Chris is a peace activist from Chico, California, who serves with the Christian Peacemaker Teams, recently returning from Palestine, and is the producer of the radio documentary series “Bringing Down the New Jim Crow,” which explores the movement to end the system of mass incarceration in the United States. Our conversation today is based on his forthcoming book The Gandhian Iceberg: A Nonviolence Manifesto for the Age of the Great Turning. Today we talk about nonviolence and the three parts to the Gandhian model: self-purification, constructive programs, and satyagraha.
I became aware of Chris and his work through conversations with Ethan Hughes, who gave me a rough copy of The Gandhian Iceberg. Through that, and time spent at The Possibility Alliance, meeting with members of the Catholic Worker Movement, and those practicing nonviolence and building egalitarian communities, a light went off in my thoughts on how nonviolence is a required component of creating the world espoused by permaculture. That lead to this conversation with Chris on how to move from a place of anger and fear, to one of compassion and love. As discussions emerge about how the third ethic of permaculture is the least discussed and most confusing to understand and implement, nonviolence and the Gandhian model provide a way to return this ethic to a proper place in our practice.
PermieKids, created by permaculture practitioner and educator Jen Mendez, is a resource to inspire and nurture those teachers, parents, and families interested in incorporating permaculture education into the lives of children in the community or at home. Though the site Jen offers a free ongoing podcast where you can learn about transitioning to a rich, ecologically sound life that includes children and learning at every step of the way. If you want to dive deeper you may be interested in her Community Experiential Education by Design program, or Edge Alliances. Find out more at PermieKids.com.
Your Garden Solution is a Pennsylvania company run by a permaculture practitioner and their business partner that helps people to garden using the techniques developed by Mel Bartholomew and popularized in his book Square Foot Gardening. In addition to garden installation and education, they also have an excellent soil mix and compost ready for your raised beds. Find out more at yourgardensolution.org.
Creating a more bountiful world requires peace and nonviolence. To continue to exist under old methods and modes that create feelings of scarcity and result in violence and oppression don’t fit within the ethics of permaculture. A new revolution is required, lead by the practice self-purification, constructive programs, and satyagraha.
Should you choose to embrace this path, and I suggest you explore it further at the very least, there are additional resources in the notes for this episode that include links to the Metta Center for Nonviolence, a series of free books on nonviolence from the Albert Einstein Institute, and further articles on satyagraha and the power of nonviolence.
Along the way if I can assist you, wherever you are, get in touch. My phone number is 717-827-6266 and email is email@example.com. If digital means are not your preferred way to reach me, you can also drop something in the mail. That address is:
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018
To connect with the show and other listeners, you can become a sustaining member at Patreon.com/permaculturepodcast, on Facebook as The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann, and on Twitter where I am @permaculturecst. I’m also using Instagram quite a bit, and you can find me there as PermaculturePodcast.
From here I’ll be on the road in April, returning to Berea Kentucky and the Clear Creek Community. While there on April 23, 2016 we’re holding Spring into Permaculture hosted by Clear Creek Schoolhouse. The day starts at noon and heads on into the evening with a potluck and in-person recording of the podcast, and Jereme Zimmerman, author of Make Mead Like a Viking, will be there teaching a meadmaking workshop from 1 – 3pm. Find out more at clearcreekschoolhouse.org.
After that, on June 18, 2016, is the Mid-Atlantic Permaculture Convergence outside of Charles Town, West Virginia, hosted by Emma Huvos of The Riverside Project. The keynote speaker for this day is Michael Judd, talking about his experiences as a permaculture practitioner, and there will be classes and workshops on Living in the Gift, Animals in Permaculture, Broadacre permaculture, whole systems learning, as well as plant walks and tree ID sessions. As this event is limited to 100 tickets, pick yours up today at midatlanticpermacultureconvergence.eventbrite.com.
The Good Seed Company
Your Garden Solution
Chris’s Email: moorebackman (at) gmail.com
Bringing Down the New Jim Crow
Chris’s Articles at Truth-Out
Dr. Michael Nagler, author of The Search for a Nonviolent Future
Martin Luther King, The Inconvenient Hero by Vincent Harding
Michael Brown “The Presence Process”
Nonviolence: Working Definitions (Metta Center for Nonviolence)
Non-violence, the appropriate and effective response to human conflicts
Collection of free books on nonviolence (Albert Einstein Institute)
The Power of Nonviolence