Caption: 'Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil' is written.
Written by Marie Benner-Rhoades, Youth & Young Adult Peace Formation Director
In 2022, OEP is lifting up Principle Three of Dr. King’s nonviolence approach, “Attack Forces of Evil, Not Persons Doing Evil.” This can also be phrased as “nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people.” This is a call to discipline for all aspiring nonviolence practitioners.
Principle Three invites us to channel both righteous indignation and agape love to serve the cause of justice, reconciliation, and freedom. In general terms, is love or indignation more in your comfort zone? Lots of us become angry about people and situations in the world around us. Lots of us seek to follow Jesus' call to love enemies. Does one come more naturally to you?
Dr. King marries these two and turns them into a powerful and disciplined practice of nonviolent conflict escalation. We are invited to channel righteous indignation by strategically challenging policies and practices of dehumanization and injustice, the so-called forces of evil. This isn’t just “getting angry.” This is creative and focused. And we are invited to see those who practice evil as also victims of larger force—as still humans capable of some measure of transformation themselves. Towards these apparent opponents we extend the possibility of agape love. This isn’t just “love.” This is love that resists.
Those of us fed by the Christian tradition can hear beneath Principle Three the echo of Paul’s words: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) Spiritual wickedness takes institutional form in brutal police “use of force” guidelines, in military adventurism and drone warfare, in gentrification that destroys historic communities, in corporate efforts to split worker power, in church policies that marginalize and exclude LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color. The practitioner of nonviolence learns to vigorously engage these policies and practices while also expressing agape love toward those who design and implement them. We wrestle “not against flesh and blood.” We wrestle with systems, policies, practices, and cultural patterns. Humans, we try to love.
For a deeper dive into the Third Principle of KNV, feel free to click here to visit our introduction of this Principle from earlier this year.
Vision & Mission:
On Earth Peace develops and walks with leaders and communities who work for justice and peace. We envision a world in Beloved Community liberated from oppression, violence, and war. In 2021, we offered Kingian Nonviolence trainings in many formats with participants from around the world, expanded our internship program for young adults to include a second year fellowship opportunity, and connected through webinars and zoom conversations to resource individuals, congregations, and organizations in their organizing work.
- 36 interns worked in various capacities: leading events, donor outreach, and communications on behalf of the organization.
- 20 Level I Kingian Nonviolence trainers completed their certification through On Earth Peace.
- 3 youth groups received a Community Engagement Grant to support projects including a community garden, advocacy through murals, and anti-racism education for elementary schoolers.
- 25 webinar opportunities built capacity, commitment, and community in justice and peace efforts.
- 50+ one-on-one conversations supported individuals in their work.
- Many connections with partners in mutual support of our work including with Supportive Communities Network, the Church of the Brethren Standing Committee and Agencies, Dunker Punks Podcast, Womaen’s Caucus, Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee, Community Peacemaker Teams (formerly Christian Peacemaker Teams), Oregon Poor People’s Campaign, Military Families Speak Out, and National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth.
In 2022, with Principle Three as a backdrop, On Earth Peace will significantly revamp its social change organizing work, increasing focus on specific campaigns and movements for change afoot in the church, country, and world and upping our capacity for applying the discipline of Kingian Nonviolence with our constituency and partners. For the Church of the Brethren, we have a goal of training 1000 Brethren in Kingian Nonviolence as they engage with their neighborhoods and communities. All of our work is made possible by the work of our interns and fellows—young adults eager to learn, lead, and apply Kingian Nonviolence in the world.
“Kingian Nonviolence isn’t merely a concept but a way of life… In the last year I have had the opportunity to grow at the personal and professional level, to learn from different communities about conflict, peace, and reconciliation, and to become a better leader myself.” –Anna Rodriguez, 2021 Kingian Nonviolence Fellow
On Earth Peace relies on the commitment and generosity of individuals, congregations, and foundations to carry out its work. Following are On Earth Peace's financial results for 2021.
Income: Individuals (526 Donors) $124,986; Congregations (131 Churches) $69,483; Programs $15,385; Foundations $3,000; Paycheck Protection Plan Grant $70,740; Endowment Income $13,342; Other $6,338; Total Income $303,274. Expenses: $509,150. Net Operating Loss: ($205,876). Unrealized Gains: $97,016. Net Loss: ($108,863).
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