Dear Thay (as your students refer you ‘Master’)…
Nichidatsu Fujii (1885-1985) was a Japanese Buddhist monk and peace activist who founded the Buddhist order Nipponzan Myōhōji in 1918. Nipponzan Myōhōji is a small lay and monastic order of about 1500 people that continues to be active to the present day, and scholars consider it to be one among Japan’s many new religious movements, albeit much smaller in terms of its size and scale than other groups in this category.
Toyohiko Kagawa (1888-1960) was a Japanese social reformer, labor activist and Christian evangelist known as “Japan’s Gandhi.” As a social activist, pacifist and public figure, Kagawa was well-known during his lifetime – both in his home country of Japan as well as in the United States. He was nominated for the Nobel Prizes in literature and peace on numerous occasions.
For the last three decades, millions of American parents have been able to park their minivans between parallel white lines – avoiding the spaces with the blue and white logos that depict a stick figure in a wheelchair – and usher their child into a stroller, which they can push up a portion of the curb gradually sloped from the asphalt up to the sidewalk, before guiding the stroller up a concrete ramp and through an entrance wide enough to fit it.
There is no pre-requisite for practicing nonviolent resistance. The use of this terminology, propagated by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King, has never been required for the employment of peaceful strategies of opposing injustice, nor has a lifelong allegiance to the practice.
Language is one of the most powerful tools for resistance. Some dismiss language alone as incapable of effecting change. However, history reveals that the ability to understand and communicate a language in a way that connects, empowers, and galvanizes the disenfranchised can itself be revolutionary
Wisconsin’s Class I senate seat has been filled with history in the last century… Yet between McCarthy and Herb Kohl, the man who lends his namesake to the Kohl Center here at UW, the seat was held by William Proxmire, a man who played a leading role in the anti-genocide movement in America.
Maya Angelou is revered today for her work as a poet, writer, actress, dancer, and activist. She was a woman of many talents and her wisdom lives on through her many works of art, most notably, her autobiographies. Angelou was born in 1928 in St. Louis, MO and had a traumatic childhood.
Mahatma Gandhi is an Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist movement against British rule in India. His doctrine of nonviolent protest (satyagraha) and use of the religion principle of ahimsa as a tool of peaceful protest became the model for future social movements around the world.
Since his death in 1948, Mahatma Gandhi’s employment of civil disobedience has famously inspired some of history’s most prominent freedom fighters, including Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Martin Luther King Jr. Gandhi’s name has even become the root of an adjective used for the principles by which he lived.