Working for peace & justice through nonviolence since 1915.
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Strategic nonviolent movements are one of the most potent forces in the world. They oust dictators, change policy and realize the hopes of communities. For over 100 years FOR has strengthened the movements that reshape society through our work in Black Lives Matter, training in Nonviolent Civil Disobedience, training in Jail Support and Fiscal Sponsorship.
Relationships established through strong communities are the glue of our work. We ground ourselves in relationships of accountability and a spirituality that spans faith traditions. We help build communities that reflect our vision of Beloved Community through our Chapters, Networks & Affiliates, Interreligious Engagement & Understanding, Intentional Communities and Retreats for Movement Leaders & Activists.
We see nonviolence as a way of life, a moral commitment, and a social tool. As a branch of IFOR's international network we work with partners around the world to end militarism in all of its forms, working through the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, United Nations Advocacy, Demilitarizing Communities, Boycott Divestment and Sanctions, Anti-drone Initiatives and #GiveRefugeesRest.
On Monday we issued a statement of mourning and sympathy from our executive director, Rev. Kristin Stoneking, regarding the horrendous violence that occurred over the weekend.
Since then, we’ve heard from a few supporters as well as FOR staff that it was an oversight to call the Orlando tragedy "the worst mass shooting" (or mass killing) in United States history, given the numerous massacres of mostly indigenous peoples that ended with far more deaths.
Perhaps it would've been true to write that the killing of 49 people (50 including the gunman) and wounding of more than 50 is the worst massacre by a lone shooter in U.S. history. However, it is also true that the murders at the Pulse do not constitute the worst mass killing and we regret that error.
The truth is that our country has been built on violence.
From the massacre of Native peoples living on this land when new inhabitants arrived to the violence of Africans brought to this country in slavery, violence pervades our history. Some accounts put the number of years that the United States has actually experienced peace since 1776 at a mere 21 years. And that doesn't account for non-military massacres such as the Bloody Island Massacre where 60-100 perished; the Lawrence Massacre where 185-200 died; or the Greenwood Massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where upwards of 300 people were killed and 800 wounded.
Modern day violence is perpetuated through media narratives that further the harm through sensationalizing. But there is a larger perspective that needs to be lifted up. Indeed, the Pulse massacre is not "the worst in U.S. history" in terms of the numbers slaughtered; it is sadly one more instance of absolute disconnect from the truth of the human heart.
The essential message of the Fellowship of Reconciliation is that all life is sacred.
We believe that true resolution and healing of human conflict comes through the unifying power of love through the way of nonviolence. Clearly, with a vast history of violence in this country and the world and the seeming escalation of violence in recent times, our work together continues to be essential.
Carrying the message of nonviolence is vitally important, and we deeply appreciate your constant support — and for calling us to examine our messaging so that our words represent our truth.
We focus on building movements and peace networks by acting as a resource hub for activists, organizers and communities. Through our network of chapters and affiliates we connect movements at the grassroots level.
We provide workshops, educational resources, strategic consulting, and speaking engagements for diverse audiences. We run young adult leadership development programs and nonviolent direct action trainings for front line movements.
We're part of a global Fellowship growing a vibrant, creative, international and intergenerational peace and justice movement. More than 70,000 consituents in the US participate in our base-building work. Join us!
For over 100 years FOR members have led the strategic application of nonviolence to political and social change movements worldwide. We honor and count among our number Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King, Thich Nhat Hanh, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Muriel Lester, Sulak Sivaraksa, James Lawson, Jean and Hildegard Goss-Mayr, Andre and Magda Trocme and many more.
FOR recognizes individuals and organizations who make exceptional contributions to peace, justice and reconciliation. We honor unsung grassroots activists with the Local Hero Award, US justice leaders with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, and international peacemakers with the Pfeffer Peace Award.
Since 1918 FOR has produced publications and a national journal to shape and reflect learning on the power of nonviolent social change. Since 1934 that award-winning journal has appeared under the title Fellowship, now issued twice yearly in summer and winter. FOR's national newsletter, Witness, is produced in spring and fall and provides highlights of campaigns and projects led by grassroots FOR chapters and affiliates.