Our Statement of Purpose:
I. BASIC PRINCIPLES: To enter into affiliation with the Fresno Center for Nonviolence implies a commitment to examining and altering one’s life toward the achievement of these basic goals.
- Simplicity — reducing the sheer amount of material resources needed to satisfy our desires, raised as we are in a society which overvalues possessions, pleasure and convenience, and which uses an unconscionable proportion of the planet’s natural wealth. Adopting patterns of production, consumption and reproduction that safeguard the planet’s biological integrity.
- Justice — actively seeking to create a world where decent living conditions are available to all, and where the decision-making processes, methods of production, distribution of wealth, and accountability to society are equitable, giving priority to guaranteeing the basic needs and rights of the most vulnerable.
- Inclusiveness — actively seeking to understand the situation and point-of-view of others, maintaining readiness to ally with other communities-of-interest or -belief that are committed to similar principles. Acting to protect the biological diversity and natural resources that sustain life.
- Non-injury — pledging to use methods to attain our ends that do not contradict those ends; acting with compassion and an understanding of shared humanity toward those we oppose, and utilizing only those means which do not put others at greater risk than ourselves. Promoting a culture of tolerance, cooperation and peaceful problem resolution.
Association with the Center also implies an understanding that, if we are to preserve the viability of our living environment and the hope for a safe, democratic society, there is urgent need to make changes related to our goals. These changes are substantial, need to begin at once, and start with ourselves.
II. PERSONAL ATTITUDES AND INVOLVEMENTS: We have identified several specific personal attitudes and involvements that seem to demand particular attention. These are:
- Seeking to understand and minimize our own fears, identifying the sources and investigating the consequences of our own violent anger.
- Learning to resolve personal conflicts in more constructive, mutually satisfying ways.
- Learning to live more simply, with less heedless material consumption and less dependence on the fruits of exploitative labor, and with more consideration for the environment.
- Gaining awareness of the harmful effects on others of habits and expectations unthinkingly adopted, and of economic and social systems we participate in without analysis “because that’s how things are done.”
- Investing time and energy into creating and strengthening personal and community support networks.
- Crossing boundaries to encounter people of a different age/class/ethnicity/value system.
- Involving ourselves constructively with young people.
- Exploring the philosophical dimensions of living through the perennial wisdom of the great religious traditions as well as the teachings of contemporary figures like Gandhi, Krishnamurti and Peace Pilgrim who address the part.
Board of Directors
Maria Telesco, President
Richard Gomez, Vice President
Richard Stone, Secretary
Ron Vineyard, Treasurer
Gerry Bill, Center Director
Michael Black Bull
Angela Price, Development Director
Jessie de la Cruz
Stephen D. Malm