This week was full of more nonviolence! The interns, as well as several other guests, have been in a five-day training this week, which I have been sitting in on/participating in. Our training in Colorado really helped brainstorm ideas for this training and improvements that can be made, which has made this a really great training. The interns all seem really interested, and there has been a lot of great discussions about the principles.
These interns are pretty inspiring, hearing about what they’ve done on their campuses. One intern told us about how she was part of protesting the showing of American Sniper in her college town. She said that the movie was shown, but they were able to have a discussion afterward about it, and the petition they started was signed by a large number of Muslims and veterans, and the local high school had a sit-in about the movie.
Something that I definitely noticed last week but am really emphasizing during this week’s training is how internal violence can be. We were giving presentations the other day, and one participant called out another for not speaking confidently and doubting herself, as compared to when she felt comfortable with what she was talking about and sounded bold. We had a good talk about how that is violence! Those thoughts, even in nonviolent training, that tell us not to be confident or that we don’t have anything good or smart to say is violence and can take over our minds and affect how we act. Our minds affect our actions, and that plays a huge role in a movement. We cannot allow our minds to take away our commitment or confidence in the movement, because our actions will reflect what is taking place in our minds.
We are doing a lot of planning for the next two weeks, book groups in Atlanta, the Southern Poverty Law Center, teachers in Selma, etc. to train in nonviolence. We’re also planning to have the interns create various curriculums for trainings geared toward different age groups, and then have them take one of the trainings to RATCo’s art camp and train the children there.
Lots of exciting things to come!
Sam Lee ’16