March 22, 2021
I often quote Barbara Deming’s reminder that “nonviolence is an exploration, one that has just begun” at trainings with groups looking to achieve justice using nonviolence strategies. By engaging in this exploration, we continue to both learn new aspects of the power of nonviolence and develop more creative ways to use it to reach our revolutionary goals: dismantling white supremacy, sexism, and all forms of exploitation.
That's why I'm pleased to invite you to join my conversation with Ynestra King this Wednesday March 24th at 12 PM ET to dig in deep to one case study at our disposal: the life and work of Barbara Deming, who fought tirelessly to advance antiwar, feminist, civil rights, and gay rights causes using powerful nonviolent strategies.
Barbara Deming is someone that I return to and read to be reminded of the power of revolutionary nonviolence in facing sexism and racism. Her serious exploration of nonviolence began with a 16-day training. She went to New London, CT in 1960 to spend a day at a training organized by the Peacemakers and the Community for Nonviolent Action. Deming arrived at this training thinking she would not be impressed, but was as she met people who were developing this method that could be used to create revolutionary change without “imposing new injustices and causing new degradations." Barbara stayed for the training and underwent a radical shift: she emerged committed to the strategies of nonviolence as a foundational theory of change.
Deming continued to explore the strategic impacts of revolutionary nonviolence to further social justice. In the midst of racial violence against Blacks and white “race traitors," she joined the Southern Walk for Peace in 1962 and later went on the Quebec to Guantanamo Walk in 1964. Her "compassionate solidarity," as I call it, continued with two trips to Vietnam in 1966 and 1967 to protest the war.
That's why I'm looking forward to being in conversation with Ynestra King on Barbara Deming and her philosophies this Wednesday March 24th at 12 PM ET. The event is free and open to the public— register here to get the zoom information!