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Readings and Reflections for the Week of Nonviolence

Join IJPC in observing the Week of Nonviolence by learning about how some of the most urgent social justice issues of our time relate to nonviolence. Each day during September 19-25, engage with the designated resource listed below. Reflect on the things that might have surprised, challenged, or encouraged you. We encourage you to share your thoughts by commenting on our daily Facebook posts this week. Also, don’t forget to register for our Zoom event on Weds, Sept. 23, “Awake and Act: Living Nonviolently in 2020”. The event will feature a panel including Pastor Ennis Tait, author Justin Barringer, and community organizer Jessica Moore, followed by small group discussion. Panelists and participants will reflect on nonviolence as a daily practice and as a tool for social movements.

Saturday, Sept 19

Today marks the first day of this year’s Week of Nonviolence. We open the week with this poem, “Making Peace” by Denise Levertov. It is a beautiful invitation that reminds us that nonviolence is an necessarily imaginative challenge.

Making Peace by Denise Levertov

Sunday, Sept 20

Did you ever consider how our bloated $730 million military budget impacts immigrants here at home? Click below to learn how our massive military budget helps cause increased militarism in our communities, and how that militarism empowers agencies like ICE in their targeting  black and brown people.

The Militarization of Policing

Monday, Sept 21 (International Day of Peace)

Nonviolence is a powerful tactic for social movements, and today on the International Day of Peace, we’re reflecting on how our dying earth is an issue that affects all of us on the planet. Click below to learn about how nonviolent civil disobedience is succeeding in the environmental justice movement, and explore Greenpeace while you’re at it! 

Why Civil Disobedience Works – Greenpeace

Tuesday, Sept 22

Today and Thursday, in the midst of the Week of Nonviolence, the federal government plans to do the most violent thing possible: murder two human beings, William LeCroy and Christopher Vialva. Over the past two months, the federal government has executed five people – more than the federal government has executed in a single year since 1948. Click below to read this piece about Lezmond Mitchell, a member of the Navajo Nation whose execution last month was unjust and arguably unconstitutional. 

The U.S. Shouldn’t Get to Decide If a Navajo Man Dies

Wednesday, Sept 23

Halfway through the Week of Nonviolence, we’re reflecting on this poignant poem by Leslé Honoré, a self-described “Blaxican Poet, artivist, and author.” Consider also supporting her work by purchasing her poetry collection, Fist and Fire. 

Backpacks – Leslé Honoré

Thursday Sept 24

Women play an important role in peace-building. In fact, a 2016 Special Report from the United States Institute of Peace on Women in Nonviolent movements showed that greater female inclusion leads to more sustainable peace. Watch the panel below to learn more about the importance of female participation in creating peace.  

Women, Peace and Security

Friday, Sept 25 

Our legal system and prison industrial complex are built on concepts of violence that treat people–especially non-white people– as expendable and not human. In Cincinnati, the cash-bail system is a tool that bases justice on whether someone can afford to avoid being held pre-trial. Just last week, the ACLU of Ohio shared a report that shows just how much money Ohio spends on detaining people who haven’t been convicted of a crime, and explains why the cash-bail system has a snowball effect that can destroy people’s lives, even if they are eventually found innocent and released.

Bail reforms could save Ohio up to $264 million a year, ACLU of Ohio says

Saturday, Sept 26

$100 billion is spent to design, develop, and deploy nuclear weapons per year, adding to the 14,000 nuclear weapons already in existence. Today marks the UN International Day for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. Click below to learn how young people and climate activists are involved in the work to abolish nuclear weapons

Youth, climate and nuclear disarmament – new initiatives

Sunday, Sept 27

Today marks the end of the Week of Nonviolence, and we leave you on a hopeful note as we learn about why indigenous civil resistance is uniquely powerful. This week, we’ve invited you to engage in learning and reflection. What are the most powerful things you’ve felt or discovered?

Why indigenous civil resistance has a unique power

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