We ask you to please share your thoughts with us as fully as you wish in response to the following questions. However, we realize that there are a lot of questions and we don’t need long answers to all of them. In most cases, answers of 150 words or less should be sufficient, but this should not discourage you from writing longer answers when you want to add detail or further explanation to an answer. What we are looking for in answers is substance regardless of length.
Please write your answers in a word processing program and upload on this page as a PDF document.
1. Please describe your motivations for applying to the James Lawson Institute. What knowledge/attributes/skills/experiences do you hope to gain or improve by attending?
2. What knowledge/attributes/skills/experiences will you be able to share with other participants at the JLI?
3. What do you see as the role of nonviolent civil resistance campaigns and movements in fostering change in the US and/or Canada? Is nonviolent civil resistance necessary? Why? What role can it play? What can it accomplish?
4. Do you feel that a commitment to philosophical or ethical nonviolence is necessary in order for a person or movement to practice effective nonviolent action? Why or why not?
5. What are your views about the costs and benefits of employing violent tactics in campaigns or movements for political or social change? Would you ever employ violent tactics yourself as part of a movement for political or social change? Why or why not?
6. What do you feel are some strengths and weaknesses of organizing and activism in North America today?
7. What are some key lessons you've learned about what makes effective civil resistance movements and campaigns? How did you learn these lessons?
8. Some of the most well-documented periods of movements that employed civil resistance over the last 60 years are: The U.S. Civil Rights movement, 1947-1968; campaigns of the United Farm Workers movement, 1962-1988; the modern women’s rights movement, 1963-2013; the movement against the war in Vietnam, 1966-1974; the anti-nuclear power movement, 1970s-1980s; the gay rights movement, 1969-2014; the movement against the war in Iraq, 2003-2010; the immigrant rights movement, 2007-2014. Please choose one or more of these movements, or another North American movement or campaign with which you are familiar over the last 60 years, and explain what lessons can be learned from it that you feel are relevant for today?
9. We’d like to hear your reactions to the following article: The Trifecta of Civil Resistance: Unity, Planning, Discipline
. After reading it, please share at least three points with which you agreed, disagreed, or found noteworthy, unexpected, or intriguing in the article, and explain why?
10. What do you see as your future work? How would you apply what you learn at the JLI in this future work?
11. If there anything else you would like to share with us, please feel free to do so.