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Defending Democracy: Principles & Practices

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Training with nationally and globally recognized experts in nonviolent resistance!


Jamila Raqib - Albert Einstein Institution

Marla Marcum - Climate Disobedience Center

Barbara Peterson - Nonviolent Citizen Action

Thursday, October 22: 7:00-9:00pm on Zoom

Welcome to our training to begin organizing for the 2020 election!

Register HERE in advance for this meeting:

Training with nationally and globally recognized experts in nonviolent resistance!

We believe that preparing now to defend our democracy serves as both a deterrence to any possible crisis and as the best approach to effectively meeting a crisis should it occur. By applying certain principles that put our beliefs and faith into practice, we can begin now to engage in the work of nonviolent resistance that shows our opposition that we are empowered and ready to stand strong to uphold our democratic foundations and freedoms.

This will be a 2-hour training on Thursday, October 22 from 7:00-9:00pm, hosted on Zoom by Nonviolent Citizen Action with tech support by Dana Dwinell-Yardley. The schedule will be as follows:

7:00-7:05 Kendra Ford - Opening and Introductions

7:05-7:45 Jamila Raqib - Designing Effective Action: Insights from the Global Cases

7:45-8:10 Barbara Peterson - Here and Now: A State-wide Illustration

8:10-8:35 Marla Marcum - Practicing Fierce Vulnerability in Community: Relationships,

Resilience, and Readiness

8:35-8:50 Breakout Session: One major takeaway & One thing to learn more about

8:50-9:00 Closing

Faith-based communities, activist organizations, educational institutions, and the general public interested in nonviolent resistance work to defend our democratic integrity will be invited via social media and via the lists from such organizations to include: Nonviolent Citizen Action, Climate Disobedience Center, the Festival Center, and the Albert Einstein Institution.


Jamila Raqib

Jamila Raqib is a specialist in the study and practice of strategic nonviolent action and the executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, which works to advance the research and application of nonviolent action worldwide. For more than 15 years, she worked closely with the late Dr. Gene Sharp, the world’s foremost scholar of the field of strategic nonviolent action.

Since 2002, she has been focusing on the development and distribution of educational resources on nonviolent action and has conducted workshops on strategic planning for human rights organizations, universities, and governmental bodies, and for individuals and groups struggling for diverse objectives including to oppose dictatorship and combat corruption, and to attain political rights, economic justice, environmental protection, and women’s empowerment.

As a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, she conducted research on how we can design better systems for nonviolent action research and education. She is currently working on the development of a learning platform to help groups prepare strategic plans to conduct struggles for the defense and attainment of their civil and political rights.

Barbara Peterson

Barbara Peterson, Ph.D. is a long-time political activist, having started in high-school with the work of the Clamshell Alliance. As an undergraduate at UNH, she worked to bring awareness to gender, race, and religious oppression, apartheid, and nuclear proliferation. As a graduate student, she became interested in the history, theories, and methods of nonviolent action written extensively by Gene Sharp from the Albert Einstein Institution. Her doctoral work examined the importance of offering peace education in our schools. Since then, she has continued writing and publishing on the subject of nonviolent struggle, informed by academic study as well as on-the-ground activism.

Her most recent academic work centers on educating students for democracy through teaching about nonviolent action. She also writes articles for online publications and blogs on the subject of nonviolent struggle. Her book Reclaiming Power: Building a Stronger Resistance in the Age of Trump was published in 2019. In the same year, she founded Nonviolent Citizen Action, a nonprofit organization that helps groups build strong, strategic movements for genuine democratic people power.

Marla Marcum

Marla Marcum is a seminary-trained United Methodist committed to supporting people of all faiths and no particular faith to act boldly for justice. An experienced campaigner, trainer, pastor and lay leader, she brings two decades of social justice organizing experience with faith-based, youth, and grassroots groups. She supported the launch of Climate Summer, serving as its Director for five years, and was a Co-Founder of both Better Future Project and 350 Massachusetts.

Marla has supported, organized, and participated in many direct action and civil disobedience efforts, including the Lobster Boat Blockade, the campaign of sustained nonviolent resistance to Spectra Energy's West Roxbury Lateral pipeline project with Resist The Pipeline, and the ongoing No Coal No Gas campaign.

Marla is a Co-Founder of the Climate Disobedience Center and serves as its Director. She is passionate about leadership development and building supportive communities of resistance among unlikely allies. After 18 years in the Boston area, Marla moved to Knoxville, Tennessee in November 2018. She will always also call the Missouri Ozarks “home.”

Kendra Ford

Kendra Ford is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister who has served a congregation in Exeter, NH for 19 years. Her deep belief that everyone and everything is connected has led her to study and participate in nonviolent resistance over the years. In recent years, she trained in earth activist Joanna Macy’s work that combines Buddhist practice and engaged activism to create practices to sustain activists through the demands of the work. She had led the work with various groups over the years. A year ago, she got connected to the climate justice work in the No Coal No Gas campaign and is bringing that way of fierce vulnerability to all the work that is required in this moment.

Dana Dwinell-Yardley

Dana is an activist, graphic designer, facilitator, and builder of community. When she's not working to shut down the Merrimack Generating Station in Bow, NH, Dana can be found organizing contra dances, co-facilitating a weekly singing circle, sewing masks for essential food workers, and playing in Vermont's woods and mountains with friends and dogs. Dana (re)started her activism on the five-day Next Steps Climate Walk in April 2019. She stepped into direct action work with the No Coal No Gas campaign and the Climate Disobedience Center in August 2019. Dana has been a graphic designer for nearly 20 years, and runs her own business in Montpelier, VT, where she's lived since 2004.

Hosts for this Training Include:

Nonviolent Citizen Action

The Albert Einstein Institution

Climate Disobedience Center

The Festival Center

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