an Interview with David Jehnsen
Interviewed, Collected and Written by Matt Guynn
Together with Bernard LaFayette Jr., David Jehnsen authored the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation curriculum to codify what they learned from working with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other Civil Rights Movement organizers. David is a member of Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio. Matt Guynn interviewed David to learn more about the roots and vision of Kingian Nonviolence.Read more
Written by Dr. Joan May T. Cordova
Believing that the universe is on the side of justice is an affirmation of faith: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see" (1). Faith enables us to stay focused on visions for a more just world, sustained by the belief that as we join generations who’ve struggled for liberation, justice will eventually win. All who embody nonviolence must hold on to faith - not merely in a contemplative way - but to draw on faith that fuels the work of resisting unjust conditions. Listen to music pulsing in movements for justice: Buoyed by faith, people sing new lyrics boldly declaring freedom while drawing spiritual strength from voices and acts of resistance together, determined to transform institutions.Read more
Written by Curtis Renee
The summer going into my senior year of high school I was introduced to Kingian nonviolence, as a part of a youth summer enrichment program/job. I remember learning the principles and feeling like “ This can’t be real,” “ Only certain people can really be nonviolent.” I had no idea what it meant to avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. How do you avoid violence when it is all around you?Read more
Written by Matt Guynn and Dean Johnson
Beloved Community as the framework for the future shapes how you see yourself, your beloveds, your organizing comrades, and your opponents. It means that no matter how bad things are in the moment, you have a place to stand and imagine a different future.
For followers of Jesus, the term “Beloved Community” echoes with the message that we are the beloved children of God made in the image of God. Kingian Principle #2 applies that theological truth to all our current and potential relationships. What if each person had that same worth? Faith-based pacifists can see the irreplaceable value of each human life. What if we weave that value into an active commitment to engage systems of oppression and violence? Beloved Community is a place that people experience a profound sense of belonging and worth. And it reaches beyond that circle of belonging to courageously confront harm and injustice.Read more
Written by Kazu Haga
Excerpted with permission from Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm (Parallax Press, 2020)
“Nonviolence is for punks." "Nonviolence is weak.” "I'm not gonna be nonviolent and back down.” “I'm not gonna just sit there and let someone abuse me." These are all common things I hear in my work, and they are all rooted in a misunderstanding of nonviolence.
The misunderstanding lies in the difference between “non-violence" and "nonviolence.” “Non-violence” is essentially two words: “without” and “violence.” As long as I am “not being violent,” I am practicing non-hyphen-violence. Nonviolence is not about what not to do. It is about what you are going to do about violence and injustice in our own hearts, our homes, our neighborhoods, and society at large. It is about taking a proactive stand against violence and injustice. Nonviolence is about action, not inaction.Read more