PDF Celebrates the Legacy of Dr King in Chicago
On January 17th, 2011, PDF partnered with the Crossroads Fund and the Woods Fund, both located in Chicago, to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr by sponsoring a Kingian Nonviolence introductory training. PDF Program Coordinator Kazu Haga joined with co-trainers Pam Smith from PSmith Consulting and Jonathan Lewis from the University of Rhode Island's Center for Peace and Nonviolence Studies to conduct the one day training.
Kingian Nonviolence is a curriculum that grew out of the teachings of Dr. King, and was the philosophy and organizing strategy of the Civil Rights Movement. As relevant today as it was during the Movement, the training focuses on analyzing the nature of conflict and the roots of violence, the principles of nonviolence and how to respond to conflict, and the step by step strategy on how to take those principles into an organizing campaign.
In addition to Kazu being a certified trainer in the curriculum, the entire PDF staff and board has participated in a two day training, and believes that this training can benefit all communities organizing for justice, regardless of what issue they are focusing on. The diversity of the movement in Chicago was well represented at this training, as approximately 35 participants representing close to 20 organziations were present.
"There is an old saying," explains Kazu, "that when Dr. King was shot on the morning of April 4th, 1968, the shooter missed. The shooter was not only trying to kill an individual, but he was trying to kill a movement and to kill an ideal. The fact that over 40 years later, such a diverse group of organizers can come together to continue the legacy of Dr. King shows that the shooter was unsuccesful in killing the vision that Dr. King, and so many more freedom fighters that came before him had."
PDF appreciates the work of our two co-sponsors, who all commented on the importance of funders collaborating to offer resources to their grantees. We would also like to thank the two co-trainers as well as all of the Chicago based organizers who attended the training, and we look forward to future collaborations.