Nonviolence International

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Nonviolence International
Nonviolence International.png
Nonviolence International
FounderMubarak Awad
FocusNonviolence, activism, human rights
Area served
MethodEducation, training, support
Key people
Jonathan Kuttab (Co-Founder)
Michael Beer (Executive Director)
David Hart (Co-Director)
Joshua Kirchbaum (New York Office Director)
Holds Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Nonviolence International (NI) acts as a network of resource centers that promote the use of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance.[1] They have maintained relationships with activists in a number of countries, with their most recent projects taking place in Palestine, Sudan and the Ukraine. . They partnered with International Center for Nonviolent Conflict to update Gene Sharp's seminal work on 198 methods of nonviolent action (The Politics of Nonviolent Action) through a book publication. NI has also produced a comprehensive database of nonviolence tactics[2], which stands as the largest collection of nonviolent tactics in the world. They partner with Rutgers University to provide the largest collection of nonviolence training materials in the world[3].


In 1989, Palestinian activist Mubarak Awad founded Nonviolence International along with co-founders Jonathan Kuttab, Kamal Boulatta and Abdul Aziz Said. Nonviolence International is a 501(c)(3) organization registered in Washington, DC, United States and is continuously active in educating and training the public and activists in the use of nonviolent resistance. They are particularly known for their work in conflict zones[4] and Civil Society at the United Nations, building coalitions to find and advocate for nonviolent solutions across the globe.[4]

Their mission statement is:

"Nonviolence International advocates for active nonviolence and supports creative constructive nonviolent campaigns worldwide. We are a backbone organization of the nonviolent moment, providing fiscal sponsorship to partners all over the globe. We tell the transformative stories of dynamic emerging nonviolent movements that give us hope in difficult times and are reshaping what we view as possible. By telling these inspirational stories and supporting these movements we help to create a peaceful and just future."[5]

In 1991, Nonviolence International coordinated anti-coup d'état training in Russia. This led to the organization's publication of the Training Manual for Nonviolent Defense Against the Coup d'État, which has since been used globally in both English and Spanish[6].

In 1993 and 1994, Andre Kamenshikov partnered with Nonviolence International to found the Nonviolence International-Newly Independent States (NI-NIS), based in Moscow. NI-NIS was the first major organization to publicly warn the world about the impending war in Chechnya; the organization also released the first environmental damage assessment regarding the war in Chechnya.

During the 1995 International Campaign to Ban Landmines, NI was one of the endorsing organizations and was one of the attending parties of the Phnom Penh conference in Cambodia during June of 1995. This conference was the largest anti-landmine conference to date and was the first gathering to take place in a heavily-mined country (see land mines in Cambodia).

NI organized a groundbreaking consultation entitled "Mainstreaming Peace Teams" at American University in 1996. As a result, more than 50 experts from over 25 countries engaged in dialogue about unarmed peacekeeping and third-party nonviolent intervention.

From 1999 to 2009, NI created programs of nonviolence and peace education in Aceh during the civil war (see Aceh War); the programs were led by Dr. Asna Husin, who remains a senior researcher for Nonviolence International. In 2004, a tsunami ravaged Aceh; the NI office was destroyed and several staff members were killed or injured. Following the tragedy, NI raised and distributed funds for orphans in Aceh.

Between 1998 and 2002, Michael Beer assisted in launching the International Burma Campaign with a conference and publication in Burma Today[7]. Beer, along with Gene Sharp and Bob Helvey, provided training in nonviolent action for over 1,000 Burmese resistance guerrillas and civilians.

NI organized the International Conference on Nonviolent Resistance, which was hosted in Bethlehem in December of 2005. The conference brought together over 250 nonviolent activists from around the world, including renowned activists Gene Sharp and Bernard Lafayette.

From 2006 to 2015, NI organized trainings and produced podcasts, films and texts for the largest resource center on nonviolence produced in Farsi[8].

Nonviolence International currently works on several projects, with focuses on grassroots activism in Sudan, the Ukraine and Palestine. They are the acting United States fiscal sponsor for the Gaza Freedom Flotillas, which seeks to end the siege of Gaza using nonviolence. Director and founder Mubarak Awad, along with co-founder Jonathan Kuttab, led a delegation to Qatar with Palestinian leadership in order to advocate for a nonviolent strategy of resistance. Michael Beer served as an advisor to the 2019 Sudanese resistance movement.

