Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Notes from Nonviolence: Two is One

Day Two of the 12th International Nonviolence Summer Institute has us participating in Day One of the two-day Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation that we are being trained to facilitate.

The morning involved building community while practicing taking perspective in order to practice empathy.  This was followed by an introduction to common types and levels of conflict, in order that we may practice understanding the roots of conflict in order to create lasting, nonviolent responses/solutions.

Interested in that?  Keep an eye out for SALD's offering of these two-day trainings throughout the year starting soon!

We are lucky to have the author, historian, and peace activist Paul Chappell as a guest speaker this week and fellow participant in the sessions.  He provided additional insight into conflict.  Primarily, he shared scholarship on how sustained violence (like war) requires dehumanizing the people we are in conflict with in order to overcome a deep-rooted aversion to killing.  He also shared his finding that feeling disrespected is a very common cause of conflict, the feeling of which usually comes from misunderstanding or not fully understanding what is happening around and to us.

In this light, he said that King's off-cited status as a "moral authority" is rooted in his continual practice of demonstrating respect to those with whom he interacted and staying focused on understanding issues & perspectives.

The Institute is being held in the URI Multicultural Center, home of the Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies

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