Conference Nonviolence: A Weapon of the Strong (Mahatma Gandhi) Advancing Nonviolence, Spirituality, and Social Transformation
Nonviolence: A Weapon of the Strong (Mahatma Gandhi)
Advancing Nonviolence, Spirituality, and Social Transformation
Saint Paul University, Ottawa
May 8-11, 2014
"If intellect plays a large part on the field of violence,
it plays a larger part on the field of nonviolence." —Mahatma Gandhi
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Saint Paul University Residence and Conference Centre
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Rajagopal P.V. of Ekta Parishad is the foremost leader, teacher, and practitioner of nonviolence in India. From South India, Rajagopal began his work on nonviolence when he spent six years working in the Chambal region. He spent 15 years working with Indian rural youth through nonviolent and community building training programs. In 1993, Rajagopal became the Secretary of the Gandhi Peace Foundation. In 2007, he organized and led a large nonviolent march, Janadesh, where 25,000 people walked from Gwalior to Delhi. In 2012, after preparing for four years, Rajagopal organized a similar, although larger, nonviolent march where 100,000 people walked, again from Gwalior to Delhi, for land reform, and were successful in negotiating their requirements for sustainable land regulations. Rajagopal, along with the work of Ekta Parishad, is a world leader on nonviolent struggles, training and actions. (C.V.)
Jill Carr-Harris holds a Master's in Adult Education and Community Development and is currently enrolled in Ph.D. studies at the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education on social movements, feminism, and non-formal education. For the past two decades, Jill has been a part of women’s movement building, training and empowerment, and gender policy research in India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines. Jill was one of the prominent women leaders of the most significant land rights marches for landless poor women in post- independent India. She has worked at the UNDP for five years on international solidarity projects, founded and led civil society organizations in India, such as the South-South Solidarity from 1988– 1998, and was a field manager for two Canadian Government (CIDA) bilateral projects, on agrarian reform as well as gender equality in the Philippines and Bangladesh respectively. (C.V.)
Christopher Key Chapple is Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology and Director of the Master of Arts in Yoga Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he has taught since 1985. He is author or editor of 15 books on the topics of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Yoga, nonviolence, and world religions and ecology. He serves on several advisory boards, including for the Forum on Religion and Ecology (Yale) and the Ahimsa Center (Pomona). He serves as editor for Worldviews: Global Religions, Culture, and Ecology (Brill). (C.V.)
Yves Maigne is the Executive Director of Fondation Énergies pour le monde. He oversees 50 energy programs in 27 countries, and has over 25 years' experience in the field of renewable energy. He is a member of the Académie des Technologies and the Commission Énergies et Changement climatique. He works primarily in solar energy, and has global expertise in all aspects of energy, including markets, forms, distribution, sustainability, and renewable energies. In 2005, Yves was honoured with the Prix Emilia Valori de l’Académie des Sciences. (C.V)
Dr. Alain Tschudin is Senior Lecturer in Conflict Transformation & Peace Studies, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. He served as CEO of a leadership development agency and as a research consultant for the European Commission on ICT, economic participation, and social integration for immigrants and ethnic minority groups in Spain. Alain completed his Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Liverpool and a Ph.D. in Ethics at the University of Cambridge. He runs an anti-xenophobia project with Congolese refugees and local street traders in Durban, a democratization initiative in a rural Zulu community in the Drakensberg, and lectures on child protection in emergencies for UNICEF. (C.V.)
Raffi Cavoukian is a music producer, author, entrepreneur, and ecology advocate. He is the recipient of numerous honours, including the Global 500 Roll and the Order of Canada. He holds three honorary degrees and is a member of the Club of Budapest. In a career spanning four decades, Raffi has refused all commercial endorsement offers and has never taken part in direct advertising to children. He is a passionate supporter of a commercial-free childhood. In 2006, he was awarded the Fred Rogers Integrity Award for this work. In 2010, Raffi founded the Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island, BC, a global movement that views honouring children as the best way to create sustainable, peacemaking cultures. In 2013, he wrote Lightweb Darkweb: Three Reasons to Reform Social Media Before It Re-Forms Us. This book offers three reasons for social media reform – safety, intelligence, and sustainability – and Raffi highlights children’s developmental needs as a key missing consideration in the digital revolution. (C.V.)
Heather Milton Lightening has 16 years of organizing experience, from local issues to international campaigns. Heather was a founding member of Native Youth Movement that empowered youth politically and socially to make change in their communities, based in Winnipeg, MB, in 1995. She helped found Winnipeg's first Native youth organization, called Aboriginal Youth with Initiative, Inc., in 1998, through her position as Associate Director. She then went on to found and build a national Native youth network that supported Native youth organizing across the US and Canada with the Indigenous Environmental Network. She is a former member of the United Nations Environment Programme's Youth Advisory and has extensive experience in lobbying internationally through the United Nations and other international arenas on Indigenous Peoples issues. Heather's work since then has been to build capacity and find resources that help local Native communities: from funding board participation on the Funding Exchange Saguaro Fund and Honor the Earth, to helping build the Indigenous People's Power Project through the Ruckus Society that trains on non-violent direct action tools. Heather currently is working on a contractual basis with many different organizations doing training, facilitating, and support work for Native communities.
Heather Eaton is a professor in Conflict Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa. She holds an interdisciplinary doctorate in theology and ecology from Saint Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. Her work includes interreligious responses to ecological issues, incorporating the significance of evolution, Earth dynamics, social justice, and religious imagination. Current work focuses on peace and conflict studies, gender, ecology, religion, animal rights, and nonviolence. Heather presents and publishes extensively on these topics. (C.V.)
Ramin Jahanbegloo is a well-known Iranian-Canadian philosopher, presently holding the Noor-York Chair in Islamic Studies at York University. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Philosophy, History, and Political Science and later his Ph.D. in Philosophy from the Sorbonne University. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. Ramin served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran and, in 2006–2007, he was the Rajni Kothari Professor in Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. He is the author of more than 24 books in Persian, English, and French on philosophy, comparative politics, and nonviolence. He is an advisory board member of PEN Canada. In addition, Ramin is the recipient of the 2009 Peace Prize awarded by the Association for the United Nations in Spain for his extensive academic work in promoting dialogue between cultures and his advocacy for nonviolence. (C.V)
Paul Waldau, Ph.D. is an educator, scholar, and activist working at the intersection of animal studies, law, ethics, religion, and cultural studies. He is an Associate Professor at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, where he is the Senior Faculty for the Master of Science graduate program in Anthrozoology. Paul has also taught at Harvard Law School since 2002, where he is currently the Barker Visiting Associate Professor on Animal Law. The former Director of the Center for Animals and Public Policy, Paul taught veterinary ethics and public policy at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine for more than a decade. Paul has completed five books, the most recent of which are Animal Studies: An Introduction, published by Oxford University Press in early 2013, and Animal Rights (Oxford University Press, 2011). He is also co-editor of A Communion of Subjects: Animals in Religion, Science, and Ethics (Columbia University Press, 2006). (C.V)