Sunday, May 09, 2010

Teachers of nonviolence

Who teaches nonviolence? This short look at a short list at some of the most accomplished scholars and practitioners is woefully incomplete. I've tried to highlight some who feature at least one of the following characteristics:
1. Research--conducts it, knows it
2. Practice--has done it, does it
3. Forward thinking--integrates philosophical and strategic
4. Charismatic--excites students
5. Mentoring--guides students who then do wonderful things

Gail Presbey teaches at the University of Detroit Mercy. She writes: "My favorite part about teaching you: Your openness to new ideas and experiences. When I pose philosophical ideas, you are interested and willing to debate them. Also, when I ask you to go into the community for service, you take up the challenge." She travels the world and engages in both research and practice, both of which inform her teaching.

Barry Gan Barry directs the Center for Nonviolence at St. Bonaventure University. He edits Acorn, the journal of the Gandhi-King Society, and co-edits Peace & Change, the journal of the Peace and Justice Studies Association and the Peace History Society. He is co-editor of Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, 2nd edition. His students love him.

Erica Chenoweth is a researcher into strategic nonviolence at Wesleyan University in Middleton, Connecticut. Her work is at the edge of the field of determining what methods of struggle work under what conditions producing what results.

George Lakey is a professor and researcher at Swarthmore College. He was a founder of Training for Change and has trained thousands of nonviolent activists and community leaders over the decades. George brings long years of activism to his teaching.

There are many more professors, but also many nongovernmental organizations train nonviolent actionists who will do accompaniment, civil resistance, interposition and other forms of nonviolent action. As we educate, we introduce new social norms and that is how they change. I am so grateful for these tireless teachers and the hundreds of others who labor at offering humankind another method of conflict management.


Paul_Roden said...


Here are three other sites and two other people that you should add to your list. The Global Nonviolence Database at . Dr. Gene Sharp of the Albert Einstein Center for Nonviolence at, Dr. Stephen Zunes at the University of San Francisco at and the and the Civil Resistance Project at

Maybe we are in the 21 Century, leaving the "Edison and Marconi stages of nonviolent action." as David Dellinger once pronounced the nonviolence moment at.

Best regards,


Tom H. Hastings said...

Thanks, Paul!