the 1955 Montgomery Bus boycott in which black riders sat in seats reserved for white riders. Their efforts were successful, and Montgomery's buses were desegregated. When reflecting on this victory, he said that the boycott, “sparked and triggered an era of self-determination.” Additionally, the bus boycott victory led to the creation of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). The SCLC, led by Reverend Lowery and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., aimed to coordinate local activist groups with a strong commitment to nonviolent protest and action against injustice.
In 1965, Reverend Lowery led the march from Selma to Montgomery that brought demands on voting rights to Alabama’s Governor, George Wallace, a fervent segregationist. Reverend Lowery brought marchers from the SCLC and other organizations to the Alabama state capital to protest racial discrimination in voting procedures. His peaceful marchers were attacked by state police on the Governor’s orders, but the altercation only served to further inspire Reverend Lowery and his supporters. Later that year the reverend led a march on Washington, DC, which ultimately led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Reverend Lowery continued to work with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for many years, using his nonviolent tactics to fight for justice all over the world.
In the 1970s, he shifted his nonviolent focus to the power of the ballot, and he encouraged millions of black Americans to use their votes to fight for justice. After his success with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Reverend Lowery wanted to assure both young and old black voters that voting held power. Throughout his career Reverend Lowery continued to advocate for nonviolence tactics after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. He used his platform as a nonviolent civil rights leader and minister to preach about peace. A great example of this occurred during his eulogy for Coretta Scott King, a fellow civil rights leader and friend, who passed away in 2006. During the eulogy he denounced the United States’ involvement in the Iraq War in front of President Bush and emphasized both his and King’s lifelong commitments to peace.
In 2008 he gave the benediction at President Obama’s inauguration, and in 2009 President Obama awarded him the Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. After a long and passionate life of nonviolent activism, Reverend Joseph Lowery passed away at the age of 98 on March 27, 2020. He was a celebrated pioneer for civil rights in the United States. He led the fight for equal rights in a time when it was dangerous. Reverend Lowery provided a light among the darkness for millions of Americans. His nonviolent legacy sets a remarkable example for all of us to live by.
Reverend Lowery worked diligently for civil rights in the United States, and he accomplished a great deal. However, there is still more to be done. Thus we must ask ourselves, how can we follow in Reverend Lowery’s footsteps and stand up for peace in our own communities?