Organization and affiliations[edit]

Nonviolence International operates as a collective of independent offices around the world. Each office manages its own programs and activities.

Within the United States, the central office is located in Washington D.C.; the organization also has a satellite office in New York City. Additional international offices are located in Banda Aceh, Jerusalem, Bangkok, Kyiv and Victoria.[4]

In addition to its own programs, Nonviolence International holds membership in a number of other organizations and campaigns, such as the International Campaign Against Foreign Military Bases, The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA), NGO Major Group, Coalition for Global Citizenship 2030, War Resisters' International (WRI), and the International Peace Bureau (IPB). They were a supporting organization to both the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997,[9] and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2017.[10] NI also acts as a fiscal sponsor for Control Arms, Center for Jewish Nonviolence, We Are Not Numbers, Holy Land Trust, the al Watan Center and many other groups. Additionally, the organization has been widely outspoken against torture and human rights abuses propagated by the United States Government.


Mubarak Awad, the founder and president, is an adjunct professor of nonviolent resistance at American University. He is affiliated with a number of renowned global nonviolent activists such as the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mairead McGuire. He was born in Jerusalem in 1943 and later chose Bluffton University over Yale University to pursue degrees in social work and psychology. He has since been influenced by Mennonite and Quaker pacifist ideologies. He obtained a master's degree from Saint Francis University and later a PhD in Psychology from Saint Louis University. In 1988, Awad was deported from Palestine for his leadership in helping spark the First Intifada; he is barred from all but short visits to his homeland.

Michael Beer began working with the organization in 1991 and has maintained the executive director position since 1998. Beer is a global activist for human rights and minority rights and has been an outspoken voice for grassroots movements around the world. He focuses on nonviolence training and education and has worked with activists in numerous countries including Myanmar, Kosovo, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Zimbabwe and the United States. He is a frequent public speaker on nonviolence and has been broadcast on CSPAN, CNN and other major media outlets.

Jonathan Kuttab is a co-founder and prominent civil rights lawyer in Israel, Palestine and New York. Kuttab co-founded the Palestinian Center for the Study of Nonviolence as well as the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners.[11] He is also a co-founder of Al-Haq, a major Palestinian human rights organization.[12]


The main focus of the organization is promoting nonviolent solutions through the training and education of individuals, NGOs, and governments. It provides education materials, and sponsors and organizes training and strategy sessions. Specifically the organization:

  1. Sponsors local, national, regional and international seminars on nonviolence;
  2. Offers training programs and develops educational materials;[13]
  3. Provides resources and specialists to groups or governments seeking alternative possibilities for peace;
  4. Prints and disseminates articles, newsletters, reports and undertakes public interest research on nonviolence;
  5. Provides public education through speakers and the media;
  6. Cooperates with other nonviolence, peace and conflict resolution organizations internationally in order to work together toward a common goal.[14]


  1. ^ Chenoweth, Erica; Stephan, Maria J.; Stephan, Maria J. (2011). Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231156820.
  2. ^ "Nonviolence Tactics Database".
  3. ^ "Digital Library of Nonviolent Resistance".
  4. ^ a b c "Global Affiliates | Nonviolence International". Nonviolence International. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
  5. ^ [1], Nonviolence International. Accessed December 8, 2010.
  6. ^ "Training Manual for Nonviolent Defense Against the Coup d'État". ICNC. Retrieved 2019-09-11.
  7. ^ "BURMA/CYBERWAR". Burma Today.
  8. ^ "International Center on Nonviolent Conflict - Farsi".
  9. ^ "The Nobel Peace Prize 1997". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  10. ^ "ICAN receives 2017 Nobel Peace Prize | ICAN". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  11. ^ "Kuttab, Jonathan | Friends of Sabeel - North America". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  12. ^ "Jonathan Kuttab".
  13. ^ "nonviolenceny". nonviolenceny. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  14. ^ Guinard, Caroline. From War to Peace. Nonviolence International Southeast Asia, 2002, p.176

External links[edit]