I am a Community Organiser whose job is to build the power of civil society so that it holds the state and the market to account. Strong civil society is important for a functioning democracy. As a human rights campaigner and advocate, I believe we should do a lot to make the world a better place to live in; a place of tolerance and respect to the right to life. I strongly believe no one has come to this world with the rights to infringe others' rights. This blog reflects my personal views.
“You may not see change in your generation, but you must
make sure you sow the seeds of change so that the next generation or the
generation after may benefit from.” Rev Dr. James Lawson
This powerful message from one of the architects of Civil
Rights movement in America has lots of meanings for me and many others who
assembled in Boston, Massachusetts from 19 – 24 June 2016 for the 2016 Fletcher
The journey to the 2016 summer institute was not that
simple. As always there were applications, emails, interviews, acceptance and finally
amazing days together with folks from around the world. It was simply
incredible. It all happened under the watchful eyes of the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, which has the courage and determination to reach out to those
nonviolent civil resisters scattered around the world.
At the opening of the 6 days session Rev Dr. James Lawson
made a key note speech advising attendees to stick to nonviolence despite the
many challenges they may face. He was actually joined by Mary King and other giants of civil rights movements who were never tired to share their amazing stories and enthusiasm to the next generation.
Rev Dr. James Lawson
Professor Mary King
The summer institute is really special,
The fact that the summer institute was capable of bringing
folks from 35 countries was by itself a big deal. But there are lots of things
that are worth mentioning. Many people had roles of teaching or engaging in
some form or another, some amazing stories in terms of ignite talks or
contributions in breakout sessions, opportunity to network and of course the
wonderful Boston cruise which we relished to bits. Some were busy updating the wider public in terms of tweets whilst others preferred Facebook to share what was happening at the Fletcher. These will last in our
memories for long. The sessions were not
simply dull as there were opportunities to engage; opportunities to engage with
one another and of course time for laughter thanks to the many talented people
that gathered from around the world. I still remember the massage session of
the fabulous Alfonso from Mexico:
I also remember the amazingly talented Maji from Kaduna, Nigeria who kept
everyone at ease through out our days at the Fletcher. Yes the two were among the many
pillars and will be remembered for many years to come.
Our days at Fletcher seemed short but the memories will
undoubtedly last long. This was only a reality thanks to the dedicated team at
ICNC that went extra mile to make our time worthwhile. Kudos to all the
wonderful folks that make this a reality. Kudos to all who devote their time
and resource on nonviolent civil resistance. The world is a better place
because of you.