The 17th annual Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence is a testament to the power of a collective vision that has transformed a grassroots movement into a global campaign. That vision—to heal, transform, and empower communities through spiritual activism—is honored each year from January 30 through April 4. The dates span the anniversaries of the deaths of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.—two men who fought and died for a peaceful, nonviolent world.
The Gandhi King Gyatso Season for Nonviolence
An educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
The Gandhi King Season for Nonviolence (SNV) will commence on January 30, in cities across the globe. The annual 64-day campaign, co-founded in 1998 by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT), is an educational, media and grassroots awareness campaign spanning the January 30th and April 4th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
General purpose/goals being addressed
The purpose of the campaign is to focus educational and media attention on the philosophy of attaining peace through nonviolent action as demonstrated by legendary leaders Mohandas K. Gandhi, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar E. Chavez, and President Nelson Mandela, as well as living legends such as His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.
Using an “omni-local” model of citizen empowerment in more than 900 cities in 67 countries since inception, the program offers tools and training to self-organizing groups that use nonviolent principles and practices to heal conflict in families and communities. The campaign is especially effective in schools and congregations where participants representing diverse age groups, cultures, religions and political ideologies collaborate to identify “local heroes of nonviolence,” and help connect like-minded agencies and initiatives within the same community.
Tie in to ‘bigger picture” and outcomes
Hundreds of Season for Nonviolence task forces from around the USA and abroad will be invited to participate in new projects, as well as the foundational program, 64 Ways to Practice Nonviolence. With a quotation, affirmation and action for each day of SNV, 64 Ways provides a way for anyone to start making these principles a part of their daily lives.
History. Campaign specifics
The Season for Nonviolence has been launched at the United Nations each year from 1998. These events have brought forth substantive endorsements and commitments from the former UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, the U.S. Ambassador to India, Vice President Al Gore, Coretta Scott King, and the Director General of UNESCO on behalf of its Culture of Peace and nonviolence appeal by the Nobel Peace Laureates. The significance of the Season is emphasized by the bookend memorial anniversaries of Gandhi (Jan 30) and Martin Luther King Jr. (April 4), Tibet Uprising Day (March 10), the birthday of Cesar Chavez (March 31), and Freedom Day in South African -- a public holiday celebrating the first post-apartheid elections held in 1994 (April 27).
Who else is featured?
In 2013, His Holiness, the name of the Dalai Lama of Tibet was added to the Gandhi King Gyatso Season for Nonviolence honoring his compassionate and nonviolent leadership in the face of Tibetan human rights oppression. Said Tenzin Tethong, former President of the Dalai Lama Foundation, "... those of us who work for peace should not only 'follow' in the footsteps of great peacemakers who have gone before us, but should 'walk with' those who still show the way." This year, the lifetime of the late President Nelson Mandela is celebrated in an SNV Featured Program.
Unity Statement of Diversity
We recognize and honor the Divine within as the one common denominator that we share on our human journey.
The living heart of Unity understands and manifests its support of this Divinity by recognizing there is inherent good in all people. Unity Worldwide Ministries, its members, and affiliates, welcome with love all people in every form of God’s creation, regardless of how that creation presents itself.
It is the intent that Unity organizations are inclusive and non-discriminatory. We honor all components that contribute to the diversity of community. We affirm and support Unity principles and programs that manifest diversity in our teachings, policies, buildings and within our communities.
We are resolute in walking the course of human rights and social justice for all. —August 2016
Unity Statement of Social Action Position
Webster defines the word “unity” as “the state of forming a complete and pleasing whole....” At this time in the evolution of the planet and the lives of human beings upon it, the task of “forming a complete and pleasing whole” is the imperative for positive evolution and harmonious existence for all. This perspective has seemingly been lost—our wholeness, our oneness, our same-ness as a human race. We must now remember more than ever, that we have much more in common than that which divides us. The Unity movement stands for and will tirelessly work for harmony so all people may know the freedom of peaceful expression; so they may know their own inner worth and essential contribution to the whole of life. • Where there are divisions of opinions, beliefs, and perspectives, Unity embraces curiosity, exploration and expanded awareness of the gifts of diversity. • Where there is fear of “the other,” Unity stands for inclusivity and peaceful acceptance of another’s right to create the life of his or her choosing. • Where there is oppression and hatred, we stand for justice and understanding, and for extending compassion, kindness, and forgiveness to restore balance. • Where there is discrimination, we stand for inclusivity and equality. We pledge to be an advocate for the wellbeing, respect and civil freedom of every human being. Any proposal or action that seeks to discriminate against individuals or classes of individuals based on prejudiced, stereotypic profiles of national origin, class, creed, race, ethnicity, physical ability or sexual orientation is in opposition to the core beliefs and values established by our founders. We choose Unity. In harmony with the divine Spirit we stand, so we may live in a spiritually awakened world that is continually evolving. This is our prayer and our decree. Through our actions, we let it be.
