“We adopt the means of nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself. We will try to persuade with our words, but if our words fail, we will try to persuade with our acts.”- Martin Luther King
In June 2016 about 50 of us from around the world gathered in Boston, USA, for an Advanced Study of Nonviolent Conflict, which took place at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The fellowship sponsored by ICNC was successful by many standards. It not only brought together activists, campaigners, community organisers and civic leaders from across the world, but also availed the tools necessary to organise civic activism in a nonviolent way and paved ways for the participants to work together and support one another in any way possible. Some of us met in between in different countries and continents including in the US, Asia, Europe and Africa which helped us to reconnect and strategize together as we all aspire to see a better world for all of us and work to achieve that.
I still remember the powerful message from Rev Dr. James Lawson, one of the most prominent civil rights movement leaders in the US who worked along with Martin Luther King. As he delivered his lecture in an engaging and thought-provoking way, Rev Lawson said, “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.” That message has stayed with me and many others ever since.
Here is a short video of his lecture
As we prepare to gather for the Solidarity 2020 and Beyond International Peace and Leadership Conference that will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal, there is excitement in most of us at this will be an opportunity to reconnect, hear stories of success and challenges whilst sharing and learning from one another. Kudos to the organizers of the forthcoming conference, in particular the tireless Katherine Hughes-Fraitekh, who is always on the move to share her years of learning and experiences. Keep it going!
What would make the forthcoming conference different is that it will mostly be led by moderators, convenors and facilitators that are part of the movement and come as participants. Great opportunity to bring stories to inspire and challenge to act whilst teaching tools that help to wage struggles for issues that matter most in a nonviolent way.
A better, tolerant, inclusive and peaceful world is possible. It takes us all to achieve that.