Dr. Harry Edwards, 2019 Simeon Booker Award National Recipient

For over fifty years, Dr. Harry Edwards, who has a PhD in sociology from Cornell University, has been a counselor for athletes in the area of human rights, social justice and activism in athletics. In 1967, while a professor at San Jose State, he founded the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). Several demands of the OPHR were the reinstatement of Muhammad Ali’s world heavyweight boxing title and the removal of South Africa and Rhodesia from the Olympic games in protest of apartheid. John Carlos and Tommie Smith, athletes from San Jose State and part of the OPHR, raised their fists in the Black Power salute in protest against racial injustices when they received medals on the Olympic stand in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico; “the most widely recognized protest in sports history”. Carlos and Smith were stripped of their medals and denounced as anti-American. Nearly fifty years later, in 2005, San Jose recognized Carlos and Smith for their actions at the Olympics with a 23-foot statue in their pose in Mexico City.

Edwards also suffered from the fall out. He was denied tenure at the University of California. He was profiled by the FBI and J. Edgar Hoover beginning in 1967 and later learned the FBI had more than 3000 pages on him and the OPHR. Edwards was labeled “anti-American, a revolutionary” and a danger to the state.

Today, Edwards is a consultant for the 49’ers as well as the Golden State Warriors. His relationship with the 49’ers began in the 80’s. He continues today to be a mentor for athletes, including Colin Kaepernick, and to be a voice for social justice.

Poetry Contest – Non-Violence Week 2019

Download the PDF -Nonviolence Week Poetry Contest Guidelines 2018

Nonviolence Week Poetry Contest

A perfect ELA project to start the year!

October 6th-12th marks the annual Ohio Nonviolence Week, which was founded by Youngstown City School Sojourn to the Past students in 2013. Last year, a K-12 poetry contest was included among the week’s festivities. The purpose of Nonviolence Week and the focus of the contest is to promote peace in our local, national, and global community. Local English teachers and professors will be judging this year’s contest, and careful consideration will be given to all poems submitted.

Cash awards will be given to winners in each of four categories:

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

To submit poems: email attachments to Marisa Simon at marisa.simon@youngstown.k12.oh.us or email her to notify that hand-written copies are ready for pick up.

Important details to know about the Nonviolence Week Poetry Contest:

1. The contest is open to all students in the Mahoning Valley from kindergarten through 12th grade.
2. Poems must focus on themes related to nonviolence: justice, peace, reconciliation, etc. (Dr. King’s six principles of nonviolence and six steps of nonviolent social change are listed on the back and are good places to start when brainstorming for ideas.)
3. Poems can be of any length or style—as long as it’s original. Plagiarism will result in disqualification.
4. Poems can be typed, handwritten, or recorded as an audio or video file. Typed poems should be 200 words or less. Audio/video files should be three minutes or less.
5. All entrees must include a SEPARATE COVER SHEET with the student’s name, grade, school name or organization, and the poem title. The student’s name, address, or school should not appear on the poem.
6. All poems received September 20th, 2019 will be eligible for prizes.
7. All finalists’ work will be featured in the Nonviolence Week Art Reception at SMARTS on Thursday, October 10th (5:00 – 7:00PM) where the prize winners will be announced.

Fundamental tenets of Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence described in his first book, Stride
Toward Freedom. The six principles include:
1. PRINCIPLE ONE: Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people.
It is active nonviolent resistance to evil. It is aggressive spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
2. PRINCIPLE TWO: Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of
nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation. The purpose of nonviolence is the creation of the
3. PRINCIPLE THREE: Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice not people.Nonviolence recognizes that
evildoers are also victims and are not evil people. The nonviolent resister seeks to defeat evil not
4. PRINCIPLE FOUR: Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence
accepts suffering without retaliation. Unearned suffering is redemptive and has tremendous
educational and transforming possibilities.
5. PRINCIPLE FIVE: Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the
spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is spontaneous, unmotivated, unselfish and creative.
6. PRINCIPLE SIX: Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The nonviolent
resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

The Six Steps for Nonviolent Social Change are based on Dr. King’s nonviolent campaigns and
teachings that emphasize love in action. Dr. King’s philosophy of nonviolence, as reviewed in the
Six Principles of Nonviolence, guide these steps for social and interpersonal change.
1. INFORMATION GATHERING: To understand and articulate an issue, problem or injustice facing a
person, community, or institution you must do research. You must investigate and gather all vital
information from all sides of the argument or issue so as to increase your understanding of the
problem. You must become an expert on your opponent’s position.
2. EDUCATION: It is essential to inform others, including your opposition, about your issue. This
minimizes misunderstandings and gains you support and sympathy.
3. PERSONAL COMMITMENT: Daily check and affirm your faith in the philosophy and methods of
nonviolence. Eliminate hidden motives and prepare yourself to accept suffering, if necessary, in
your work for justice.
4. DISCUSSION/NEGOTIATION: Using grace, humor and intelligence, confront the other party with
a list of injustices and a plan for addressing and resolving these injustices. Look for what is
positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the
opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
5. DIRECT ACTION: These are actions taken when the opponent is unwilling to enter into, or remain
in, discussion/negotiation. These actions impose a “creative tension” into the conflict, supplying
moral pressure on your opponent to work with you in resolving the injustice.
6. RECONCILIATION: Nonviolence seeks friendship and understanding with the opponent.
Nonviolence does not seek to defeat the opponent. Nonviolence is directed against evil systems,
forces, oppressive policies, unjust acts, but not against persons. Through reasoned compromise,
both sides resolve the injustice with a plan of action. Each act of reconciliation is one step close
to the ‘Beloved Community.’

Art Contest – Non Violence Week 2019

To: Mahoning Valley teachers, students, organizations
Nonviolence Week in Ohio begins Sunday, October 6, 2019. The Nonviolence Week committee is sponsoring a poster contest and is inviting students in the Mahoning Valley to participate. The theme is NONVIOLENCE, and the artwork must exhibit the message of peace and nonviolence. All entries must be original. Entries will be displayed at the Soap Gallery downtown and at Barnes and Noble during Nonviolence Week, October 6-12.
There are two categories for the contest: individual and class/group projects. Individual art work must be no smaller than eleven by fourteen inches and no larger than eighteen by twenty-four inches. Students may use any materials for their creation. Group art work must be completed by 2 or more students. The project may be 2D/3D and no larger than 3 by 5 feet.
The contest is open to students in elementary, middle and high schools. Cash prizes will be given to the top three winners in each category. All group projects and the winning art work will be displayed at the Soap Gallery in downtown Youngstown. The winners will be honored at a reception on Wednesday, October 9th from 5-7 PM at SMARTS in downtown Youngstown.
Entries are due no later than 4 PM Thursday, September 19, 2019 and are to be delivered to the Youngstown CEO’s office at East High School, Youngstown or to Penny Wells, 4117 Oak Knoll Dr., Youngstown. The entry form must accompany the art work. Be sure the student’s name and school or organization are on the back of the project.
We realize the contest is early in the school year; therefore, we are sending the information for the art contest this spring in case you want students to work on the project now.
If you have any questions, please contact Penny Wells, chair of the Nonviolence Week committee, at 330-207-4467 or email pennywwells@sbcglobal.net.

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