Nonviolence: Reverence for Life
January 30 - April 4, 2000
During the First Season For Nonviolence,
more than 400 organizations partnered to create
events and activities in more than 115 cities to highlight
and honor the organizations, programs and individuals
that are making our communities more peaceful.
Our purpose is to create an awareness of nonviolent
principles and practice as a powerful way to heal, transform
and empower our lives and communities.
Through a community action campaign, we are honoring those
who are using nonviolence to build a community that honors the
dignity and worth of every human being.
With our focus on education we are demonstrating that every
person can move the world in the direction of peace through their
daily nonviolent choice and action.
Join us for another Season of peacebuilding
Task Force Matrix Links
Task Force Leaders
A Season For Nonviolence is spearheaded by
Arun and Sunanda Gandhi,
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Convened by Association for Global New Thought,
Co-Chaired by Dr. Michael Beckwith & Rev. Mary Morrissey,
Directed by Barbara Fields Bernstein,
Co-directed by Dr. Bernard Lafayette, former executive assistant of Dr. King,
Alicia Renee Farris of Michigan Institute for Nonviolence Education,
Rev. James Parks Morton & Bawa Jain of Interfaith Center of New York - Temple of Understanding,
and Supported by more than 400 non-profit organizations in
more than 115 cities.
Contact:Barbara Fields Bernstein
A Season For Nonviolence
1565 Maple Ave. Ste 204-205 * Evanston, IL 60201
tel: 847-866-9525 * fax: 847-866-9526 *
THIRD ANNUAL SEASON FOR NON VIOLENCE
OPENS JANUARY 28, 2000
Three powerful programs launch the third annual Season for
Nonviolence 2000 on January 28. They will signal the beginning of 64 days of
activities in 100 cities, ending with unveiling ceremonies of the facesitting pics newly
established Gandhi Center for Reconciliation on April 2nd.
The first two Seasons for Nonviolence, inaugurated in 1998 to
honor the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired a grassroots campaign of unified activism.
400 major peace organizations, religious, business, arts and feet tickling learning
institutions became official co-sponsors of the Season which drew massive
media coverage, proclamations by half of all U.S. Governors, and more than
300 ongoing programs in nonviolence in communities across the nation.
Season 2000's first launching event, on January 28 at the United
Nations at 1 p.m., is co-sponsored by the Association for Global New Thought,
the Interfaith Center of New York, and the Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence,
Women of international stature such as Ela Gandhi, granddaughter of
M.K. Gandhi, who has served in South Africa's Parliament for feet worship the past 27
years, Association for Global New Thought's president, Reverend Mary Manin
Morrissey and its Executive Director Barbara Fields Bernstein (SNV project
director), will be among the speakers. SNV co-directors Dr. Michael Beckwith,
and Dr. Bernard Lafayette will also deliver messages to the UN assembly.
The second kick-off event is the Littleton-Denver PeaceQuest 2000:
Youth Summit on Nonviolence at Lakewood High School in Littleton, CO on
January 29 from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., with a keynote female feet address by Arun
Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi.
Students from schools in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Kentucky,
Washington and Connecticut, where violent acts occurred, will participate in
programs focusing on forms of passive nonviolence and raising of
consciousness. Speakers, break-out sessions and entertainment are planned.
Many local families are volunteering their homes to host attendees.
The third major event will be launched at Morehouse College's Martin
Luther King Jr. International Chapel and the Atlanta Task Force For A Season
For Nonviolence on Sunday, January 30 at 3 PM with the premiere of 'A Force
More Powerful - A Century of Nonviolent Conflict", an outstanding documentary
narrated by Ben Kingsley and produced by Steve York.
It is the story of nonviolent power overcoming oppression and
authoritarian rule in conflicts during the last 100 years. In cooperation
with the UN's Declaration calling for "A Decade of Peace and Nonviolence for
the Children of the World", guests will receive materials on the principles
of nonviolence to share with their families and local communities.
