Peace Studies Lecture: David Grant

Here is a copy of this year's Peace Studies Lecture, offered by David Grant, President of Common Lot Productions, and Senior Advisor for Nonviolent Peaceforce.  The lecture was given on Monday, November 4, 2013 at St. Lawrence University.

The lecture was entitled: "Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping: A Step Towards Abolishing War"

The formal abolition of slavery has taken about four hundred years. War has been with us as long but its abolition is no longer unthinkable.  During the last century, nonviolent movements have overthrown dictators, secured national independence and acquired civil rights. During the last several decades non-partisan organizations have developed unarmed means of protecting civilians in war zones. As armaments become more destructive and more widespread, the need to establish effective nonviolent means of defense becomes imperative.  Coupled with advances and experiments with democratic structures more advanced than those now used in the United States, the drive to abolish war challenges those who might, not long ago, have said ‘impossible.’

David Grant has dedicated more than four decades to political, cultural and community affairs. After obtaining an MFA at the Iowa Writer's Workshop he produced and directed programs for public television. Thereafter he developed a self-sufficient homestead and then joined Peace Corps as an agro-forester among aboriginal hunter-gatherers in the Philippines. Returning to the U.S., he led Rural Southern Voice for Peace, using the community organizing tool "The Listening Project." He also founded "Peace Troupe,” teaching nonviolent action through the cultural arts. He then accepted the invitation to move to the Netherlands to join the International Fellowship of Reconciliation as its coordinator of nonviolence education and training, requiring wide travel in Africa, Asia and Europe. At the Hague Appeal for Peace in 1999 he became a charter member and director of Nonviolent Peaceforce which provides unarmed protection of civilians in conflict zones around the world. He is currently serving as senior advisor to Nonviolent Peaceforce and has also established Common Lot Productions, advocating for improved forms of democracy.

This event was offered by the Peace Studies Program, supported by funding from the Rainer Oppenheim Fund for International Understanding, and the Department of History.

Here is a video of the lecture