Everyday Nonviolence: Extraordinary People Speaking Truth to Power

Every day there are people in our local and global community who are using the tactics and principles of nonviolence to transform the world around us. Our podcast focuses on telling these stories to highlight those who are joining us in our journey to create a world free from violence and the threat of violence.

Mel Duncan is a co-founder and current Director of Advocacy and Outreach for Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), a world leader in unarmed civilian protection. NP provides direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and works with local groups on violence deterrence in a variety of conflict areas around the world. Mel represents NP at the United Nations where the group has been granted consultative status. Two recent UN global reviews cited and recommended unarmed civilian protection. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship honored Mel with their 2010 Peace Seeker award. The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA awarded him their 2007 Pfeffer International Peace Prize on behalf of Nonviolent Peaceforce’s “courageous efforts in conflict regions around the world.” The Utne Reader named him as one of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World.” The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

Mel is a graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul Minnesota. In 2006 he was honored with their Distinguished Citizen award. He also holds a Masters degree from the University of Creation Spirituality. He splits his time between St. Paul and, New York City. He and his wife, Georgia, have eight children and twelve grandchildren.

Shelly Tochluk is an educator, with a background in psychology, she has spent ten years as a researcher, counselor, and teacher in California’s public schools. She now trains teachers to work with Los Angeles’ diverse school population as a Professor in the Education Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University-Los Angeles. Shelly currently work with AWARE-LA (Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere-Los Angeles). With this group, she co-created a workshop series that leads white people into a deeper understanding of their personal relationship to race, white privilege, and systemic racism.

Resources and links mentioned in this episode

- Kimmel, Michael.  Healing from Hate: How Young Men Get Into—and Out of—Violent Extremism.

-Reveal News. Hate in the Homeland,

-Saslow,Eli.  Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist.

-Tenold, Vegas.  Everything You Love Will Burn: Inside the Rebirth of White Nationalism in America.

-Tochluk, Shelly, and Christine Saxman.  “Swastikas in the Bathroom: Connecting the Dots between White Supremacy, White Nationalism, the Alt-Right, and the Alt-Light.”  Medium,

-Tochluk, Shelly.  Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It.  2nd ed.

Sasha Cotton is the Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis and serves as the Project Manager for the Group Violence Intervention strategy. Ms. Cotton is a liaison between the City and the community as it relates to youth and community violence and helps to improve communication between city officials, community organizations and all citizens concerned with public safety. Ms. Cotton has an extensive background in providing technical assistance, training and implementation of community engagement strategies related to violence prevention in diverse communities. Ms. Cotton holds a Bachelors of Art with a double major in Criminal Justice and Ethnic Studies from Metropolitan State University.

*Shortly after this interview, Sasha was named Director of the city’s newly created Office of Violence Prevention.

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Joseph Perry is a veteran of two wars, WWII and Korea as well as a meditation teacher (originally teaching Transcendental Meditation), an attorney for 30 years, a partner with his wife, Beverly, creating/maintaining an adult foster home for 38 years, and most recently achieved 54 years of sobriety and a 50-year wedding anniversary. 


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Charlotte Gorham is a Political Science and Geography double major at Macalester College. She interned at the Friends Committee on National Legislation during the summer of 2018. Charlotte was raised Quaker in New Haven Friends Meeting in New Haven, Connecticut. She enjoys dancing, painting, and fostering a peaceful world.


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In this powerful episode "Lee" shares with us a situation where he was physically abused by his wife. In addition to sharing this situation we also hear about the challenges he had trying to find resources and help. 

If you identify as male and are struggling to find support and resources to get out of or process through a harmful situation the Twin Cities Men's Center has compiled a list of helpful resources


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HaoPay Lee is a first generation Hmong American. She grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2015. HaoPay has experience in providing culturally specific domestic and sexual violence advocacy in Wisconsin and was the first Hmong sexual assault advocate Eau Claire, Wisconsin and is now practicing the same work in Minnesota. Hao Pay’s area of focus are providing advocacy services, awareness and education, and challenging gender-based disparities in the Hmong Community as well as addressing social justice issues for systems and policy change.


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Father Harry Bury

"Father Harry J. Bury is a Catholic priest unlike any you have ever met. His travels through Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Costa Rica, Philippines, Africa, Palestine and Israel, span over 60 years. His life-long dedication: to interact lovingly with citizens of the world in pursuit of peace and nonviolence."

In this week's episode Father Bury shares with us his life of activism and working towards peace.


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Matthew Walker shares his journey to find nonviolence while taking an Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop.


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Father Harry Bury talks about his newest project, Twin Cities NonViolent. Twin Cities Nonviolent is a new organization working to eliminate violence in the Twin Cities. Their first large project is 10 Days Free From Violence which is like an art crawl of nonviolent activities. Starting this Friday Sept 21st, check out the calender and join one of the amazing events.

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