Jamila Raqib is executive director of the Albert Einstein Institution, a research affiliate at MIT, and co-author of Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression. In her TED Talk, she describes creative acts of nonviolent resistance that speak truth to power.
This is the work I do. For the past 13 years, I’ve been teaching people in some of the most difficult situations around the world how they can use nonviolent struggle to conduct conflict. Most people associate this type of action with Gandhi and Martin Luther King. But people have been using nonviolent action for thousands of years. In fact, most of the rights that we have today in this country – as women, as minorities, as workers, as people of different sexual orientations and citizens concerned with the environment – these rights weren’t handed to us. They were won by people who fought for them and who sacrificed for them. But because we haven’t learned from this history, nonviolent struggle as a technique is widely misunderstood.