Webinar: History of WRI and Nonviolence Movement engagement with Africa

Start date: 
29 Mar 2014

African Groundings: War Resisters International’s African Engagement, based in part on Matt Meyer’s Broken Rifle article, will explore the rich history of peace and pacifist encounters in Africa over the past century. Understanding that solidarity and social change are dialectical two-way streets, the presentation will not only review the work of those from the Global North reaching out to southern colleagues but will equally examine the deep roots of indigenous African initiatives of unarmed civil resistance. With a special focus on international exchanges across the African Diaspora, Meyer will tell stories, share artifacts and memorabilia, and entertain questions and conversation on the work of Bill Sutherland in the 1950s, 60s and beyond; the building of international support for the End Conscription Campaign as part of the larger global anti-apartheid movement; the founding of WRI’s Africa Working Group and the Africa Nonviolence and Peace-building Network; the needed connections between youth work supporting conscientious objectors and related work supporting former child soldiers; and more. This inter-active session will seek not only to reminisce about the past, but concretely build for the work of the future – putting the upcoming meetings in Cape Town this July in appropriate context.

You can register for the webinar here

Matt Meyer, a New York City-based educator, activist, and author, is the War Resisters International Africa Support Network Coordinator, and a United Nations/ECOSOC representative of the International Peace Research Association. Meyer’s writings on organizing strategies and philosophies, on de-colonization and anti-imperialism, and on the role of the military and prison in modern societies appear in numerous journals, magazines, and on-line news sites. A frequent contributor to the blog site New Clear Vision (for which he is a contributing editorial advisory committee member) and to Waging Nonviolence, he is the author/editor of six books and contributor to dozens of others. His most recent contribution, based in part on Narayan Desai’s closing presentation to the WRI 2010 conference in India, is “Love-Force and Total Revolution: Twenty-First Century Challenges to Global Nonviolence,” co-authored with Elavie Ndura and published in Syracuse University Press’ just-released Exploring the Power of Nonviolence. Ndura and Meyer are also responsible for the two-volume Africa World Press Seeds of New Hope series, on contemporary African peace studies and action. Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in commenting on Guns and Gandhi in Africa: Pan African Insights on Armed Struggle, Nonviolence and Liberation (Meyer’s first book, co-authored with Pan-African pacifist Bill Sutherland), wrote that "Sutherland and Meyer have looked beyond the short-term strategies and tactics which too often divide progressive people . . . They have begun to develop a language which looks at the roots of our humanness."

You can register for this webinar in this link.