Three of our Nonviolence Facilitators traveled to Selma, Alabama, this month, a city known for its historic role in the civil rights movement and the famous 1960s Selma Voting Rights Movement as well as the Selma to Montgomery marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King.
The trip was organized around a week-long training held by the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation. The introductory Kingian nonviolence training program is a certification program that upon completion provides an individual with the tools to organize and educate on the principles of sustaining a people's movement, facilitate conflict reconciliation, teach the fundamentals of Kingian nonviolence, and more.
Over the course of the week, our team members Felipe and June were certified and our senior nonviolence facilitator Shane Lee, who has been previously certified, was also in attendance.
The training featured many nonviolence legends, including legend and expert Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette Jr., Executive Director of the Selma Center Ainka Jackson, and more. The training was described as "life changing," by our team and our organization is eternally grateful for the generational knowledge that was passed down by Rev. Dr. Lafayette who was able and willing to share his first-hand experience as a person who lived through the Civil Rights movement and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King.
We could feel the history and the spirit of those who fought for their rights. They sacrificed so much for all of us. Crossing that bridge was epic. We were all powerfully affected and reinvigorated to come back home and continue the cause of nonviolence and the building of the Beloved Community. - Nonviolence Facilitator Shane Lee
The week of Selma trip and training perfectly aligned with Selma's Annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee. Our team was able to join the memorial for Bloody Sunday — the day when 600 peaceful protestors crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery march and were violently attacked by state troopers. The memorial includes a march across the infamous Edmund Pettus Bridge and the team said it was a day they'd always remember.
We're so happy for Felipe, June, and Shane and all the knowledge and experience they'll bring back to our community and the nonviolence trainings we have planned ahead at the Nonviolence Institute.