The Mike Yarrow Peace Fellowship is a year-long program, from July 1st to June 30th each year, and begins with an intensive training program for Peace Fellows in the summer. This year, the intensive training section will be online due to COVID-19, and will be referred to as the “Core Training”. Once the academic year begins in September we will switch to online “Elective Trainings”. Both of these are described further below. In addition to the online training, Peace Fellows may benefit from ongoing support from mentors and experienced activists.
The Core Training will cover 3 fundamental elements: 1) Leadership: Personal and Interpersonal Nonviolence; 2) Level 1 certification in Kingian Nonviolence (learning from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement); and 3) Social Action Nonviolence: Strategic Planning and Campaign Development. Led by experienced non-violence trainers, including the 3 MYPF Directors, the training will give each Peace Fellow a toolkit to help design and shape their own non-violent social change project. The training will also give Peace Fellows the opportunity to meet other activists and build community amongst a group of passionate young organizers. The Core Training will only involve the Peace Fellows, the Directors and guest trainers.
The 2020 Core Training starts online on Wednesday, July 8 and finishes on August 30, 2020.
Leadership: Personal and Interpersonal Nonviolence
To be a good organizer one must develop your leadership potential and learn to “walk the walk” as well as “talk the talk”. In this first section of the Core Training we start with looking at ourselves and how we relate to others. Topics include intersectionality and oppression; “calling out”; community building; how to be a good ally; dealing with conflict; and more.
Level 1 Certification in Kingian Nonviolence
This year the Peace Fellows will receive their Level 1 certification in Kingian Nonviolence by special arrangement where we will enroll in the 21st Annual International Nonviolence Summer Institute 2020 hosted by the University of Rhode Island. The online training will be a 3-day Introductory Core workshop that introduces participants to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s philosophy and strategies of nonviolence. Institute participants earn certification through the Center for Nonviolence & Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island and become members of the global nonviolence network.
Peace Fellows will meet and learn from experienced nonviolence activists and trainers, including distinguished civil rights leader and activist Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., who was a colleague of and assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recognized global authority in the field of nonviolence education and training. Back with us will be Kazu Haga from East Point Peace Academy, Oakland, CA and also assisting will be Mary Lou Finley, 1 of the 3 MYPF Co-Directors, who worked with King in Chicago in the Chicago Freedom Movement of the mid-1960’s, the subject of her recent book.
Each day the workshop will be 5 hours, 12:00 noon – 5:30PM EST, with a 30 minute break in the middle, and short breaks throughout.
Experiences will include talks from the trainers, slides to highlight important key points, interactive breakout sessions with small group discussion, and speakers from various countries telling of their nonviolence work in their home communities.
There will be a Question and Answer time each day with Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr. as well as with trainers from across the US and around the world.
Social Action Nonviolence: Strategic Planning and Campaign Development
The final section of the Core Training will provide an overview of Strategic Planning and provide a guide to many resources useful to an organizer who wants to maximize the effectiveness of their work, especially in the development of campaigns that recognize the stage a movement is in and plans carefully how to move it forward toward success. This section will cover “MAP: the Movement Action Plan”, detailed in the book “Doing Democracy” by Bill Moyer with Mary Lou Finley, et. al. and will utilize The Path of Most Resistance: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planning Nonviolent Campaigns the curriculum developed by Ivan Marovic, one of the leaders of Otpor!, the group that nonviolently toppled the genocidal rule of Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia in October 2000, which then served as inspiration for the many nonviolent uprisings in the Arab Spring of 2010.
After the Core Training the Peace Fellows are provided with additional elective online training for the rest of the year. Each Peace Fellow is required to attend at least 3 of the sessions from a wide variety of topics on organizing skills and nonviolent direct action theory. We will poll the Peace Fellows as to the topics of most interest and then develop the programs to meet those with the highest interest.
Here is a graph showing topics and levels of interest from the 2019 Peace Fellows.
After the Intensive Training the Peace Fellows are expected to work on their own project or campaign. The program provides ongoing support to the Peace Fellows by hosting Strategy Support Groups and by offering each Peace Fellow 1 or more Mentors of their choice.
Volunteer PAT alumni and other seasoned activists form a pool of Mentors. Each Peace Fellow chooses at least one Mentor, who stays in touch with the Peace Fellow and provides support and guidance to the Peace Fellow as s/he designs and executes his/her chosen project or campaign.