Author: Stephanie Van Hook

Rehumanization inside prisons

In this 8-minute TedX Talk from within Graterford State Prison, we get to turn the spotlight on the science of nonviolence through the power of rehumanization. Reflection: In what ways have your experiences shaped your views on the prison system in your country, and what is one thing you learned from Anthony Wyatt’s talk?  

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Florida Inmates Strike (NV Radio)

  Private-for-profit prisons: are they centers for healing and public safety or institutes for exploited labor? Learn about how inmates in Florida are going on strike and boycotting the canteens to put economic pressure on the Florida Department of Corrections, what they want to achieve (hint: their dignity in a dehumanized environment as well as some very concrete and achievable goals), and how you can support them. Karen Smith, of Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in Gainesville, Florida, joins Stephanie, Michael, and Taylor on Nonviolence Radio. After speaking with Karen, we turn to more Nonviolence News, with a scoop direct from the Nonviolent Peaceforce, and some ideas for escalating actions post-Women’s march. Some useful links for this show:  FightToxicPrisons.Org IncarceratedWorkers.org On Facebook: Gainesville IWOC Campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons SPARC

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Lesson 5 (Family Program)

“Love and exclusive possession can never go together.”  Activities for Month Five (PRINT VERSION AVAILABLE HERE)  The following activities are options for you to implement as works best for your family throughout the entire month. None are very demanding, but each one requires of us our full presence of mind and heart. You are invited to be creative with the activities: find your own way to make it work for the children with whom you participating. Invite each other to add to the activities in ways that add to their meaning and beauty. Here’s a list of the activities for the month. Find descriptions below. Journal Family Meeting Gandhi Searches for Truth, Reading and Discussion (for whole family) Search for a Nonviolent Future, Reading and Discussion (for older teens and adults) Mealtime Activity Wisdom Tradition Passage Nature Activity   Journal Gandhi once said, “Love and exclusive possession can never go together.” Reflect on the relationship between violence and possessiveness and some ways that nonviolence may interrupt that unhappy relationship and transform it into something of greater beauty.   Family Meeting This could take place around your nonviolence altar. Or in a space that you create intentionally to hold this meeting. Begin the meeting with something beautiful. Maybe a short song or a poem or an inspiring quote. Allow time for quiet reflection. Then, invite each other into the discussion. Suggested topic for this month: Create a new year’s resolution for nonviolence. How will each person commit themselves to growing in nonviolence more fully for the year?   Reading and Discussion with Children: Gandhi Searches for Truth can help grown-ups and children have important conversations about ideas related to nonviolence. It’s most effective when we take our time with the content. Each chapter is divided into a quote, a story, and a nonviolence principle. The quote is intended largely for the older child/adult reader, but feel free to read and then explain, in your own words, to the children with whom you are working. You may want to make a copy of the chapter’s illustration (or have the child/children draw it themselves) as well as take the Gandhi quote, and write it out on a piece of paper, decorate it, make it beautiful, and add these to your nonviolence altar for the month. When the month is over, you can choose to leave them on the altar, or create a book where you post your journey together, something to look back upon. We’re on Chapter FIVE now. As previously explained, read it on your own first. Take time to consider how you would put the quote and the content of the chapter into your own words. Depending on the age of the child, you may be called on to simply show the picture, read it through, and then explain in your own words. That’s OK. If the child is able to engage with the material (and I believe, if you are patient and creative, that this is possible as early as […]

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Peace Spirit in Iran

  In this episode of Nonviolence Radio, Michael Nagler speaks with activist, educator, and journalist Mr. Hamid Reza Gholamzadeh from Peace Spirit Foundation in Tehran, about the peace movement in Iran and insights from the current political situation and uprisings from within Iran. Part two of the show is your dose of nonviolence in the news for the week. Find Nonviolence Radio on iTunes, Audioport, and Stitcher or listen here.     