The 3rd Season for Nonviolence 2000 culminates at Morehouse College's
MLK Jr. International Chapel on Millennium Sunday, April 2nd at 11 a.m., with
the unveiling of the Gandhi Center for Reconciliation, hosted by Dr. Lawrence
Edward Carter, Dean of the Chapel. Over 2,500 guests are expected to attend.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. will be named the "Greatest American
of the 20th Century". Mahatma and Kastur Gandhi, will be named the "Most
Important Family of the 20th Century." Dr. Richard Deats of the distinguished
international network, Fellowship of Reconciliation and newest co-director
of Season 2000, will attend. Other honorees will be Mrs. Albe Williams
King, the Reverends Johnnie Satcher, Jim Lawson, Jesse Jackson, Wiley Jackson
and Drs. Joseph T. Robert, Louis W. Sullivan, Samuel Nabrit, George
Coretta Scott King will unveil a 5 x 9 foot bronze tablet of Martin
Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a Dream" speech. Keynote speaker will be Reverend
Dr. Michael Beckwith, of Agape International Center of Truth in Los Angeles.
On April 4th, Co-directors of the Interfaith Center of New York will
sponsor closing ceremonies in New York City.
Season for Nonviolence leadership consists of: Arun and Sunanda
Gandhi, Co- founders of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, Co-chairs,
Dr. Michael Beckwith and Reverend Mary Manin Morrissey of AGNT, Dr. Bernard
Lafayette, former executive assistant to Dr. King, Alicia Renee Farris of the
Michigan Institute for Nonviolence Education, Dr. Richard Deats of the
Fellowship of Reconciliation, Dean James Parks Morton and Bawa Jain of the
Interfaith Center of New York.
Barbara Fields Bernstein, Program Director of the 1993 Parliament of
the World's Religions and Synthesis Dialogues with His holiness the Dalai
Lama in Dharamsala, India, continues as Season's Project Director on behalf
of Season's convening organization, the Association for Global New Thought.
Task Forces can be joined in the following major cities (and others..)
by contacting the Season 2000 office:
Ashland, OR; Atlanta, GA; Boise, ID; Boston, MA; Buffalo, NY; Costa Rica;
Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Chicago, IL; Edmonton, AB Canada;
Fairfield, IA; Fort Collins, CO; Hamilton, Bermuda; Kettering, OH;
Kingstree, SC; Las Vegas, NV; Lawton, OK; Livonia, MI; Los Angeles, CA;
Memphis, TN; Miami, FL; Napa, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Oklahoma City,
OK; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, OR; Queens Village, NY; Racine, WI;
Robbinsdale, MN; Sacramento, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Diego, CA; Sarasota,
FL; St. Louis, MO; Tacoma, WA; Virginia Beach, VA; Wichita, KS
Web site in development can be found and
information requests e-mailed to project Director, Barbara Fields Bernstein
Or Contact: Bert Fields Phone: 847-866-9525
GENERAL REPORT ON THE
GANDHI & KING: A SEASON FOR NONVIOLENCE
Convened by the Association for Global New Thought
With the exemplary commitment of task force leaders and volunteers, A Season for Nonviolence, January 30- April 4, 1998-99 attained unanticipated goals in a 64 day educational, media and grassroots campaign inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our objective is to create an awareness of nonviolent principles and practice as a powerful way to heal, transform and empower our lives and communities. Through an educational and community action campaign, we honor those who are using nonviolence to build a community that honors the dignity and worth of every human being. By identifying ìwhat worksî in these new models for reconciliation and human harmony, we demonstrate that every person can move the world in the direction of peace through their daily nonviolent choice and action.
Overview of Results
A Season for Nonviolence drew to a close on April 4, 1998-99 having seeded substantial activity in 115 cities in 40 states, and 10 countries. Fifty percent of our United States governors, and many mayors issued official proclamations for the 64 day period, and over three hundred unique events and programs were developed and carried out at the local level during the Season.. Radio and television broadcasts, PSA film productions, print publications at all levels from organizational newsletters, community press and alternative sources, to mainstream public news media yielded coverage that is now too broad-based to accurately track.. Directors of public libraries in some of the nation's major cities have requested full sets of Season for Nonviolence documents for permanent storage in their archives. At least 350 major Peace organizations, religious, business, arts, and learning institutions have elected themselves as official co sponsors of the Season for Nonviolence initiative.