Unity Statement for Peace
Unity stands for peace in the presence of conflict; for love in the presence of hatred; for forgiveness in the presence of injury. Unity honors the many names for God, the many paths to God, the many ways to worship God; for there is only one power and presence of God and that God loves each one of us equally. It is , therefore,the position of Unity Worldwide Ministries and Unity World Headquarters at Unity Village to urge all nations, their leaders and their people to turn to God by whatever the name for guidance during these challenging times and pursue peace, not war, for this is what honors the God of all our faith traditions. Unity stands for peace in our lifetime.
Season for Nonviolence Program:
64 WAYS IN 64 DAYS
Daily Comprehensive Reflections
DAY 1 Jan. 30: The thought for today is COURAGE. Today I will light a candle to symbolize my commitment to accept the courage to practice 64 Ways of living nonviolently.
DAY 2 Jan 31: The thought for today is SMILING. Today I will share a sincere smile with everyone I meet, knowing that my smile contributes to peace.
DAY 3 Feb. 1: The thought for today is APPRECIATION. Today I will write down ten things that I appreciate about myself and my life. I will tell at least one other person what I appreciate about them.
DAY 4 Feb. 2: The thought for today is CARING. Today I will make a list of at least five ways that I can take care of myself, physically and/or mentally, and I will honor that list today through demonstration.
DAY 5 Feb. 3: The thought for today is BELIEVING. Today I will write what I believe about nonviolence. I will create an “I Believe in Nonviolence” t-shirt, bumper sticker, song, or art, and be aware of the simple demonstrations of peaceful responses.
DAY 6 Feb. 4: The thought for today is SIMPLICITY. Today I will write down three ways I can simplify my life and put at least one of them into practice today. I will give away something I have not used in the past year.
DAY 7 Feb. 5: The thought for today is EDUCATION. Today I consciously expand my knowledge about nonviolence. I will share what I have learned with at least three other people and invite them to learn, too.
DAY 8 Feb. 6: The thought for today is HEALING. Today I will reflect on an incident in my life to find the "gift" it has brought me. I will write down two ways I can use this memory to become a more creative and peaceful person. Consciously, I share this gift with others.
DAY 9 Feb. 7: The thought for today is DREAMING. Today I take ownership of my own dream for peace and nonviolence. I will write down and act on at least one thing to honor my dream today.
DAY 10 Feb. 8: The thought for today is FAITH. Today I will say, “Yes, it is possible,” to every obstacle I meet. I will write down three things I am having a challenge with and with each one write “It is possible for me to overcome this obstacle and be successful.”
DAY 11 Feb. 9: The thought for today is CONTEMPLATION. Today I take a moment to relax, breathe and let my mind be fed by what is good and beautiful. As I think, so I am! I will write down my thoughts and share them with others.
DAY 12 Feb. 10: The thought for today is GROUNDEDNESS. Today I will nurture a plant or plant a seed in, and for, the earth. When I am in a confrontational situation, I will recall that sense of being grounded and respond in a nonviolent way.
DAY 13 Feb. 11: The thought for today is CREATIVITY. Today I reflect on what I am creating in my life today by identifying at least five ways in which I can express my creativity joyously. I will create something that expresses my feelings about nonviolence.
DAY 14 Feb. 12: The thought for today is HUMILITY. Today as I gaze up at the night stars, I am aware of how small I am, how my life is but a fleeting moment in the vast scale of time and distances of the solar system and the universe. And in that moment of humility, I acknowledge that I DO make a difference.
