GPS Statement*: Stopping Crimes against People of Asian Descent and Transforming the Situation with Nonviolence
March 19, 2021
Of the eight people murdered in Atlanta on March 18, six were women of Asian descent. Whatever the motive of the young White man who is accused of this horrific crime, the most shocking aspect is the result. It represents a grisly addition to the growing trend and spread of hateful rhetoric and violent attacks in the United States against people of Asian descent. It must command the condemnation of all levels of government and of civil society. We join the related statements issued by the Anti-Defemination League and the Metropolitan Interfaith Council of Washington.
But condemnations accompanied by vigorous enforcement of laws against hate crimes and discrimination will not be enough. They need to be accompanied by all communities reaching out with understanding and reconciliation. In a word, a proactive nonviolent approach is needed. The models are to be found in leaders around the world who emerged from nonviolent traditions, among them John Lewis, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela. While President Biden’s efforts to address racially motivated attacks are to be applauded and supported, a respected, forceful leader who practices the power of nonviolence needs to be identified and put in charge of a task force to marshal the forces of government in countering racial hatred and prejudice directed toward minority ethnic groups, particularly African Americans and people of Asian descent. The task force, informed by the rich life experiences and insights of its members and guided by the wisdom of its chairman (or leader), would work to define the steps necessary in the road ahead to replace the torrent of hate speech and denigration with nonviolent dialogue, understanding and reconciliation.
*This statement is by Global Peace Services USA, a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting awareness, education, and research on nonviolent approaches to the prevention and resolution of violent conflict domestically and internationally.
Managing Artificial Intelligence in a Violent World
March 4, 2021
On March 4, 2021, GPS sponsored a virtual Forum on "Managing Artificial Intelligence in a Violent World." The 39 participants, a number of whom were experts in the field, discussed trends in this rapidly growing area and implications for violent as well as beneficial impacts. GPS hopes to sponsor similar forums on other current topics with implications for nonviolent and violent outcomes.
Making Peace…and Keeping It: Will Colombia’s Peace Accord Survive?
Takoma Village (6827 4th Street, NW in Washington, DC)
March 2, 2019
Adam Isaacson, Director for Defense Oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
Julio Idrobo, Colombian economic development expert and member of the Colombia Human Rights Commission and the Virginia Latino Advisory Board
For some 50 years, the people of Colombia suffered through prolonged internal armed conflict. In November 2016, a Peace Accord was signed and many around the world rejoiced. But implementation of the Accord has faced an array of challenges, and developments in neighboring Venezuela have only added to the difficulties in moving the peacemaking process ahead.
Global Peace Services USA convened a searching look at whither the Colombia Peace Process and its prospects going forward. Aiding us in understanding the path so far taken and possible future scenarios, are two men with deep personal investments in the success of the Peace Accord and its sustainability. From their respective vantage points, they shared their special insights into how the Peace Accord has impacted on people’s lives on the ground in Colombia.
June 17, 2017
Father Innocent B. Rugaragu, SJ, PhD
At a time of ongoing conflict and wars -- declared and undeclared across the world -- on June 17th, 2017, Global
Peace Services USA, had the good fortune to hear from a well-seasoned researcher and peace activist on promising
approaches to developing leadership for peace and reconciliation.
Father Innocent B. Rugaragu, SJ, PhD, a Jesuit priest from Kigali, Rwanda, met with members and friends of GPS
in the Washington, DC area to discuss the findings from his recently completed doctoral dissertation on Leadership
for Peace and Reconciliation in Post-Violent Sub-Saharan African Countries: Ethical Pragmatism. Fr. Innocent, who
was awarded his doctorate by George Mason University in May 2017, conducted extensive interviews as part of his
research -- meeting with leaders in a variety of fields in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Africa.
He assessed the many theories put forward to define the qualities for effective leadership -- with particular attention
to the qualities needed for furthering peace and reconciliation -- and developed his own theory, based on his
research findings, of ethical pragmatism as a critical leadership tool.
Fr. Innocent, who will be returning in July to Rwanda will be devoting his efforts there to establishing a center promoting leadership for peace and reconciliation, teaching and conducting research, as well as fostering community organizing by the poor and those in need. Fr. Innocent will also be devoting his considerable energy to continuing his Jesuit spiritual and ministerial work in the priesthood.
The Paris United Nations Conference on Climate Change: Accomplishments and Future Challenges
American University (AU) School of International Service (SIS)
April 5, 2016
Elliot Diringer, Vice President of Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Dr. Helen Mountford, Director of Economics at World Resources Institute
Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility of the World Bank Group
William Nitze, Chairman of Oceana Energy Company
Panelists discussed the future of climate policy after Paris, with a special focus on the developing world, adaptation, and NGO influence. You can see full event coverage here: