We live in a world that is becoming more violent every year. Now and the future are times of increasing conflicts due to climate change, the migrations of millions of people, a limited supply of potable water, and global elites attempting to amass as much wealth for themselves as they can at the expense of humanity, our future generations, and the sustainability of our planet. In a world where modern weaponry is increasingly becoming more lethal and outpacing our ability to find the cooperation needed to solve world problems, is there anything more important than finding ways of conflict that are less destructive yet still allow us to stand for our most heart-felt values, and win, without destroying our cultures, national infrastructures, or global environment?
Aligned with Ubiquity University’s commitment to provide students the knowledge and skills they need to work on the global stage the course, An Introduction to Nonviolent Change: People Power, Civil Resistance, and Social Transformation, integrates individual and collaborative learning, personal development and academic knowledge, and historic and current efforts by people using nonviolent methods to counter violent oppression and transform their countries into freer, more just, and more democratic societies.
This course is designed to give the student a through understanding of the idea of nonviolent conflict including its history, the theories supporting its use, the debates taking place between activists and scholars, the actual dynamics that make nonviolent action effective, and an overview of how it is being used in various contexts around the world today. Each weekly module is based on text and videos, required postings both on the student’s own reaction to the resource material and to the reactions posted by other students, a historical case study detailing how nonviolent conflict has worked or not worked in specific cases, and a personal practice element requiring the student to journal their inner responses to the topics being studies (this last component can be kept personal or shared with the other students). The final project required at the end of the course can be done individually or in collaboration with others in the cohort, and it’s designed to allow the student the freedom to investigate a specific aspect of nonviolent conflict to better understand how the concept can inform their primary focus of study.
Dr. Robert Allen Kezer holds bachelors’
degrees in religious studies and international studies from the University of
Oregon, a master’s degree in integral theory from John F. Kennedy University in
San Francisco, a PhD in transformative studies with a concentration in integral
theory from the California Institute of Integral Studies also in San Francisco,
and a CELTA certificate from Cambridge University for teaching English as a
second language. Dr. Kezer is the author of the novel
The Boétie Legacy and a World in Peril, and the lay-person’s guides
to nonviolent conflict:
Civil Resistance, and Social Transformation: An Introduction to Nonviolent
, both in text and as a video course. As a scholar of nonviolent
studies Kezer is interested in the transformational effects of nonviolent
action on a society and developing a nonviolent response to global terrorism. Bob
has one son and lives in Cuenca, Ecuador.