DAY 15 Feb. 13: The thought for today is REVERENCE. Today I open myself up to a feeling of reverence for all forms of life, especially each and every person that I meet during the day. I'll take a walk outside and experience the beauty that surrounds me as I BE with the sky, the plants and animals, as well as my brothers and sisters.
DAY 16 Feb. 14: The thought for today is GRATITUDE. Today I will list five things for which I am grateful for and share these good things with another, then reflect on who and what made those experiences possible. I will write a “thank-you” note to someone who would least expect me to thank them. I'll journal about my feelings with regard to this.
DAY 17 Feb. 15: The thought for today is INTEGRITY. Today When faced with a choice today, I listen to my conscience. I'll recall then write a short story about a time when I listened to my heart when the people around me were doing something else.
DAY 18 Feb. 16: The thought for today is FREEDOM. Today I'll claim my definition of freedom. I'll write a haiku poem about freedom.
DAY 19 Feb. 17: The thought for today is ACCEPTANCE. Today as I reflect on what is difficult for me to accept - in myself, in other people, and in the state of the world - I'll let go of any resistance or judgment, and allow myself to accept and acknowledge whatever I have been resisting.
DAY 20 Feb. 18: The thought for today is SELF-FORGIVENESS. Today I will write an apology letter to myself for anything I have done to myself that I wish I had not, or ways that I have disappointed myself and not fully lived up to my potential. I'll mail the letter to myself and when it arrives, I will read it in a quiet place.
Day 21 Feb. 19: The thought for today is INSPIRATION. Today As I think of at least two people who exemplify the practice of nonviolence, I'll acknowledge what it is I admire about them, what inspires me about them. I'll practice these behaviors today so that other people may be inspired and I'll share this insight with at least three other people.
DAY 22 Feb. 20: The thought for today is MISSION. Today I will write down what I stand for in my life. I will note at least one way I can show, through action, that I stand for my beliefs. I will develop a personal mission statement and draw a picture of myself living my mission. I will share my mission with at least three other people.
DAY 23 Feb. 21: The thought for today is PRAYER. Today I will begin and end the day with a prayer for peace. When I say goodbye to people, I will say "May Peace Prevail on Earth." I will create a space in my home dedicated to prayer for nonviolence.
DAY 24 Feb. 22: The thought for today is HARMONY. Today I will choose to see the good in others instead of finding fault. I will spend the entire day without criticizing anything or anyone; if I am tempted to criticize, I will write down the criticism rather than speaking it, then later discover where the criticism is coming from within me.
DAY 25 Feb. 23: The thought for today is FRIENDLINESS. Today I will make a new acquaintance, befriend a stranger. I will go up to someone I haven’t met yet and say “Hi friend.”
DAY 26 Feb. 24: The thought for today is RESPECT. Today as I interact with and observe people during the day, I will be aware of ways in which I respect each person. I will draw a picture of someone for whom I have a great deal of respect, then frame the picture with words that describe this person.
DAY 27 Feb. 25: The thought for today is GENEROSITY. Today I will find three ways to give generously of my time, talent and resources to others. I will create a ‘Gift Certificate’ for someone.
DAY 28 Feb. 26: The thought for today is LISTENING. Today I will be fully present to each conversation I engage in, and listen longer than usual - and with more patience - to what others are saying. I will give the other person my full attention, because nothing else really matters. I will look directly at the person who is speaking, without thinking about other things.
DAY 29 Feb. 27: The thought for today is FORGIVENESS. Today I am willing to let go of the past, and forgive those who have hurt me, and towards whom I feel anger. I will forgive myself too. Today, I will write a letter of forgiveness to someone (I do not have to mail it).
DAY 30 Feb. 28: The thought for today is MAKING AMENDS. Today as I interact with people, I will reflect on whether there are ways I feel moved to make amends; I will let my heart gently guide me, as I recall each person's unique ways of expressing his or her joys, fears and pains. I will be open to let my heart speak through words, actions, thoughts or prayers. I will offer a sincere apology to someone I may have hurt.
