Greetings from Rev. Kristin Gill Stoneking FOR’s 24th Executive Director mandatory conscription, the poverty draft that beckons to Following a six-month search, young adults as the only path Rev. Stoneking began her tenure th toward respect and a job is as FOR USA’s 24 Executive very much in force. Though we Director on August 5, 2013. We have fair housing laws, persons are excited and blessed to have of color and of minority her leadership as we move into religions, or sexual orientations our second 100 years. must carefully consider the climate and record of the local I write this morning following a police force in the neighborproductive and memorable trip to hoods in which they might Washington, DC, where I was invited choose to live. Though we to speak by the Martin Luther King, have fair employment laws, as Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social long as we are exporting Change at the commemoration of the American dollars to fight wars 50th anniversary of the March on born of fear and sprouting Washington. I chose to focus my seeds of violence abroad, we remarks on the legacy of pacifism will not have enough jobs or and nonviolence, FOR’s connection adequate education for decent to that legacy, and the implications for employment here at home. our militarized culture today, especially with respect to Syria. Dr. King warned us that “the road ahead will not always be Interestingly, though most speakers smooth. There will still be rocky focused on themes of the legacy of places of frustration, and King and the original march—jobs, meandering points of economic opportunity, dignity for bewilderment.” But Dr. King persons of all races and gains won showed us the way to navigate through the achievement of civil this path. As a Christian rights—only Representative John minister in the Baptist tradition, Lewis and President Jimmy Carter he demonstrated and urged focused the majority of their remarks over and over that love must on the way of nonviolence. guide us in our efforts toward change. His gospel was both While the vicious cycle of what Dr. the Christian gospel and the King called “the triple evils” of racism, gospel of nonviolence that economic exploitation and militarism draws from and but does not still weighs heavily on us, we still wholly belong to any one of the have work to do today. Though we world’s religious and spiritual have no more formal process of traditions.
Nonviolence is the unifying framework that lights our path through the complexities of ethical decision making today, just as it has throughout the last century. When Southeast/Mid Atlantic Regional Coordinator Lucas Johnson and I met with U.S. Representative John Lewis and his staffer, Andrew Aydin, they shared with us the great need for training in nonviolent strategy, tactics and theory. FOR, through our national and international networks, is well positioned to offer leadership on the nonviolent way of life. As the twenty first-century unfolds, we look forward to partnering with you to be witness to this way, always persevering for peace. Thank you for your commitment, your action and your support which makes the work of FOR possible. Contact: Kristin Gill Stoneking, firstname.lastname@example.org
Reports from the 55th Annual Seabeck Conference July 4-7, 2013 Harnessing Outrage & Compassion: Awakening the Power of Nonviolence: by Ellen Finkelstein, Western Washington FOR FOR’s Pacific Northwest Regional Conference drew about 200 participants (primarily from WA and OR) to the spectacular setting on the Hood Canal to learn, share, play, and strengthen efforts toward justice and peace. A number of FOR-affiliated Religious Peace Fellowship members attended the conference, enriching the conference and leading a panel discussion and a number of workshops. The conference was honored to have special guest Francesco Candelari (IFOR Coordinator) join us. Keynoter Kazu Haga is a Kingian nonviolence trainer who has worked with the Positive Peace Warrior Network. He addressed “King’s Final Marching Orders: Institutionalizing Nonviolence.” He spoke (in part) about the need to honor anger/outrage and righteous indignation, to recognize its power and courage, and to channel it to demand justice. The challenge is to balance anger and love, compassion and outrage in order to build the beloved community and a powerful movement for change. He urged us to think about the “wars … being waged in our backyards that we sometimes don’t acknowledge.” In a follow-up workshop, Kazu, Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm, and Mary Lou Finley presented a brief “introduction” to the principles and methods of Martin Luther King and how to achieve success in social or political change through nonviolent campaigns. The second keynote brought together current and past National Council members Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm and Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb to share their thoughts and challenge us to think deeply about “How to Build Movements for Everyone.” More than 20 workshops covered a wide-range of issues. Children and youth had separate programs; the youth attended both the keynotes and several workshops. Music and movement were part of the conference. The salmon bake was enhanced by a water blessing