The United Nations Launch
SNV 2000 launches for the third time at the UN on Januray 28. Both previous inaugural events (98-99) at the United Nations brought forth substantive endorsements and commitments from the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the U.S. Ambassador to India, the Director General of UNESCO on behalf of its Culture of Peace AND NONVIOLENCE appeal by the Nobel Peace Laureates, and Vice President Al Gore. Other notable speakers included Jesse Jackson, Dr. C.T. Vivian, and Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne of Sri Lanka. Concurrently on that date, task force leaders collaborated to create 68 additional celebrations in other major cities. In general, A Season has received the written support of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Coretta Scott King, Dr. Robert Muller, and many other serious and distinguished individuals from virtually all sectors of the world leadership community.
SNV Co-Directors are: Arun and Sunanda Gandhi co-founders of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, co-chairs Dr. Michael Beckwith and Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey, of the convening organization--Association for Global New Thought, Dr. Bernard Lafayette, former executive assistant to Dr. King,, Alicia Renee Farris of the Michigan Institute for Nonviolence Education, Dr. Richard Deats of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and Dean James Parks Morton and Bawa Jain of the Interfaith Center of New York. Project Director is Barbara Fields Bernstein, Executive Director of the Association for Global New Thought, Program Director for the 1993 Parliament of the Worldís Religions, and the Synthesis Dialogues (with His Holiness the Dalai Lama) in Dharamsala, India.
Using the direct principles of Gandhian and Kingian Nonviolence, and Kingís Six Steps toward Social Change as criteria, organizations which are demonstrating an authentic reverence for life by promoting models for nonviolent communities were identified by task forces 115 U.S. Cities. International outreach in South Africa, India, Costa Rica, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Austri, Croatia, and Israel was also initiated.
64 days (Jan-April) of gatherings and events supported this project on the local level. Presentations; symposia on interfaith and inter-racial healing; workshops; Days of Dialogue, Prayer and Meditation; childrenís theater, essay contests, artistic and cultural events were successfully produced by task forces in every participating city. Each city worked to focus local and national media attention on their actions.
Leaders of city and state government, as well as distinguished members of Congress, educators, and a host of celebrity entertainers, authors, and musicians, responded to our call to step forward in order to attract the attention of the media to the myriad of projects featured during the Season for Nonviolence.
Detailed organizational data records were compiled and submitted, containing summary descriptions of missions, programs and projects as well as stories, interviews and anecdotes collected from key participants. A profile of the collective activities has been developed electronically, making resource databases available to all task forces, and providing raw data for transfer to interactive, global application via The Peace Room project developed by the Foundation for Conscious Evolution.
Collaborative Resource Production
One of the more exciting and serendipitous developments of the project is the vast collective Resource Pool whichhas been compiled (largely on a volunteer basis) by all cities working in concert. Our logo, stationary, and the UN Program was developed by a Los Angeles graphic designer, Benjamin Cziller, with camera-ready templates produced and distributed to all task force leaders. Our communal fundraising catalogue of promotional items includes a wide variety of creative designs produced for t shirts, posters, pendants, pins, handbooks, and greeting cards. Text for press relaeses, flyers and postcards are circulated as prototypes, tailored to fit the needs of each particular community. Most importantly, educational materials for school systems and religious institutions--based on research compiled from the direct teachings of Gandhi and King--are made readily available at low cost.
This has all been accomplished via e-mail, telephone, and fax. As a result of this strong collaboration and the the sharing of creative resources among dedicated volunteer teams, unanticipated levels of efficacy in this projectís growth have ensued on very small budgets. Hence, a new model HAS BEEN PROVEN TO WORK for spirit-based grassroots peace-making.
APPEAL OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATES
From: Nobel Peace PrIze Laureates
To: Heads of States of all member countries of
the General Assembly of the United nations
<< FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD >>
Today, in every single country throughout the world, there are many
children silently suffering the effects and consequences of violence.
This violence takes many different forms: between children on streets, at
school, in family life and in the community. There is physical violence,
psychological violence, socio-economic violence, environmental
violence and political violence. Many children - too many children -
live a "culture of violence".
We wish to contribute to reduce their suffering. We believe that each child
can discover, by himsef, that violence is not inevitable. We can offer hope, not only
to the children of the world, but to all of humanity, by beginning to create, and
build, a new Culture of Non-Violence.
