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CNV Memphis Kicks Off A Full Week of Actions

Posted by Erin Bechtol

CNV Memphis had their first event for the Week of Action on September 14. Swamiji, a renowned leader from India known for his vision for nonviolence and unity, flew into Memphis on Thursday to join the Week of Action. He runs a free hospital in India for women and children.  He spoke about his vision for peace and unity and importance of realizing we are all one human family. They then had a candlelight vigil and read the names of those lost to violence in Memphis over the last year.

On September 17 they had their 3rd annual Interfaith Peace and Justice Vigil today. The keynote was Swamiji and representatives from faith communities as well as peace and Justice organizations talked about their vision and work for a Nonviolent Memphis. Candia Ludy, from Peka Karpo Buddhist Meditation Center said, “To know that we are all interconnected is to be on the road to peace.” Janice Vanderhaar spoke about Pope Francis’s Peace Day message, “nonviolence is not merely tactical behavior, but a person’s way of being, the attitude of one who is so convinced of God’s love and power that he or she is not afraid to tackle evil with the weapons of love and truth alone. Love of one’s enemy constitutes the nucleus of the ‘Christian revolution.’” Safi Khan, representing Memphis Islamic Institute shared a story of Mohammed loving his enemies. There was a woman who didn’t agree with his message who put trash on his doorstep every day. Then one day there was no trash and instead of rejoicing, he went from house to house to see if the woman was alright and when he found out she was sick he went to visit her. Meredith Pace from the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center said, “The most powerful change can only be brought about by Nonviolent means.”

Watch the video of their event at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis.

On Sept 23rd they held their nonviolent witness where they held banners at intersections across the city. They got lots of honks  and waves 😊 Debbie from Pema Karpo Meditation Center said one car pulled over and joined them!  They also had  a drum circle event for Nonviolence with the Memphis Drum Tribe! See short video below.

On Saturday they also had their Interfaith Peace Labyrinth Walk. Swamiji and faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist communities led the walk. They all poured water into a common bowl at the center of the Labyrinth which was blessed by the faith leaders and then later poured into the Mississippi River to go out and share the blessings of peace to the whole world! Swamiji had the faith representatives share a few words about their tradition of spreading peace and love.

Watch the video of Swamiji’s visit during their Interfaith Labyrinth Peace walk  here:

CNV Memphis has also been getting coverage in the news. See the videos below to watch what they’ve been doing for their community.
WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

Local Memphis also did a profile on CNV Memphis here.

See pictures from the CNV Memphis events below.


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Part of the Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions 2017

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