ceremony led by Sweetwater Nannauck from Tlinkgit Nation who works with Idle No More. Contact: Ellen Finkelstein, email@example.com, www.wwfor.org. Youthful Voices at Seabeck Awaken the Power of Nonviolence By Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, FOR Multifaith Peacewalk Program Coordinator While the majority of the attendees at the 55th Western Region conference at Seabeck, WA were long time FOR activists over the age of 60, two of the keynote speakers represented a new generation of young people committed to nonviolent social transformation. In the cross-generational dialogue, Kazu Haga, Bay Area coordinator of Positive Peace Warriors, and Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm, a national council member of FOR, and Seattle Chapter Coordinator of CISPES offered unique insights into their understanding of what it means to struggle nonviolently for social justice. Kazu and Kaeley represent the power of continuity in the growing appreciation of ‘a force more powerful’ to create a better world. Both Kazu and Kaeley began their remarks appreciating the generations who came before them and upon whose shoulders they stand. Kaeley stressed that intergenerational organizing has to be conducted in a language and cultural style that reflects the interests of young people and is inclusive of their leadership, cultural expression and ideas. Panel discussions and frontal presentations, for instance, do not necessarily speak to young people. Rather, contemporary music, the arts, interactive learning, affordable and accessible gathering places are more likely to create a viable, inter-generational collaboration. In addition, young people have a lot to say, but are often ignored. She observed, older adults have a tendency not take the suggestions of young people seriously', stating, “Adultism describes a situation whereby a few young people are invited into a process dominated by older adults, but not given room to develop their leadership skills or promote a process that is authentically inclusive of young people. Active listening is essential to harnessing the power of nonviolence. (continued on page 7) Page 2
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July 24, 2013 the first day of the summer crackdown. Sue Nelson is being arrested in the upper right corner. Twentytwo were arrested that day.
Singing truth to power five days a week since March 11, 2011! as reported by Sue Nelson, Coordinator of Rock Valley FOR After two and a half years, the Solidarity Sing Along has collectively received nearly 500 citations for our daily singing in Wisconsin’s capitol. The story of the Sing Along is in our songs. This non-group is a peaceful, non-hierarchal learning community. On Facebook, visit ‘Solidarity Sing Along’ to download the song book. Contact: www.rockvalleyfor.org
“Every day at noon we’re gonna be here We’re not going away Until love drives out the politics of fear We’re not going away Our voices echo through the rotunda We’re not going away Until the People rise up like thunder We’re not going away “(*1) “This land is your land This land is my land From Lake Geneva To Madeline Island From the rolling prairies To our lovely dairies Wisconsin was made for you and me” (*2) “Wisconsin whose motto was, “Forward” Was populist as it could be But now the new motto is, “Backward” Oh, bring back Wisconsin to me Though we may be “God’s Frozen People” We bask in the warmth of our plea Song List: 1. We’re Not Going Away (I’ll Fly Away - original by Albert E. Brumley, new lyrics by Mary Worley 2. This Land is Your Land - by Woody Guthrie, Wisconsin verse by Peter Leidy
FOR Witness Fall 2013
Don’t bury my rights in a snow bank Oh, bring back Wisconsin to me” (*3) “We’re gonna lift up our voices Down at the Sing Along [3 times] We’re gonna lift up our voices Down at the Sing Along Money ain’t gonna govern here no more “(*4) “And so begins the final drama In the streets and in the fields We stand unbowed before their armour We defy their guns and shields When we fight, provoked by their aggression Let us be inspired by life and love For though they offer us concessions Change will not come from above “(*5) “Grill some brats, tap a keg And pass the cheddar We’ll be here ‘til Wisconsin gets better” (*6) “How can I keep from singing?” (*7)
3. Bring Back Wisconsin to Me (My 5. The Internationale - Music and Bonnie lies over the Ocean) lyrics by Billy Bragg traditional Scottish folk song, 6. Pass the Cheddar - Original by Caption describing picture or graphic. new lyrics by Lou and Peter Hank Williams, new lyrics by Berryman Doleta Chapru 4. Down at the Sing Along (Study 7. How Can I Keep From Singing? War No More) - Melody Original by Robert Lowry, new traditional, new lyrics by Greg lyrics by Sue Nelson, Bill Dunn, Gordon and Ryan Wherley Page 3
Introducing “ROADMAP” By Michael Nagler, President and Founder, Metta Center for Nonviolence Metta Center for Nonviolence continues to develop ROADMAP, our unifying, strategic overview for the nonviolent revolution, or “the Great Turning,” as referenced by David Korten’s 2006 book of the same title. Why Roadmap? Every social movement needs to have two things: strategy and unity. Roadmap is a framework that can help today’s many movements, organizations, and projects to develop both.