For this reason, we address this solemn appeal to all Heads of
States, of all member countries of the General Assembly of the United nations,
for the UN General Assembly to declare:
ï That the first decade of the new millennium, the years 2000-2010, be declared the "Decade for a Culture of Non-Violence";
ï That at the start of the decade the year 2000 be declared the "Year of Education for Non-Violence";
ï That non-violence be taught at every level in our societies during this decade, to make the children of the world aware of the real, practical meaning and benefits of non-violence in their daily lives, in order to reduce the violence, and consequent suffering, perpetrated against them and humanity in general.
Together, we can build a new culture of non-violence for humankind which will
give hope to all humanity, and in particular, to the children of our world.
With deepest respect,
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, The 14Th
DalaI Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, Shimon Peres, Elie Wiesel,
Mgr. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Yasser Arafat, Mgr Carlos Felipe
Ximenes Belo, Jose Ramos-Horta, Norman Borlaug, Oscar Arias Sanchez, UNICEF,
Frederik Willem de Klerk, Betty Williams, Lech Walesa, Joseph Rothlat, The International
Peace Bureau, The American Friends Service Committe.
Appeal of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: Share with the Children of the World
B.P. 20797 - 60207 Compiegne Cedex 2 - France / Fax: (33-3) 44.86.39.07 / C.C.P. n° 42.207.77.S.
Why was the Appeal made ?
The conflicts of the second half of this 20th century with
the devastating power of their atomic and chemical weapons have
shown that the human species and its environment are under
threat of extinction. Violence, under so many forms,
has invaded human society.
It is therefore urgent to do everything in our power, with
determination and tenacity, to reverse the processes which have
made our 20th century the scene of the greatest carnage in history.
We will transmit to the children of the third millenium the wonders
of our technology, with its promises of progress in all of Life's spheres.
But our legacy is also our sick planet, global economic war in our global
economic village, a human family - broken and confused - worshipping
before the altar of the Free Market.
If we are to escape from the ever-increasing threat of famines, war,
poverty, exclusion and ecological catastrophies, then our children
must accquire the wisdom that we lack.
This aim of Appeal is not senseless dramatisation. The aim of the
Appeal is to bring people together to reflect, in the simplest of terms, on
the future we want to build for ourselves and our children. Never in
human history has mankind disposed so much power to transform
himself and his world, the possibilities for creating a better life
and a healthier environment - or - of destroying it all.
Life is permanent transformation by organic processes.
If we, as human beings, do not - at long last - sincerely opt for Peace,
and give ourselves the means to achieve Peace through non-violence,
then we will have opted for extinction.
But Peace is not an inborn reflex. It is something to be acquired, learnt, merited.
We believe that it is our duty to participate in the eclosion of a peace
generation. Our duty also to invite our children, and - through them - future
generations, to avoid our own errors, and break free from the suicidal culture
of violence that we live in. It is our duty to help them become aware of the
possible alternatives, so that they may live in self-respect, at peace
with their consciences, at peace with their world.
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan
Delivered by Gillian Martin Sorensen
Assít. Sec. Gen. For External Affairs
"Nonviolence is the first article of my faith. It is also the last article of my creed." Thus Mahatma Gandhi summed up his defense when charged with agitation against the State in 1922. Thus Gandhi himself embodied the movement we are here to celebrate today.
And this season of nonviolence, which we are lunching here, sums up the continuing legacy of Mohandas Gandhi. I t sums up what I like to think of as the passing of the torch.
It is a moving fact that the two deaths whose anniversaries open and close this season occurred 50 and 30 years ago this year. Martin Luther King received the torch from Mahatma Gandhi, before his assassination in 1948, and held it high until his own three decades later.
The torch was carried by many hands. They included Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, the principal of Morehouse College, who returned from India as one of the growing number of African-American disciples of Mahatma Gandhi. When Dr. King entered Morehouse at the age of 15, Mays became one of the great influences in his life. And there, the torch was passed on. It was kept burning by the civil rights movement here. Who will carry it for future generations? Part of the answer can be found before us right here today.
