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Program: Specials and Documentaries

Airing Sundays at 6 p.m.

About Episodes

How do we break the vicious cycle of violence now so relentless at home and abroad? From mass shootings to the barbarism of ISIS, how can we stop this epidemic? People of conscience everywhere are heartsick and looking for answers. As Rev. Martin Luther King declared, “There is another way.” ‘The Power of Nonviolence,’ a timely new public radio project by David Freudberg from Humankind, seeks deep solutions to this vexing problem. We turn to wisdom teachings across our great spiritual traditions for guidance — and inspiration — on how the lasting wounds can be healed. And we hear from peacemakers from different backgrounds. Some of their stories are vivid and quite uplifting. Their insights may even be life-changing.

The Spirituality of Peacemaking – March 5

When black families offered forgiveness to the hateful young man who murdered their relatives attending church in June 2015, it came as a surprise to many. We hear chilling evidence from the Dylann Roof trial in S. Carolina that followed. But the gesture of forgiveness by survivors arises from a long tradition of nonviolence as a spiritual philosophy and tactic for coping with oppression. The peaceable beliefs of Martin Luther King, Gandhi and others — who trust in the power of soul force — are explored.

Connecting with the other side – March 12

According to the late journalist John Wallach, one answer is to instill direct awareness at a young age. He went on to found a truly bold experiment in breaking down barriers: the Seeds of Peace summer camp on a glistening lake in Otisfield, Maine, scene of our sound-rich portrait. Since it was founded, more than 6,000 teenagers from conflict regions around the globe have come for about a month of refuge. Their homes are places like the Middle East and South Asia. Usually it’s their first encounter with someone from “the other side” of bitter religious, ethnic or national discord. Here they meet, talk, eat, play sports, and sing together, living in integrated bunks. They discover that people who’ve been demonized are not monsters – just other kids trying to make their way in a confusing world. We hear their diverse voices and accents. Also camp co-founder Bobbie Gottschalk, who remains active, recalls her own experience as a 20-year-old student at the height of the Cold War, at a Quaker college which organized a trip to the Soviet Union to promote person-to-person dialogue

Healing the Trauma of War – March 19

We hear profiles of American soldiers who, after military service, returned home to face another battle – the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and veterans who wrestle with “moral injury,” which occurs after a violation of conscience, based on events they witnessed or participated in while on military duty.

Compassion Practice – March 26

In a world afflicted with so much violence, it would be easy to underestimate the impact of basic human compassion in actually solving conflict. Yet time and again, people are transformed – sometimes profoundly – by gentle acts of caring. Mere gestures of sympathy may not be effective in the heat of a battle, but in many settings compassion has a remarkable capacity to defuse hostility.


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