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Creating Change: The Impact of Kingian Nonviolence Training at SCNTR

This winter, the Selma Center for Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation (SCNTR) hosted a transformative certification training rooted in the core principles of justice and love that we hold dear. From February 26 to March 1, coinciding with the 59th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the SCNTR conducted the Winter Kingian Nonviolence Level 1 Certification. This training not only honored a crucial moment in history but also brought together voices from across the nation to learn and grow together.

A Meeting of Minds and Missions

A group of people standing in front of a mural
The SUNY group poses outside of the SCNTR

The training welcomed a notably diverse group of participants, including an inspiring contingent of formerly incarcerated leaders from New York, working in higher education initiatives across the state. These leaders, affiliated with institutions like State University of New York (SUNY), City University of  New York (CUNY), the Bard Prison Initiative, and Columbia University, embarked on a journey to Selma, AL, to deepen their understanding of Kingian Nonviolence—a philosophy and method that has guided some of the most significant social movements worldwide.

Here’s what SUNY's Higher Education in Prison Program (HEP) shared about the experience:

"To close out Black History Month, formerly incarcerated leaders working in higher education in prison across NYS traveled down to Selma, AL for a weeklong Kingian Nonviolence training with the Selma Center for Kingian Nonviolence, Truth, and Reconciliation. Leaders from SUNY, CUNY, Bard Prison Initiative, and Columbia University will bring back a body of knowledge that will only increase the impact of our work to support students during and after incarceration."

Certification, Commitment, and Unity

The session included 12 participants with 9 receiving their Level 1 Certification providing them with the skills necessary to return to their communities and offer the training to others. The other three participants engaged in a 2-day CORE program, focusing on the foundational aspects of Kingian Nonviolence. The commitment to applying these principles in their respective communities and with diverse populations was palpable, reflecting the deep engagement and transformative potential of the training.

A group sits on the floor for a picture holding their certifiates
The newest batch of certified Kingian Nonviolence Trainers

A special highlight of this year's training was the formation of our inaugural choir, which is yet to be named. Under the guidance of Mrs. Faya Rose, the group learned a poignant song that they performed at the Mass Meeting reenactment—an event that itself holds historical significance. Their performance not only touched the hearts of those present but also served as a beautiful tribute to the Freedom Singers, as the trainees had the honor of opening for these legendary voices of the civil rights movement.

Looking Forward

The impact of this training extends far beyond the days spent at SCNTR. Each participant returned to their community equipped with tools and knowledge to foster nonviolence and reconciliation—principles that are ever so crucial in today's world. As we continue to host these sessions, our hope is to see a ripple effect of peace and understanding, rooted in the powerful teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This Kingian Nonviolence training session is just one of the many ways SCNTR is dedicated to building a more just and peaceful world. Sign up for our monthly newsletter for more updates on how these incredible initiatives are making a difference in communities across the country.

Are you interested in getting certified or taking one of the SCNTR’s trainings? Click here to check out our list of upcoming opportunities!

You can also directly support our ability to continue to offer these trainings by donating to the SCNTR. Every dollar makes an impact.

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