The six sectors of the Compass, starting at the top and moving clockwise: 1) New Story Creation 2) Peace 3) Democracy & Social Justice 4) Vibrant and Needsbased Economies 5) Climate Protection 6) Environment
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.mettacenter.org, 707-774-6299
ROADMAP applies the principles of Gandhi to today’s progressive movement as a way to help it gain more cohesion and a long-term strategy. On our symbol, the “mandala,” the six sectors of social change are gathered together in a circle also called a ‘Compass’. Starting from twelve o’clock the first, and in a sense most important, sector is new story creation – the development of a new narrative, drawn from science and wisdom traditions, that restores human dignity and meaning. Second (moving clockwise) is peace; next comes democracy and social justice, then vibrant and needs-based economies, the fifth is climate protection (a separate sector because of its urgency), and the sixth sector is environment. Within each sector are three examples of projects contributing to its realization, feel free to substitute your own. The Roadmap Compass is a “peace from within” model prioritizing personal empowerment (five practices are recommended) and moving next to what Gandhi called “constructive programme” and finally to active nonviolent resistance, or Satyagraha, where needed. On our website, you will soon be able to click on an interactive ROADMAP Compass” Through it you will be able to find needed resources and connect with others doing similar work. From these interconnections, and a series of conversations started at Metta, we will be able to develop a long-term strategy to place before the movement as a whole. Without detracting from the great diversity of people or actions presently underway, the strategy will enable us to form a cohesive, focused movement taking us systematically from strength to strength until, eventually, the “Great Turning” is accomplished. Think of itPage as 4putting the ‘unity’ back in unity-in-diversity. Page 4
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Listening Project Since 1981 From Divisiveness and Disempowerment to Listening, Organizing and Cooperative Community Based Change Proposal for Nation-wide Listening Projects to Empower Effective Community Responses to Fracking
Listening Project has 30 years of success in providing professional training and resources that have helped organizations listen, communicate, organize and achieve success on a wide range of divisive social change issues. Listening Projects conducted in the U.S. and internationally have enabled polarized communities to find common ground and empower local leadership to implement community based solutions. Listening Project is a program of Rural Southern Voice for Peace, a FOR affiliate founded in 1981. A community based Listening Project is conducted by local organizations. It includes a comprehensive process of: ď‚ˇ Organizational development and training that insures adequate leadership and resources for success. ď‚ˇ Intensive community listening that utilizes therapeutic methods that open communication and positive relationships with opponents and people who might be seen as apathetic, alienated or discouraged. ď‚ˇ Collaborative grassroots organizing stemming from new information,
relationships and resources that result from one-on-one deep listening and facilitated group. The result: greater community unity and effective community action. Our organization is currently deeply concerned about the rush to Fracking throughout the U.S. We are seeking national or regional partner organizations that can work with us to provide local or regional Listening Project training and organizing that will empower local community organizations. Our intention is to empower regional efforts to stop Fracking by providing consultation, training and resources that will enable communities to conduct their own successful Listening Projects. We have two approaches: we can provide consultation and training for a specific community listening project, and/or we offer training for trainers who can provide consultation and training to several local or regional projects. Project fees are based according to each organizational project.
Listening Project is a program of Rural Southern Voice for Peace Contact: Herb Walters; 828-675-4626; HerbRSVP@gmail.com Page 6
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Below is a letter from one of our members, Professor Harlan M. Smith. Originally from Pennsylvania, Prof. Smith joined the FOR in 1946 during his junior year of college. He had been an Economics professor at the University of Minnesota for 59 years. After getting settled in Minnesota he contacted local peace groups and proposed the establishment of a Consultative Peace Council and was a founder and board member of the Minnesota Turn Towards Peace movement. In this present time, as FOR joins with others organizations and individuals to advance a culture of Peace, Nonviolence and Justice, we recognize it not only starts with us, it also starts with our children. We are publishing Prof. Smith’s letter posthumously as unfortunately, he passed away earlier this spring.
To all Mothers of new babies: a letter from Prof. Harlan M. Smith, Univ. of Minnesota Whether this is your first baby or not, I urge you to teach it lovingly, from as early as the new baby can begin to understand it, the most valuable lesson they and everybody needs throughout life. This is how I learned it from my mother… so I will tell of my experience. Perhaps one of the earliest things I can remember was my mother lovingly telling me: “Harlan, you know you don’t want to be hurt by anybody else, and nobody likes to be hurt by anybody else, so you have no right to hurt anybody else yourself.” I heard that often enough as a young child that it became a part of me. When I would play with my sister and brother and with the other children living next door, my mother’s words governed my behavior regardless of how I was treated…. When we children were given toy guns to play with and naturally pointed them at each other, my mother told me I should not take pleasure in even pretending to hurt others, but should only take pleasure in doing things to others that we all enjoyed. There is no doubt I my mind that if all children were brought up as I was to avoid hurting others - there would be much less inter-personal violence in what we pretend are civilized societies. Yes, mothers of new babies, the outcome lies in your hands; whether and how much human societies become more civilized.