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Second Saturdays-Hope Tank

Come alone or gather your friends!  Join the Metta Center for a fresh Hope Tank experiment, Second Saturdays from 8:45-9:45 am PST. We will explore topics related to nonviolence including Restorative Justice, the New Story, Science of Nonviolence, Nonviolence in Families/Parenting, Meditation/Yoga, Strategy, as well as topics that arise due to current events. Participants can expect both presentation format as well as an open but moderated conversation. The Hope Tank group will be connected with a listserv as well as Zoom call-in number (that won’t change for the duration of the experiment, see below) and will receive topics, with relevant material and questions prior to the gathering.   To join this experiment, please sign up here.   Come alone or gather your friends!  —– Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/781971574 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699006833,,781971574# or +14086380968,,781971574# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923 Meeting ID: 781 971 574 International numbers available: https://zoom.us/zoomconference?m=wjkTdpXQ5H0Svv1gmHWcvL6cwbJxYYKv

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Accountability Without Punishment

  How can we move beyond a paradigm of punishment? Nonviolence practitioner, mediator, and restorative justice workshop leader Joe Brummer joins Nonviolence Radio for a special show where he shares his experience as a victim of multiple hate crimes to helping people transform conflict and violence into opportunities for healing through restorative practices. Listen Now.  Subscribe to Nonviolence Radio on iTunes podcasts, Stitcher, or RSS.    

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Lesson 4 (Family Program)

“When Ahimsa becomes all-embracing, it transforms everything it touches. There is no limit to its power.”  Activities for Month Three (PRINT VERSION AVAILABLE HERE)  The following activities are options for you to implement as works best for your family throughout the entire month. None are very demanding, but each one requires of us our full presence of mind and heart. You are invited to be creative with the activities: find your own way to make it work for the children with whom you participating. Invite each other to add to the activities in ways that add to their meaning and beauty. Here’s a list of the activities for the month. Find descriptions below. Journal Family Meeting Gandhi Searches for Truth, Reading and Discussion (for whole family) Search for a Nonviolent Future, Reading and Discussion (for older teens and adults) Mealtime Activity Wisdom Tradition Passage Nature Activity Journal Thich Nhat Hanh said the following about empathy: “When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change” Take time to reflect on these ideas and relate them to a situation you and/or your family may be facing. Family Meeting This could take place around your nonviolence altar. Or in a space that you create intentionally to hold this meeting. Begin the meeting with something beautiful. Maybe a short song or a poem or an inspiring quote. Allow time for quiet reflection. Then, invite each other into the discussion. Suggested topic for this month: Explore the topic of conflict from the perspective that conflict is normal, even healthy, but there are ways of engaging in conflict that do not require us to use violence. Find ways of handling conflicts that draw on creativity, not violence. Explain that this knowledge about conflict is not something that is well understood in our media, but it is understood by peacemakers. N.B. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal of this exercise is to be honest with each other, to try to go a little deeper with each other as a group, and to share from our hearts. The family meeting can also serve as a space to work out problems in a collaborative way (not parents vs. children).   Reading and Discussion with Children: Gandhi Searches for Truth can help grown-ups and children have important conversations about ideas related to nonviolence. It’s most effective when we take our […]

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Combatants for Peace- NV Radio Episode

In 2006, Israeli and Palestinian former combatants, people who had taken an active role in the conflict, laid down their weapons and established Combatants for Peace. The egalitarian, bi-national, grassroots organization was founded on the belief that the cycle of violence can only be broken when Israelis and Palestinians join forces. Committed to joint nonviolence since its foundation, CFP works to both transform and resolve the conflict by ending Israeli occupation and all forms of violence between the two sides and building a peaceful future for both peoples. On this week’s episode, Michael speaks with two members of the bi-national (Israel and Palestine) organization, Combatants for Peace, while they were on tour in Petaluma, California. Listen here for CfP interview or at the bottom of this page. Followed by your dose of Nonviolence in the News, challenging the belief that only violence is newsworthy! (Go here for News). Subscribe to show via iTunes or Stitcher to make playback easier and to always stay up to date with our latest shows!  

