KVN Principle 4: Accept Suffering Without Retaliation

Written by Sherrilynn Bevel, PhD

In the context of nonviolence, what does it mean to offer one’s self? To willingly relinquish privacy; personal security; to risk injury or arrest? In some circumstances, to risk death?

Nonviolence is a rejection of the idea that violence and murder can resolve social problems. Violence is a means of trying to bend people to your will, but it does a poor job of creating real peace and a reconciled community. At best, violence aims for the submission of the opponent. Agape means advocating for the health, interests, rights, and needs of everyone, without exception to the rule. We can abandon agapic love, but this merely escalates exploitation, hatred, murder, intimidation, etc. 

Dr. King wrote, “I realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” King chose the path of healing and educating all of the people, instead of plotting the demise of some. 

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KNV Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil

Written by Dr. Mary Lou Finley

Sometimes we describe this principle as ”Attack problems, not people.” I find that those are the words that more easily get through to my heart.

 When things go wrong, when we see evil or injustice being committed, we may sometimes feel like striking back at the person who is committing that injustice. Sometimes, we hear others call for “justice” against that wrongdoer---meaning punish him or her. And yet, where does that take us?  Not as far as we might think.

Instead, we need to find a way to attack the “forces of evil” - the root causes of what has gone wrong. Otherwise,  injustice is likely to just keep rearing its head in new forms.   

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OEP Joins RoundUp

New! Support Our Work Just By Donating Your Change!!

OEP has partnered with a mobile app and website that allows you to automatically donate the change from your card purchases to support our work. It's a small change for you, but a game changer for us!

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Racial Justice Meetup - Dec 15

As we continue conversations that engage and call us to action, the OEP Racial Justice team wants to finish 2020 together by re-situating ourselves in this racial justice moment. You can join us for our final  meeting of 2020, which will be held on December 15th from 7:00-8:30 PM EST.

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World AIDS Day

Written by Sylar Rella, OEP’s Gender Justice Organizer Intern

On December 1st of each year, the world comes together to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS: to remember and honor the overwhelming amount of lives lost from AIDS, and to provide visibility and support for those living with HIV today. Although the AIDS pandemic was from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s, the virus itself never went away. Language was and continues to be a powerful tool in widespread erasure of the mass death and loss that occurred in that time--primarily that of the queer community, BIPOC, and those living in poverty. ACT UP, an organization dedicated to fighting for the visibility and rights of those living with HIV and dying of AIDS, coined the phrase “Silence = Death”; this sentiment is still incredibly relevant today, not just with HIV/AIDS, but with all kinds of marginalized voices and bodies that are routinely and systemically overlooked or dismissed. 

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