Before you dedicate your life to a person, a marriage, a family; to a corporation, a political party, a peace campaign; to a religion, a revolution, a spiritual path; make one other dedication first. First dedicate yourself to LOVE. Decide to let Love be your intention, your purpose and your point. And then let Love inspire you, support you, and guide you in every other dedication you make thereafter." ~ Robert Holden Page 6
FOR Witness Fall 2013
Living History in Minnesota by Shauen V.T. Pearce, FOR Midwest Regional Coordinator
"We live in a country whose population has acquired the habit of not taking historical memory seriously and therefore we tend to assume that something that happened 10 years ago, or 20 years ago, or 30 years ago, or 100 years ago is a part of a history that remains securely in the past. But histories never leave us for another inaccessible place. They are always a part of us. These histories inhabit us and we inhabit them even when we are not aware of our relationship to history." ~ Angela Y. Davis
The above quote is a truth that has been echoed from the margins longer than any one of us has been alive. We can neither escape history nor attempt a positive path forward without awareness, ideally deep and evolving knowledge, of what has contributed to the current realities. In a society that purports post-racist liberalism and an otherwise â€œexceptionalâ€? framework where we are constantly stepping in cognitive dissonance, we, as members of the fellowship are invited to step into the uncomfortable, transform the personal and move from dialogue into action. Everywhere we look there are poignant reminders that while we lift up the histories of yesterday, we must translate the contexts and skills to legacies in the making. I found this to be one of the most moving points of the presentation given in Minnesota by Francesco Candelari, International Secretariat of IFOR. Francesco weaved his connection with FOR into that of Bayard Rustin, Glenn Smiley, Thich Nhat Hanh, Hildegard Goss-Mayr and others. He spoke of the important work to identify the leaders of this generation as we move toward the centennial celebration. As we turn the corner of 100 years of FOR, sharing the torch amongst the generations, may we weave the stories of yesterday into transformative skill-building and revolutionary love for ourselves and each other. A movement for the beloved community, for justice in our homes, locally and globally necessitates more than our good intentions. Indeed, intention is an essential component in our work but it is not enough to bring about the change we aim. May we commit to relinquishing control, to going deeper and practicing the peace and justice we work to see in the world in our homes, our organizations, our neighborhoods and the fellowship at large. Contact: Shaeun Pearce, email@example.com Youthful Voices at Seabeck Awaken the Power of Nonviolence continued from page 2 Kazu described his personal journey toward nonviolence. From his first 'direct action' organized in public school, to his peacewalk journeys with the Buddhist Nipponzan Myojohi order and his decision to take Kingian nonviolence training courses with Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Kazu came to embrace the critical importance of training in the process of awakening to nonviolence. He stressed the many hours, weeks, months and even years of training that people underwent in the Southern Freedom Movement before and during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Children's March in Birmingham and the sit ins in Nashville. He also shared the principles of Kingian nonviolence which are critical to the philosophy and practice of the Fellowship of Reconciliation: 1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people 2. The Beloved Community is the framework for the future 3. Attack forces of evil (systemic violence), not persons doing evil 4. Accept suffering without retaliation for the sake of the cause to achieve the goal. 5. Avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. 6. The universe is on the side of justice. Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, was also a keynote presenter at Seabeck. Her book, Trail Guide to the Torah of Nonviolence, published in 2012, envisions nonviolence as a Jewish way of life. Contact: Lynn Gottlieb, firstname.lastname@example.org FOR Witness Fall 2013
Seabeck 2013 Keynote Speakers: L to R: Kaeley Pruitt-Hamm, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, and Kazu Haga.
Rev. Stoneking getting settled into her Shadowcliff office.
Rock Valley FOR Sing Along, August, 19, in the Wisconsin capitol. Resisters come from all walks of life, teenagers through age 93.
Listening Project Peace organizers during a training in Croatia.
Francesco Candaleri, IFOR Intâ€™l Coordinator at the home of MN FOR leader Dave Gange in St. Paul, MN.
Cape Cod FOR participating in the annual Cape Cod July 4 Parade.
Fellowship of Reconciliation 521 No. Broadway P.O. Box 271 Nyack, NY 10960 T:845.358.4601 / F:845.358.4924 www.forusa.org / email@example.com