Kingian Nonviolence Training at RCNV

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Recently, I participated in a Kingian Nonviolence training at the Resource Center for Nonviolence which talked about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s pilgrimage to nonviolence. I took away so much from the experience, ranging from the principles King based his philosophies upon, to the friendly and enlightening conversations with the people I met there. Before the training, I read Dr. King’s letter from the Birmingham Jail to the Alabama clergymen and was instantly in awe with the way he wrote, his composure in his letter, and most importantly the message he was trying to get across.

After introductions, the day started out with a discussion about the various forms of violent behaviors and how internal and external conflicts can turn into anger, hatred and often times discrimination. We even acted out in groups the ways in which conflicts arise and how we can distinguish the level it is at and what we can to neutralize it.

One of the most important things we talked about at the training was Dr. King’s six principles of violence, which state:

  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, 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.

Another part of the training that I found very interesting was our discussion on the different ways people use gaslighting tactics, or social control mechanisms. There are so many ways in which people use words as a way of manipulation, such as “psychologism”, which refers to the use of personal attacks to avoid social problems, or “discrediting leadership” by insisting that a leader doesn’t represent their people. These forms of gaslighting are used everywhere, even in politics where politicians can go to trainings to learn how to gaslight effectively.

These discussions, including the many others that took place at this Kingian Nonviolence training, were extremely informative and thought provoking. This is only one of the ongoing opportunities to participate in conversations about social justice and methods of peaceful change that are available on an ongoing basis at the Resource Center for Nonviolence. “The RCNV, founded in 1976, is a peace and justice organization promoting the practice of nonviolent social change.” It is located right here in Santa Cruz and it is an incredible opportunity to learn about social justice while earning community service hours. Below are some upcoming events taking place at the RCNV:

4/3/19 7:00pm No place for hate: Solution focused discussion group to discuss real solutions to homelessness in this community.

4/6/19 12:30-2pm: Radical King book discussion group

4/13/19:  10:00am – 4:00pm: Puentes Community Fair: Celebrating our cultural heritage and immigrant community: networking to prevail

Postponed, dates TBD: Kingian Nonviolence Training

5/9/19 Racial Equity/Implicit Bias Volunteer Training.