For us to open the door to seemlingly impossible societal changes, we need to find and transform enemy images in order to influence and collaborate with those who seem to be standing in our way. Here's an anecdote to show that this is what lead to Martin Luther King Jr's success in creating social change.
When we have few external resources (money, time, health connections, etc), we can still empower ourselves and one another. We can strengthen our internal resources, inspire people to join our cause, build solidarity, and influence others who have external resources to support us and our causes.
We can't alone (nor with lone communities) transform the hidden structures of violence and domination. Dialogue alone isn't disruptive enough. We can easily be in dialogue with Trump supporters while the planet burns up, millions are still hungry, and we go extinct. NVC seriously risks reinforcing vast inequities and abuses if we're not radically engaging systemic constraints, and impacts of our choices that go beyond our immediate circle. Read on for ways to leverage NVC practices to expand true social change.
What do we actually mean by “use of force” and what counts as such? Here's a template that will be unpacked in this article: "Use of force is consistent with nonviolence to the extent that we use the least amount of force possible, with the most love possible, aiming at (re)creating conditions for dialogue; that we make the choice using as much nonreactive discernment as possible, with as much support for the choice as possible, and while mourning not seeing another way to respond to a situation in which vital needs are at stake except to use force". Read on for more.
With the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement and in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Roxy Manning, Francois Beausoleil and the Nonviolent Leadership for Social Justice training team explore how we can bring a needs-based consciousness, together with a critical awareness of systemic/structural inequities, to embody a new and transformative way forward.