International Day of Non-Violence

Quick Facts - US

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2023 DateOctober 2, 2023
2024 DateOctober 2, 2024

International Day of Non-Violence

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International Day of Non-Violence promotes the values of peace, tolerance, and understanding among nations and individuals. The day aims to recognize the importance of non-violence as a means to achieve social change, conflict resolution, and sustainability. This celebration is crucial for all around the world, including Americans, who can benefit from understanding and acting on the principles of non-violence in both their personal and political lives.

The United Nations General Assembly established the International Day of Non-Violence in 2007, inspired by the life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi's teachings on non-violence and his advocacy for civil rights in America influenced the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The observance of this day encourages people in America to explore the significance of non-violence in their nation's past, particularly in the struggle for equality and justice.

Various organizations, educational institutions, and communities hold events and activities that promote and celebrate non-violent approaches to resolution and change. These activities may include peace rallies, discussions, educational seminars, and artistic performances, all aimed at fostering a culture of non-violence in both domestic and international contexts. By participating in these events and understanding the importance of non-violence, Americans can work towards cultivating a more just and peaceful society for all. International Day of Non-Violence is observed on October 2nd, the same date as Mahatma Gandhi's birthday.

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Facts & quotes about International Day of Non-Violence

  • Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals - Martin Luther King Jr.
  • The philosophy of non-violence has roots in several religious traditions, including Buddhism, Jainism, and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
  • Non-violence is often a strategy used by people who are marginalized/oppressed and lack the resources or power for a violent revolution. It puts moral pressure on the offending party.
  • The American non-violence movement is significantly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of non-violent resistance or Satyagraha. Martin Luther King Jr. explicitly referred to Gandhi's principles in developing his own approach.
  • The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), founded by Martin Luther King Jr., was a major component of the American Civil Rights Movement and used non-violence to advocate for civil rights.
  • One of the key principles of non-violence includes not only refusal to physically harm others, but also nurturing love and understanding to eliminate the social and political systems that propagate violence.

Top things to do in the US for this observance

  • Volunteer at or donate to your local domestic abuse shelter.
  • Watch Selma (2014).
  • Encourage artistic expressions such as exhibitions, dance performances, poetry readings, or music concerts that promote peace, harmony, and non-violence.
  • Participate in volunteering activities with organizations dedicated to promoting peace, resolving conflicts, and combating violence, both domestically and internationally.

References and related sites

UN: Non Violence Day

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