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Read the Notes from the June CNV Conference Call!

Posted by Erin Bechtol

On June 28th we held our monthly National Campaign Nonviolence Conference Call.  We discussed the events coming up during the Week of Actions Sept. 15-23, 2018.  If you missed the call, you can read the notes or listen to the audio below. 

Campaign Nonviolence National Organizing Conference Call
June 28, 2018, 5pm Pacific/ 8pm Eastern (60 minutes)

Facilitator – John Dear

  • This is our fifth annual week of action, and we are aiming for 2000+ events this year. Organizing against war, poverty, racism, environmental destruction, and for the coming of a culture of peace and nonviolence.

Opening Quote – Veronica Pelicaric

  • “My optimism rests on my belief in the infinite possibilities of the individual to develop nonviolence. The more you develop it in your own being, the more it overwhelms your surroundings and by and by might oversweep the world.” – Gandhi

Roll Call – Ryan Hall read the list of people who were on the call and where they were calling in from.

Updates – John Dear

  • We are all working hard on creating a new culture of peace and nonviolence. Our goal is to keep the spirit of nonviolence, connect the dots, use social media and engage the local press for maximum impact. Because things are so bad, double what you were planning to do in September. It is time now to bear down and organize, and encourage everybody we know to join us on the streets.
  • Everybody on the call, no matter where they are located, can do an event. You must act publically for justice and peace. Additionally, we are upping the ante and calling for a national march on September 22 in Washington DC Even if you are not close enough to join the convergence, spread the word so more people can join us. Will be gathering at the Dr. King statue at 9am with public speakers. From there, will march in strict silence in pairs past the White House to Lafayette Park.

Kit Evans-Ford – Updates

  • Outreach is strong this year. CNV is about nurturing relationships, building new ones and maintaining relationships between organizers. We are about half way to our goal of 2000 actions for this year. Excited about all of the good work and momentum for this year. If you are planning new actions, please contact somebody at CNV so we can add your info to the website. Also feel free to help us get in touch with other organizations you think might benefit from connecting with us as we grow this movement.

LaVaida Owens-White – Wilmington, DE

  • Have 40 organizations and 54 events so far signed up to get involved with Peace Week, and still a couple weeks for more to join. Co-sponsored by the city of Wilmington for Wilmington Wellness Day. The steering committee is generating great ideas for Peace Week. Planning to use Peace Week to announce the launch of Nonviolent Wilmington. Considering both a march on September 22 to demonstrate how to gather nonviolently in the community in DE, and also sending a bus of people to Washington, DC to join the convergence.

Monica Juma – Memphis, TN

  • Still in the initial phases of planning. Considering a mindfulness walk, a panel on nonviolence education in the schools, a city proclamation on the week of nonviolence, and more. Also considering an interfaith vigil at the Civil Rights Museum, on the balcony where Dr. King was killed as they did last year. John encourages them to do it all if possible.

Sue Woodling – Raleigh, NC

  • This year not having as many daily events as before because not many people were showing up. The theme this year is Learn, Act, Pray. Holding an event on Constitution Day called, “Speak No Evil: Creating the Constitution,” on September 17. Also hosting a panel about how affordable housing promotes nonviolent living. ”Toward Wholeness: Prayer Vigil for Nonviolence” will be on Thursday of that week. Encouraging people to join the convergence in Washington, DC on Saturday. Already sent information to the governor for the proclamation of CNV week last year, and this year the mayor wants to sign a proclamation for the city of Raleigh. Trying to do a little less this year but focus on doing in properly. Also working on making inroads with the city council, also discussing becoming a nonviolent city in all of their activities, even though the mayor is not open to that at this time
  • Nancy in California mentioned that they now have a Department of Peace-building with their local Lutheran Peace Fellowship and are trying to connect the two.

Janice Etchison –  Pennsylvania

  • This is their fifth year of organizing for the CNV week of actions. In August they are celebrating their first anniversary of doing silent peace walks once a month throughout the year. First walk included over 300 people. The peace walk is silent and includes a big sign for people to follow. This will be one big event during the week of actions. Also hope to involve the Poor People’s Campaign in a second event. Recently Erie, PA was ranked the worst place in the country for African Americans to live. The housing situation makes it extremely difficult for poor people to survive. Working with a local leader in the NAACP to get them involved as well. In the past five years there has been a growth in peace groups and organizations in the city. John encourages use of big signs that express all of the issues and getting the media involved.

Rev. Pat Bessey– Maine

  • Rivera Sun is coming on Sunday to share some ideas for the CNV Week of Actions. Leadership is looking to connect with her again in July to broaden ideas for actions in the fall. Considering a prayer vigil focused on nonviolence and current world issues in a local church and a park next door. Rev. Pat asks people to share photos of the signs they have used for their events. Also hoping to send a group of people to DC for the convergence.
  • John says he will be making signs for DC mostly with Gandhi and Dr. King quotes, then going to Kinkos and making a hundred copies to distribute to people who join the movement.

Wally Inglis – Hawaii

  • Planning a silent march out to the gates of Pearl Harbor in July to protest the war games, and thinking now to do the same during the week of actions. Working with someone to go to the schools and discuss alternatives to military service with the students during the week of actions. Considering opening a Catholic Worker there. Wally is planning on joining the convergence in DC as well as organizing a week of actions in DC.

Beatrice Mondare– New Jersey

  • This is their first year of involvement in the week of actions. Going to start with a prayer walk at the Lutheran Church downtown, praying for an end of racism and nonviolence. On a march through town they will stop in front of the fire department and pray for the first responders who respond to calls of violence. Then pray in front of the police department for harmony between the police and the community, and for the police to have inner peace. Will also stop at the middle school, environmental building, and end at the veterans park to pray for an end of war. Ryan and John requests that they take lots of pictures and make sure the media shows up.

Final thoughts – John Dear

  • Keep up the good work, contact your media, and use the nonviolent guidelines. Mark your calendars for big Pace e Bene events in August 2020.

Final thoughts – Ken Butigan

  • We still have 2.5 months, and reaching our goal depends on all the incredible work that the people on this call and others are doing. This afternoon, over 500 women were arrested for peacefully protesting the government’s immigration policy. Emphasizes the importance of nonviolent direct action during this critical and important time. Heartened by this work. In this historic moment, nonviolence training is needed now more than ever. Critical to read nonviolent guidelines at the action, and also to prepare in advance. Reach out to us if you need a training near you.


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