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Nonviolence News (Wk of Nov 24)

Challenging the belief that only violence is newsworthy, we humbly submit this briefing of nonviolence in the news. Catch it every other week on Nonviolence Radio.   Listen and/or Download Audio Here Events: Juliana Vs. US: Oral Arguments in the 9th Circuit Ct. of Appeals.  On December 11, 2017, a three-judge panel of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from lawyers for the youth and for the government on the Trump administration’s request to overturn U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken’s November 10, 2016 Order, which confirmed the fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution to a climate system capable of sustaining human life. The youth will explain in open court why their case should go to trial.   The Roots of Resistance Rivera Sun has completed a new young adults book that explores the way of nonviolence, as a sequel to the Dandelion Insurrection. She engages with community publishing so you can order a book while joining that campaign. Plus you’re invited to the launch party of her book on December 2nd. Not in Taos, NM? You can join via Zoom. More information can be found here.   + Occupy Sonoma County “embraces the egalitarian, deep democracy principles of the Occupy Movement with a regional strategy for effectively organizing county-wide social justice campaigns that are globally relevant.” Many informative (and funny) videos, campaigns we can get involved in, including: SONOMA COUNTY CLIMATE CHANGE ACTIVISTS, Climate change groups and individuals working together to coordinate efforts and make action plans. This meeting is a follow up to the July 31 summit to make plans and collaborate together, Monday, January 29, 7-9 PM   Resources:   There’s a game for that…  Looking for a game to share with your family around the holiday season? Some folks in the Netherlands came up with a game to inspire conversation and to help people playing the game really get to know one another. It’s cards with a series of questions and played in three rounds: last year, this year, and what’s to come… It’s called Vertellis.   P is for Palestine: A children’s book P is for Palestine is the first children’s alphabet book ever published about Palestine in the English language—it is a classic, playful and pedagogically sound ABC (picture) rhyme book with lots of references to the Culture, Geography, and the Diversity, Multiculturalism of Palestine (to some also known as the Holy Land), to Arabic terms, to the birthplace of Jesus Christ, to Christmas, to Bethlehem, and to Palestinian, Arab, Middle Eastern Food and Dance among others. The simple story of Palestine is today shrouded in convoluted misinformation and contested narratives. But at the heart of the matter stands a proud people with a compelling truth which sustain their historic struggles to tell their story of dispossession to the world. Our P is for Palestine is a modest step in that direction. The story of Palestine is the story of our humanity at large. It is a story of all people, all nations, throughout history, seeking […]

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Lesson 3 (Family Program)

Activities for Month Three (PRINT VERSION AVAILABLE HERE)  The following activities are options for you to implement as works best for your family throughout the entire month. None are very demanding, but each one requires of us our full presence of mind and heart. You are invited to be creative with the activities: find your own way to make it work for the children with whom you participating. Invite each other to add to the activities in ways that add to their meaning and beauty. Here’s a list of the activities for the month. Find descriptions below. Journal Family Meeting Gandhi Searches for Truth, Reading and Discussion (for whole family) Search for a Nonviolent Future, Reading and Discussion (for older teens and adults) Mealtime Activity Wisdom Tradition Passage Nature Activity Journal Write about one way that you hope to see your family grow in the next five years. Write about how you feel called to be of service to that deepening bond. Take time to think about “cooperation.” Who taught it to you? How did your definition of it change throughout your life? How might your children understand it? Read this blog about “Six Things My Kids are Allowed to Say to Adults.” Note any thoughts you have about it. Do you agree with the blogger? Do you disagree? Why?   Family Meeting This could take place around your nonviolence altar. Or in a space that you create intentionally to hold this meeting. Begin the meeting with something beautiful. Maybe a short song or a poem or an inspiring quote. Allow time for quiet reflection. Then, invite each other into the discussion. Suggested topic for this month: Safety with other children and with adults. Take time to talk with your family about having boundaries with grown-ups and what to do if grown-ups ask them–or force them– to do something that is harmful, scary, or makes them feel generally unsafe. Here is one resource from ChildMind, “10 Ways to Teach Your Child the Skills to Prevent Sexual Abuse” (For younger children, however, this can also be reviewed and discussed with older children, to ask them how they might apply similar concepts to their life as a teenager) N.B. There are no right or wrong answers. The goal of this exercise is to be honest with each other, to try to go a little deeper with each other as a group, and to share from our hearts. The family meeting can also serve as a space to work out problems in a collaborative way (not parents vs. children).   Reading and Discussion with Children: Gandhi Searches for Truth can help grown-ups and children have important conversations about ideas related to nonviolence. It’s most effective when we take our time with the content. Each chapter is divided into a quote, a story, and a nonviolence principle. The quote is intended largely for the older child/adult reader, but feel free to read and then explain, in your own words, to the children with whom […]

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