DAY 31 Mar. 1: The thought for today is PRAISE. Today I will give sincere praise to at least three people today for their personal qualities, achievements, or helpful service, and then to myself. I will journal about the experience and feelings of each encounter.
DAY 32 Mar. 2: The thought for today is PATIENCE. Today I will look for opportunities to practice patience. In a situation where there is friction, rather than run away, I will move closer to the core of the conflict and look for a nonviolent solution.
DAY 33 Mar. 3: The thought for today is ACKNOWLEDGMENT. Today I will take time to acknowledge each person I meet or see today - including myself - in the spirit of ahimsa and forgiveness. I will take time today to acknowledge the realm of nature, the community of life on Earth, and the Earth itself.
DAY 34 Mar. 4: The thought for today is LOVE. TodayI will focus on what I can find to love in the person I like the least. As I meet people during the day, I will reflect on how love can enhance the relationship.
DAY 35 Mar. 5: The thought for today is UNDERSTANDING. Today, when I find myself disagreeing with someone, I will focus on understanding what they are saying - and why. I will listen compassionately to them, with a silent thought of love, and tell them what I understand them to be saying. With empathy, I will say clearly and quietly what I believe to be true.
DAY 36 Mar. 6: The thought for today is MINDFULNESS. Today I will choose something simple to do, such as eating a piece of fruit. Bringing my complete attention to it, I will not allow myself to talk to anyone or think of anything else except what I'm doing. I will practice being mindful in everything I do today.
DAY 37 Mar. 7: The thought for today is GRACIOUSNESS. Today I will create a skit with at least three other people to show the difference between graciousness and selfishness. I will observe and share with the others how graciousness adds to nonviolence.
DAY 38 Mar. 8: The thought for today is KINDNESS. Today I will do something kind for someone for no reason other than to be kind. I will bring beauty to a place where it may be needed without letting anyone know that I was the one who did it. I will write about how it felt and then share this story with someone.
DAY 39 Mar. 9: The thought for today is DIALOGUE. Today I will speak my truth quietly and clearly, and not enter into the spirit of argument. I will listen with an open heart, with compassion, to the truth as perceived by others.
DAY 40 Mar. 10: The thought for today is UNITY. Today I will look for three ways to see beyond outer differences in opinions, appearances, or goals. I will seek out someone who looks different from me; looking beyond these outer differences I will see the unity which is inside and journal about what I have discovered.
DAY 41 Mar. 11: The thought for today is OPENNESS. Today I will be open to understanding ideas and people that I have previously opposed. I will find somebody who I never wanted to talk to before and find a way to have a conversation with him or her.
DAY 42 Mar. 12: The thought for today is ACCOUNTABILITY. Today I will be accountable for my words today. I will make a list of the thoughts I think and the words I speak that are violent. Every time I become aware of my violent thoughts or words, I will say to myself “delete” and start again.
DAY 43 Mar. 13: The thought for today is UNIQUENESS. Today I will do something that shows how unique I am. I may draw a picture, sing a song, dance or write a story. I will praise, compliment or honor the uniqueness of someone I know and by doing so, notice the positive impact I make by recognizing their uniqueness.
DAY 44 Mar. 14: The thought for today is COOPERATION. Today, find a very heavy object. Try to pick it up by yourself. Now ask 3 or 4 other people to assist. How did working together with other people help make this task easier for you?
DAY 45 Mar. 15: The thought for today is MASTERY. Today when I think of something or get into a situation where anger comes up, I will acknowledge the anger then breathe deeply, silently counting backwards from ten, and then decide what action to take. Mastery of nonviolence will come as I continue to practice.
DAY 46 Mar. 16: The thought for today is COMPASSION. Today I will engage compassion to lead my actions, my words and my life.
DAY 47 Mar. 17: The thought for today is DISARMAMENT. Today I will have a conversation with someone today about what the world would be like if there were no weapons, nor any need for them. I will define new uses for the resources freed-up by not developing weapons.
DAY 48 Mar. 18: The thought for today is ECOLOGY. Today I will practice recycling by using at least one recycled product and by recycling a product. I will reduce, reuse and recycle the products I use.
