Peace Activism

University of Michigan students at the last class session of
Nonviolence In Action

Challenged by my colleagues, students, and family to defend my pacifist philosophy, I wrote this interview of myself::

Interview with a pacifist


The events of September 11th, 2001 and the resulting "War on Terror" led me to give several talks promoting peace activism as a response to global conflict:A Radical Practice of Love (given at a student-initiated teach-in), To Change the World (a Mortarboard Senior Honor Society Lecture), The Right to a World Without War (for the Walker Conference on International Human Rights sponsored by U-M's Undergraduate Political Science Association), and Peace Activism in a Violent World (a talk at the University of Louisville, Kentucky). I developed a new course, Nonviolence in Action, and, with other RC faculty, put together two minicourses called Why War on Iraq? and Iraq, One Year Later.

As a Quaker (and perhaps, as a woman, a traveler, and a teacher who sees the intelligence, potential, and creative fire in every student) I am opposed to violence in all its forms -- both the "sanctioned" violence of war, capital punishment, soul-destroying incarceration, and willful indifference to abject poverty -- as well as the "illegal" violence of terrorism, armed insurgency, and garden-variety murder.

The more I read and study, the more I am convinced that discovering, refining, and promoting nonviolent solutions to human problems will be the most exciting -- and pressing -- challenge of the 21st century.


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