How Close is the US to Real Social Transformation?
We spoke with Ken Butigan about the stages of social transformation, where the US fits in and what the tasks are during this stage. You may be surprised to find out how close we are. Butigan is director of Pace e Bene, a nonprofit organization fostering nonviolent change through education, community and action. He also teaches peace studies at DePaul University and Loyola University in Chicago. He has been involved in numerous ‘people powered’ movements for thirty years.
Relevant articles and websites:
Movement Action Plan: History is a Weapon by Bill Moyer
A New Movement for Nonviolent Change by Ken Butigan
Butigan has worked with numerous social movements for three decades, including movements for a nuclear-free future, an end to homelessness, and freedom for East Timor. From 1987 to 1990, he was the national coordinator of the Pledge of Resistance, a network of 100,000 people in 400 local groups that organized coordinated nonviolent action for peace in Central America.
In 2006 he was a founder and lead organizer of the Declaration of Peace, a nationwide grassroots campaign endorsed by 800 organizations who participated in 350 public events across the country calling for a concrete plan to end the US war in Iraq.
Since 1990 Butigan has been on the staff of Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service, an organization dedicated to building a more nonviolent culture that has conducted 700 workshops, trainings, retreats or classes for 30,000 people in the US and around the world.
Butigan has written or edited six books, including Pilgrimage through a Burning World: Spiritual Practice and Nonviolent Protest at the Nevada Test Site (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2003). He writes a weekly column forWaging Nonviolence.
He earned his B.A. at the University of San Diego and M.A. in Theology from the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. He earned his Ph.D. in the Historical and Cultural Studies of Religions at GTU, where he studied nonviolence in five religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
He previously taught at the Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley and directed the Spiritual Life Institute at Saint Martin’s College in Washington State. For two years he taught religious studies at Barat College of DePaul University (2003-2005). Click here to see all teaching positions.
Butigan lives in Chicago with his spouse Cynthia and their daughter.