Back at the end of October/beginning of November, Michael and Linda traveled to Amman, Jordan for a conference sponsored by the United Nations University -- International Leadership Institute. The conference was actually a 5-day course, entitled Nonviolent Approaches to Conflict Resolution, Peace-Building, and Reconciliation; Michael participated as a faculty member, giving two presentations on the antecedents of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s non-violent philosophy, and its impact. We met passionate and committed leaders and activists from all over the globe -- people of all different ages and backgrounds, many from the Middle East, especially Israel and Palestine, but also from Africa, South America, Asia and Russia. They all had wisdom and experience to share, and were equally willing to hear and learn from others, and work together in the pursuit of non-violent solutions to seemingly "intractable" conflicts.
The course was a wonderful experience, bringing together such a diverse, talented, energetic, and truly dedicated group of participants, that the momentum built up during our time together continued well after the gathering. Although Michael and Linda talked much about the conference with our Budapest friends after our return, we haven't yet gotten around to putting anything on our blog about it. However, you'll soon be hearing and reading a lot more about it from us, as the success of the course led to the creation of a new organization -- the Global Network for Non-violence. A steering committee has officially been formed (of which Michael is a member), and Michael and Linda will be responsible for mainitaining a soon-to-be-launched website for the organization.
So we just wanted to give you a little preview. The video linked above was the brainchild of an amazing Israeli activist named Hagit (she's the last one to speak in the video) who thought through the concept, managed to corral all the participants (no small task, that), and enlisted a local cameraman to do the shooting.
We'll have more links and information in the weeks to come... In the meantime, you can check out:
- A description of the course on the UNU-ILI website
- A few photos, also on the UNU-ILI website
- An article written by one of the participants in the course, Helena Cobban, that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor shortly after the course
We have more photos as well as the audio from Michael's presentations, which we will hopefully get around to putting online soon!