Over the next 64 days, you will honour those who have championed nonviolence as a way of life and struggle; you will bring together communities, groups and individuals who are making non-violent choices in meeting challenges; you will use media, education and dialogue to spread the message; you will light hundreds and thousands of new torches along the way.
This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We in the United Nations will be using a strategy very like your own to bring home the message that human rights are the common language of humanity.
I believe that our two messages are voices that will speak in unison. I believe this is one of the best tributes we can pay to Mahatma Gandhi, and to those who followed him.
The torch is ours now to hold high. This is our way of ensuring that their deaths were not in vain. Let us begin; for we have many miles to go, and many torches still to light.
The Vice President of the
United States, Al Gore
Delivered by The Hon. Bob Clement, U.S. Representative, TN
I am honored to have this opportunity to extend my personal greetings to everyone participating in the M.K. Gandhi 50th Memorial and "Season" Commencement Celebration at the United Nations. While I regret that I am unable to join you in person, I do want to offer my best wishes on this special occasion.
Certainly, this memorial service will be a unique opportunity to honor the lifelong efforts of Mahatma Gandhi, for he was a true champion of nonviolence and social reform.
All of us should remember the honorable sacrifices he made through nonviolent means to live in a peaceful and united country, and his program of tolerance for all creeds and religions is an enduring example that all citizens of the world should continue to follow.
Once again, please accept my best wishes for all of those in attendance along with my hopes for a peaceful future.
FEDERICO MAYOR; FROM HIS OFFICIAL VISIT TO INDIA: ìGANDHIíS MESSAGE LIVES ON AND IS MORE RELEVANT THAN EVERî
Delivered by Mrs. Nina Sibal,
UNESCO Repr. to the United Nations
New Delhi, January 30 - On an official visit to India, UNESCO Director-General Federico Mayor today issued a declaration expressing his adherence to Mahatma Gandhiís ideals which are also the ideals underpinning UNESCO.
As he took part in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the apostle of non-violence, alongside President K.R. Narayanan, Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral and many other senior officials, Mr Mayor stressed that ìthe message of Mahatma Gandhi lives on and is more relevant than ever. It is universal,î he said.
Here is the full text of Mr Mayorís declaration:
ìWe are commemorating today the tragic demise of Mahatma Gandhi and we celebrate his contribution not only to the liberation of India but also to the progress of humanism throughout the world. The message of Mahatma Gandhi lives on and is more relevant than ever. It is universal.
Through his wonderful example, Mahatma Gandhi showed that it is possible to fight injustice while respecting the life, rights, integrity and dignity of the adversary. He showed that his concept of non-violence does not imply passivity and indifference - far from it - but actions that are powerful, creative and brave, a daily radical engagement in the struggle against the ills besetting the human community.
ìToday still, Mahatma Gandhi teaches us that tolerance is consonant with the highest aspirations of humanity. No submissiveness, nor violence or terror. Accepting the diversity which is our main richness means accepting reality. Sharing the same intrinsic values is our future. Humanity is manifold by nature, and if it wishes to survive and to develop, we must learn to live together, in nonviolence.
ìOn January 30 as we celebrate the memory of Mahatma Gandhi, apostle of nonviolence, our thoughts also go to two other great figures of our century, Dr Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. By virtue of our specific mandate in the UN system, UNESCO is actively involved in todayís commemoration and my presence at Mahatma Gandhiís Samadhi in New Delhi testifies to the importance of this involvement. On this occasion, to show our attachment to Mahatma Gandhiís ideals, and to continue contributing to the transition of humanity from a culture of war and violence to a culture of peace and nonviolence, I am happy to announce that from now on UNESCOís ëCulture of Peaceí Programme will be known as the Programme for a ëCulture of Peace and Non-violence.í
ìThe UN General Assembly declared the year 2000 International Year for the Culture of Peace. We hope that the first decade of the next millennium will be devoted to education for peace and nonviolence, thus tying in with the proposal made by the Nobel Peace Prize laureates with the support of UNESCO, hundreds of NGOs and thousands of people world-wide. We hope that in the third millennium the wisdom of non-violence and love, which is at the heart of all religions, will prevail all over the world.î
Season For Nonviolence picture (Carry The Vision) provided by Ben Cziller
Gandhi & King portrait provided by Seattle Task Force