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January 23, 2021

Dear friend,

It sounds like the start of a joke about a bar: Cesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, and Dr. King walk into the Oval Office … but it’s not a joke. These nonviolence heroes’ sculptures and portraits are now adorning the walls of the new commander-in-chief. It’s a bit surreal. For years, we’ve been talking about mainstreaming nonviolence - and having three nonviolence figures in the Oval Office is definitely mainstream! But, beyond symbolic hat-tips, how will their presence influence an office known more for its violence than nonviolence? Pace e Bene’s Ken Butigan wrote a thoughtful and multifaceted piece on what the presence of these figures might portend:

“We shall see if the new administration truly honors these iconic figures of liberating nonviolence. How? By taking nonviolent action itself over the next four years for real peace and justice.” Read more>>

We certainly see a few hopeful signs: KXL Pipeline rejected. Public health prioritized. Paris Accord rejoined. Muslim Ban ended. Border Wall halted. Eviction Moratorium extended. President Biden’s first day in office reflected years of relentless nonviolent organizing by climate activists, immigrant rights groups, housing justice organizers, and many more. His actions on these issues would not have happened without visionary persistence by grassroots movements. They came about because tens of thousands of people signed the Pledge of Resistance to stop the KXL pipeline. They came about because we protested the abhorrent Border Wall. They came about because millions of school children have gone on School Strikes on Fridays. 

Indeed, the very fact that Biden and Harris were sworn in - rather than usurped through a coup of lies - owes a debt of gratitude to the tens of thousands of people who shored up the institutions, election officials, and voting process during the efforts to thwart a coup. Read civil resistance scholar Stephen Zunes’ recap of how our efforts ensured that truth won the day - and the next four years.

Pace e Bene is proud to have played our part in all of this. In the past four months, our Election Action focus has trained people for nonviolent action, circulated ideas for dispersed tactics, relayed important information at every step of the process, and put resources into organizers’ hands. We did this in collaboration with hundreds of groups and organizations. And, we’re relieved that it worked. Democracy prevailed. Check out Choose Democracy’s summary and parting words here.

Now … onward! President Biden’s first day in office offers a glimpse of how significant a shift toward nonviolent policies can be. But we also know that our pressure and vision is required to keep up this momentum. For years, Pace e Bene has maintained that a world free from all forms of violence, including structural and systemic, is possible. We already know that movements are central to making this change happen … and that our involvement in nonviolent movements in 2021 will shape our world for decades to come. Nonviolence gives us tools to springboard from recent successes and push for the full depth and breadth of change that is required in these times. We are grateful that you are on the journey with us. 

Toward a culture of nonviolence,
Ryan, Veronica, Ken, Erin, Rivera, Rosie and the Pace e Bene Team

Building Bridges Not Walls: Nonviolent Communication in Action

6-Week Course Every Tuesday Beginning February 2, 2021

Are you eager to find a way to connect with people across differences? Even when (especially when?) the gap between you seems huge?

This experiential, interactive course will offer you principles and skills to support you in this key aspect of nonviolent social change.

This course can benefit you in all areas of your life, from social change work to communicating with your family, friends, and colleagues.


Nonviolent Morro Bay Stands Up for Justice
by Ruth Ann Angus

Nonviolent Morro Bay is part of our Nonviolent Cities Project. Ruth Ann shares her reaction and her communities reaction to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The Nonviolent Heroes in Biden's Oval Office
by Ken Butigan

Let's hope the busts of César Chávez, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King in the White House symbolize a coming shift away from our nation’s script of violence.


Upcoming Events

DC Peace Team Online Trainings

Online via Zoom

1/23 We will offer an ONLINE training on Introduction to Active Bystander Intervention from 10-12 and 1-3pm EST. Full training is both segments. REGISTER HERE.

1/23 We will offer an ONLINE Restorative Circle: Healing Harm from the Political Climate, from 12-3pm EST. REGISTER HERE

1/29 + 30 We will offer an ONLINE training on Introduction to Nonviolent Communication from 4 to 6pm each day. Full training is both segments. REGISTER HERE

See all DC Peace Team Trainings here.



Nonviolent Schools Rhode Island Antiracist Book Club

January 27, 2021
4PM Eastern
Online via Zoom

Nonviolent Schools RI is holding antiracist book clubs in January. They are open to anyone interested in antiracism and schools, including school employees, parents, community members, and more.


Building Bridges Not Walls

Tuesdays February 2 - March 9, 2021
1pm - 2:30pm Pacific
Online via Zoom

Are you eager to find a way to connect with people across differences? Even when (especially when?) the gap between you seems huge?

This experiential, interactive course will offer you principles and skills to support you in this key aspect of nonviolent social change. The course content will be shaped in part by the real-life questions and situations that participants share, to ensure that it is relevant and practical. This course can benefit you in all areas of your life, from social change work to communicating with your family, friends, and colleagues.


Mindfulness for Chaotic Times

February 10, 2021
1pm-3pm Pacific

Online via Zoom

Feeling scared? Angry? Confused? This 2-hr webinar is for you. These are chaotic times. In this webinar, we will share skills and practices from the fields of mindfulness and nonviolence that help you stay sane in the whirlwind. This is for everyone, whether you’re a decades-long meditator or don’t have time to sit still. The mindfulness we will practice together is meant to meet us wherever we’re at. This webinar will be focused on how to apply these skills in real-life situations in our daily lives.



Rend Your Hearts: A Pace e Bene Lenten Journey Into Nonviolence

February 17 - March 24, 2021
2:30pm Pacific
Online via Zoom

To turn from evil and do good is the Lenten invitation. Pace e Bene is offering a Lenten Retreat with our nonviolence manual Engaging Nonviolence as a way to respond to this invitation. Beginning on Ash Wednesday,  the class consists of six ninety minute sessions each Wednesday during Lent. Participants will  explore the evils and dynamics of the violence that confront us. In addition they will gain an understanding of the goodness and power of nonviolence and how it offers a path to personal and social transformation.

This virtual class will incorporate prayer, journaling, discussion and interactive exercises taken from the Engaging Nonviolence Curriculum. Participants will need to purchase a copy of Engaging Nonviolence.


Compassion As Presence: Applying Meditation to Nonviolent Living

March 4 - April 8, 2021
1pm - 2:30pm Pacific
Online via Zoom

In this follow up to the two very successful meditation courses we offered in 2020, this course will delve deeper into the practice and benefits of meditation for all aspects of living.

We will empower ourselves with  confidence, clarity and understanding.  Nonviolence is about embodying Truth.  We practice Truth when we refine presence.  This approach has protective power that blesses our lives and the lives of others bringing meaning, belonging and loving kindness.  In this six week course we will explore  how a vaster vision makes for a  richer life. 

All are welcome, you need not have taken any previous meditation course to attend.


Pace e Bene is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization fostering justice, peace and the well-being of all through education, resources, and action for nonviolent change. Campaign Nonviolence, a project of Pace e Bene, is a long-term movement to foster a culture of nonviolence free from war, racism, poverty, and environmental destruction.

510-268-8765 | info@paceebene.org
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