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Hanley Sustainability Institute

Three experts on active nonviolence for racial justice giving Aug. 18 presentation

By Mark Gokavi

A session on active nonviolence for racial justice with three leading activists will be held online from 2 to 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Kelly Johnson, the Fr. Ferree Chair of Social Justice, invites student participants. The Zoom event requires registration here.

“We stand at a moment of opportunity to make social change,” Johnson said. “In particular, this summer, we’ve seen renewed energy in campaigns around the country for racial justice. Traditions of active nonviolence, disrupting unjust systems and creating new social networks and patterns, point out paths for making social change.”

The activists are: Dave Ragland, who co-founded the Truth Telling Project in St. Louis after the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri., and has been engaged in alternative community protection initiatives; Tabatha Thompson from the U.S. Institute of Peace who has worked with nonviolent activists around the world in some of the most intense and creative movements and leads a training program synergizing nonviolent action and peacebuilding; and Eli McCarthy, who co-founded the DC Peace Team which deploys unarmed civilian protection and accompaniment units, offers training in nonviolent conflict skills, and employs restorative justice circles.

“Often, people think of active nonviolence as street demonstrations and protests,” Johnson said. “These can be important energizers and solidifiers of movements, but active nonviolence includes a much wider set of activities that cultivate systemic, sustainable transformation consistent with human dignity.”

Students can learn about the experts’ work and raise their own questions and ideas. Johnson said this presentation is intended to be the first in an ongoing initiative to encourage engagement with traditions of nonviolent activism, especially among Catholics.

For more sustainability news and information, visit HSI’s news blog, the Hanley Sustainability Institute website and the Sustainability Program website.

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