The Gandhi King Peace Train and
Living Legends of Nonviolence Conference
By Dr. Barbara E. Fields

 

 

In a time when civil morale is at a disturbing low tide, ebbed by diminishing confidence in our political leadership, it is wise to prevail upon the public’s own vision for effective, nonviolent approaches to social and political activism. This April, an international lineup of the world’s top peace leaders will convene at the Gandhi King Peace Train and Living Legends of Nonviolence Conference, moving from Los Angeles to San Jose, April 18-21, 2007.

This once-in-a-lifetime event celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) and is produced by the Association for Global New Thought. More than 500 Season task force leaders, community leaders, policymakers, faith-based organizations, youth delegates, and activists will sit as peers with internationally-recognized legends including Arun Gandhi, Paritosh Gandhi Prasad (Arun’s grandson), Yolanda King, Paul Chavez, Richard Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Bro. David Steindlrast, and Dr. Lawrence Carter of MLK Chapel Morehouse College.

Using a unique, highly-interactive conferencing format — including custom chartered railcars hosting a moving conference from LA to San Jose — the Gandhi King Peace Train and Living Legends of Nonviolence Conference will explore the best practices in nonviolent activism by putting local grassroots leaders and Living Legends of Nonviolence at the same table. The conference will culminate in the strategic expansion of SNV’s landmark model for omni-local, spiritually-based nonviolent governance.

“The Gandhi and King traditions of nonviolent activism play a more vital role today than they have perhaps done since the civil rights movement of the 1960’s. With the added element of interfaith spiritual grounding, cities around the U.S. and other countries are collaboratively building methods that link citizens to civic leaders, policymakers and government officials. In the process, they are transforming tensions unique to their individual communities,” said Dr. Barbara Fields, executive director of the Association for Global New Thought and co-founder of the Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence. “Now is the time to apply these positive trends to a revolutionary shift in the way we solve problems and regard our human family.”

A Season for Nonviolence was co-founded in 1998 by Arun Gandhi of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence and the Leadership Council of The Association for Global New Thought to honor the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi (January 30th), and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (April 4th). The purpose is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by Gandhi and King.

The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) is launched each year at the United Nations. Since 1998, annual Season events have been hosted in more than 400 cities in 18 countries, receiving endorsements and commitments from the following world leaders:

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan; the U.S. Ambassador to India; Vice President Al Gore; the Director General of UNESCO on behalf of its Culture of Peace and Nonviolence appeal by the Nobel Peace Laureates (language officially added as a result of the SNV inaugural year). Other notable Season speakers have included Jesse Jackson, Dr. C.T. Vivian, and Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne of Sri Lanka. The Season has received written support of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet; the late Coretta Scott King; Dr. Robert Muller; and distinguished individuals from virtually all sectors of the world leadership community.

Breakdown of Events
Wednesday, April 18

PEACE TRAIN KICKOFF - Los Angeles • Agape International Spiritual Center 7pm
A citywide celebration to honor SNV Task Forces for a decade of service toward best practices in spiritually-motivated social change. Government and civic leaders will join Living Legends of Nonviolence to acknowledge the Gandhi King Season as a living laboratory that has launched some of the most cutting-edge peace programs of our generation. For the first time in a decade we will convene SNV omni-local leaders from around the globe to join members of the Gandhi and King legacies, the AGNT Leadership Council, youth delegations from east, west and midwest, surprise guests, and the Agape International Choir.

Thursday, April 19
GANDHI KING PEACE TRAIN PROCESSION
LA to San Jose, California

Get on board the Peace Train — a truly once-in-a- lifetime traveling conference celebrating 10 years of your dedication and success. Departing LA at 10am to arrive in San Jose at 9pm, these privately chartered, custom rail cars will be our second venue, hosting the Peace Train On Track. Hundreds of us — citizen peacemakers, Living Legends, government officials, musicians and performers — will take part in highly interactive on-board programs filled with teach-ins, group discussions, music and meditations. This is your chance to sit with peers and Living Legends to share stories reflecting the biggest successes and challenges encountered over the past decade. At Whistle Stops along the route, local officials and media will be invited to meet the Peace Train, remaining for press conferences from stop to stop.

Friday, April 20
LIVING LEGENDS OF

NONVIOLENCE  CONFERENCE
San Jose • Marriott City Center

After a good night’s sleep in this state-of-the-art hotel, we go to work for a full day beginning with a plenary session to share our vision for the next decade’s Perennial Season for Nonviolence and Peace. Multi-track afternoon breakout sessions will feature tutorial conversations between youth delegates and Living Legends, along with strategy, design and resource-sharing seminars led by you and your SNV task force leader peers. This is the leading-edge “beehive” model of peer leadership we have been longing for in the conferencing arena.

You will be astonished at the effective collaboration that will be accomplished in a setting designed and carefully researched to include personal profiles and the core principles of your existing achievements. Programs to support and apply your future work will focus on interfaith healing, youth leadership, nonviolent policy change, the environment, family and schools, offering proven tools for crafting an internal and external culture of nonviolence. The day culminates in a Compassion Banquet featuring a Face-to-face and Heart-to-heart ceremony, mutually honoring Living Legends of Nonviolence and YOU, the task force leaders and spiritually-motivated activists who have led the way.

Saturday, April 21
PEACE TRAIN PROCESSION
San Joseto LA, California

Another good night’s sleep and the Peace Train  heads for home at 10am. With working sessions behind us and lots of new contacts and commitments, the final leg of this traveling conference is designed to keep our intentions on the right track. Not only will friendships be secured, but at the moment where most conferences abruptly end, we will have the magical opportunity to anchor our accomplishments in prayer, meditation, connectivity and action toward a Perennial Season for Nonviolence.

Due to the unique nature of this event, registration is expected to fill quickly.
 
For more information and to secure your registration, visit www.agnt.org/peacetrain, call (805) 563-7343 or email snv@agnt.org


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