Pace e Bene/Campaign Nonviolence is launching a visionary, free, downloadable poster series with artwork by our youth intern, Rosie Davila, to illuminate what systemic, structural and cultural nonviolence looks like in our communities. We’re boldly saying that Nonviolence means… restorative justice, renewable energy, racial justice, healing trauma, waging peace, migrant justice, and more.
Across the extraordinary movement of movements that exists today, millions of people are pushing for nonviolent solutions to the violence (physical, structural, systemic, cultural, etc.) that has been built into the daily injustices of our world. All of the proposed changes are — not surprisingly — unequivocally rooted in nonviolence. Not one social justice movement is proposing that more violence is a solution to our problems. After centuries of violence, people want something radically different. With our new poster series, we’re helping people see that the demands we’re calling for are nonviolent solutions.
Nonviolence is the presence of a thousand practices, ideas, actions, and solutions that are creative, generative, transformative, healing, powerful, and restorative.
Pace e Bene has spent 30 years training tens of thousands of people in understanding how nonviolence is a teeming field of possibilities. Our approach has always connected the personal, interpersonal, and social-political applications, as well as both the principled and pragmatic, spiritual and secular spins on it. Just as more and more people are starting to define violence as physical, structural, systemic, cultural, psychological, emotional, and more, we also define nonviolence in all of those aspects.
With this eye-catching poster series, we’re giving people a tool for sharing what nonviolence looks like in the form of systemic, structural and cultural solutions. It’s designed to be downloaded, printed and put up throughout communities nationwide. Each poster includes a QR code so a person spotting them on the street can hold up their phone, scan the code and find out more on our website. We have encouraged our dozens of Nonviolent Cities and hundreds of Campaign Nonviolence organizers to do this during the Campaign Nonviolence Action Week, Sept. 18-26, 2021. We also invite other organizations to circulate the posters, offer them to their members and help get them out into our communities. (If you wish to purchase a high-quality print of these posters, they are available here.)
The word nonviolence comes to us from M.K. Gandhi as a translation of the Sanskrit ahimsa. The word means the negation (a) of harm (himsa), but ahimsa is more than the absence of harm. It is the presence of all things healing, peaceful, respectful, caring and so forth. As nonviolence scholar Michael Nagler writes in “Search For a Nonviolent Future,” “In Sanskrit abstract nouns often name a fundamental positive quality indirectly, by negating its opposite. . . . ‘Ahimsa,’ a kind of double negative, actually stands for something so original that we cannot quite capture it with our weak words.” Similarly, nonviolence is not merely the absence of violence. It is the presence of a thousand practices, ideas, actions, and solutions that are creative, generative, transformative, healing, powerful and restorative.
This poster series highlights what nonviolence looks like in our streets and towns, neighborhoods and communities. You are invited to grow the culture of nonviolence by downloading the posters, printing them out and putting them up. Send the link to friends and encourage them to do the same. Together, we can lift up these nonviolent solutions and reimagine what Nonviolence means.
Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, is working for a new culture of nonviolence by connecting the issues to end war, poverty, racism and environmental destruction. We organize The Nonviolent Cities Project and the annual Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions.
Waging Nonviolence partners with other organizations and publishes their work.