Leading Nonviolent Change Projects
A Residential Summer Institute for Educators

June 23-30, 2019
Deadline to submit proposals: March 18, 2019

Download pdf file

Ahimsa Center in the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences at California State Polytechnic University, invites project proposals for residential summer institute for educator-leaders. This institute, seventh in a series on Education about Nonviolence, is open to all educators, who are familiar with the exemplars of nonviolence, their philosophies, methods and movements for positive social change.

Purpose and Format

This institute is for educators who are interested in deepening their intellectual experience while exploring practical applications of the tenets and tactics employed by Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and other leaders of nonviolent movements. It will focus on training educators in effective ways for leading nonviolent positive change in schools, districts or communities by working with various constituencies while embracing ethics of care, compassion, social justice, and civil discourse.
In addition to focusing on individual projects, Institute program will include:

  • Immersion in the intellectual content and interaction with experts aimed at building both knowledge and experiential wisdom.
  • Experimentation with building “soul-force” through integrating yoga and contemplative practices in daily routine to  explore the significance of such experience in leading nonviolent change.
  • Development of an implementation plan for individual projects including appropriate nonviolent strategies.

The format of the institute is intensive requiring diligence and persistence on the part of participants. It will incorporate the above aspects while identifying their practical relevance to projects for nonviolent change. Participants will work with the Ahimsa Center director and other experts featured in the institute.

Fellowship and Benefits

  • Residential Fellowship. Fellowship covers the costs of instruction and training, room and board for the duration of the institute, books and materials, and special weekend program.
  • Leadership Development. Opportunity for professional growth as teacher-leaders seeking to create positive change among students, schools, or communities.
  • Community Network.  Opportunity for community building and networking.
  • Professional Recognition and Potential for Seed Funding.  Authors of well-developed proposals will have an opportunity to present at the Ahimsa Center’s future conferences and explore seed funding.
  • Professional Visibility. Successfully implemented projects showcased on the Ahimsa Center website.

Selection Criteria

The Institute is open to all K-12 educators throughout the United States.  Selection criteria include evidence in application materials of the following:

  • Knowledge about exemplars of nonviolence, their movements for and methods of creating social change. Supporting evidence includes formal course work or participation in professional development programs focusing on topics and themes related to nonviolent change.
  • Commitment to actively participate in the entire program including all segments of the Institute, from beginning to end.  Participants will need to arrive by  early afternoon of Sunday, June 23 and depart following the conclusion of the institute on Sunday afternoon, June 30.
  • A well-thought-out proposal for positive change in a specific context such as (but not limited to) classroom management, school climate, specific community or national issues using tenets and tactics of nonviolence. Academic scholarly projects such as compilation of innovative ahimsa curriculum content and pedagogical approaches for publication are also welcome. Proposals must include an initial implementation plan.
  • Proposed project’s potential to engage with additional educator(s) in the school or members of community interested in seeking the desired change.
  • Likely outcomes or impact of the proposed project for positive change.

Also taken into consideration will be the level of support from applicant’s institution for the implementation of the proposed project and its dissemination. This can be communicated in a letter of support from an immediate supervisor  familiar with the applicant’s work and its likely impact and/or significance.

Application Procedure

Complete application package must include the following items (with specified page limits):

  1. Two-page Resume providing applicant’s (a) primary responsibilities during the year,  (b)academic training and degrees earned to date,  (c) exposure to learning about leaders of nonviolence and nonviolent social change,  (d) teaching experience and employment record, (e) professional activities including any leadership roles, awards and honors,  and  service relevant to the application.
  2. Project proposal describing in two- typewritten pages a) the proposed project; (b) its significance and scope, (c) collaboration with colleagues or members of community (if any), and (d) how participation in the institute will contribute to  project’s implementation, and to positive change.
  3. Letter of support from an individual such as a principal or a supervisor who has first- hand knowledge about the professional qualifications and ability of the applicant to undertake and implement the proposed project.  

Email complete application package as word attachment along with a scanned copy of the signed letter of support using a subject header Institute 2019 to: ahimsacenter@cpp.edu by Monday, March 18, 2019.  Early application is highly recommended. 

Applications will be reviewed as they come in.  Successful applicants will be notified by Monday, April 8, 2019.

For more information, or questions and clarification about the application or the project proposal, contact: Dr. Tara Sethia, Director of Ahimsa Center
(909) 869-3868; tsethia@cpp.edu