“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 Summer Institute.
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.