DAY 49 Mar. 19: The thought for today is HONOR. Today A simple way to raise my awareness of honoring others is to do so at mealtime. Before each meal today, I will stop to think about all the people involved with the food I eat and I will silently say to them, "I honor you." Likewise, I will bless and honor the earth for its abundance.
DAY 50 Mar. 20: The thought for today is CHOICE. Today I will write about the choices I face throughout the day and on how they translate my commitment to nonviolence into my thoughts, words and actions.
DAY 51 Mar. 21: The thought for today is ADVOCACY. Today I will be an ally. Without blaming or judging others, I will listen from my heart, and speak out with love for those who are disrespected, abused or not listened to. I will find out how I can be an advocate in current conflicts, such as in The Sudan.
DAY 52 Mar. 22: The thought for today is EQUALITY. Today I will be mindful of ways that I see myself as better than others. When I listen to people today, I will listen to them as equals; when I speak, I will speak to others as equals. I will enrich my life by considering how I can invite different people and unusual experiences into my life today.
DAY 53 Mar. 23: The thought for today is ACTION. Today I will explore actions from the heart I can take today to express my commitment to peace and nonviolence - in both my personal life and in the public domain. I will find a way to make one small change that will contribute to the well being of my home, school, workplace or community.
DAY 54 Mar. 24: The thought for today is GIVING. Today I will clean out my closet, bureau drawers, or garage and give away things I'm not using. I will give my time to a volunteer organization and my financial resources to a cause that supports and practices nonviolence.
DAY 55 Mar. 25: The thought for today is RESPONSIBILITY. Today I will pick up trash that is not my own, whether at home, at the office or on the street. If there is a conflict present in my life, I will take responsibility for my part in the conflict.
DAY 56 Mar. 26: The thought for today is SELF-SUFFICIENCY. Today I will discover the satisfaction of making something for myself instead of buying something - and from spending time in self-sufficient quiet reflection or meditation. If I know someone who is looking for employment, I will offer to assist them with a resume, an application, making phone calls, or practice interviewing.
DAY 57 Mar. 27: The thought for today is SERVICE. Today I will volunteer a minimum of two hours this week with an organization of my choice and share my commitment with at least one person. I will do one thing today to help somebody at home, at school or work, or in my community, and then write a paragraph about the experience.
DAY 58 Mar. 28: The thought for today is CITIZENSHIP. Today I will call or write one of my legislators and register my views. I will tell at least three people of my efforts and ask them to do the same.
DAY 59 Mar. 29: The thought for today is INTERVENTION. Today I will have the courage to intervene in a caring way with someone who is using alcohol or drugs. Through my honest, straightforward, and nonviolent communication, I will encourage them to get educated, get help, get sober and free from substances.
DAY 60 Mar. 30: The thought for today is WITNESSING. Today when I see injustice, I will say or take action to bring about a peaceful change. I will write down my thoughts about the action I took, and share this with another person.
DAY 61 Mar. 31: The thought for today is PEACE. Today I choose to meet each experience with an intention for peace. I will be aware of any feelings of anger or irritation and replace the feeling with calm. I envision any areas of unrest transformed into safe havens for all people. I see beyond conflict and discord to the truth: peace is everywhere present and active.
DAY 62 Apr. 1: The thought for today is COMMITMENT. Today I will identify what I am willing to do as a consequence of my commitment to nonviolence. I will clarify and affirm my personal commitment to nonviolence by sharing it with at least two people.
DAY 63 Apr. 2: The thought for today is RELEASE. Today I reflect back on how far I have come during this 64-day journey. I release the idea that World Peace is not possible by acknowledging that I really do make a difference. Say out loud, “I DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”
DAY 64 Apr. 3: The thought for today is CELEBRATION. Today I celebrate my knowledge and maturity, my choice of nonviolence, and the journey I have chosen.
CLOSING Apr. 4: Every day, I join others in this prayer for World Peace.
With each kind thought, each choice for nonviolence, we plant a seed that shall bloom to bring forth rich fruit in its Season.
Together, friend, we till the soil and plant the seeds that all creation may sing for joy and dance in the Garden of Peace.
May our prayers and practices during this Season be but the beginning of a new culture of peace, security and joy that shall endure unto our children’s children’s children.