Thu, Jan 30, 2014: Nonviolence as Political Action

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Join us for a free public lecture at 7-9pm on Thursday January 30th, 2014 in Room 179 (west end of the building on the ground floor) at University College, 15 King’s College Circle, Toronto, ON by:

Jill Carr-Harris, Development worker in India on women’s empowerment


Nonviolence as Political Action

Bio for Jill Carr-Harris

Back in 1982 when I joined the United Nations’ nine-month volunteer program in New York, I had no idea that I would work most of the next two decades on environment and development issues. Immediately after my internship I joined a program in UNDP to promote a UN Youth Year’s international tree planting campaign. This is what brought me to India initially in 1985, and how I found myself squarely in the middle of the environmental issues that were later given international importance at the 1992 Rio Meet.

Thereafter in the mid-1990s one of the environmental concerns that I have struggled with was how to make environmental action relevant to developing societies and to poor communities, particularly village women and local rural people. One of the notions that seemed to be effective in motivating poor women into water, soil and bio-mass conservation-based activities was linking the health of their natural ecosystems with the health of their families. This we coined as eco-health as a way to mobilize people to take up timely environmental interventions.

In the late 1990s I was fortunate to manage a land reform program in the Philippines for two years. This and later when I came back and settled in India, I was able to compare how alternative agriculture can be economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

In the past twenty-five years —about two thirds of my professional life has been spent in India. As a foreign person living and traveling throughout the country, I have felt an unparalleled acceptance from local people which comes after building trust and good-will. Being married to an Indian has also given me a unique access into the culture and life in intimate ways. Both intellectually and emotionally I have imbibed much of the discontinuities and convergences of India’s development and I must say that I am humbled by the task of working here.

About this lecture series
Click here for full list of the 2013/2014 Vital Discussions of Human Security lecture series events:
Click here for videos from previous lectures:

Co-Sponsored by University College Health Studies Programme, Canadian Pugwash Group, Science for Peace and Voice of Women for Peace.

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