Resources for Nonviolent Civil Resistance

Compiled by Lauren Grubaugh and Andre Henry

Our hope is that these practical and empowering resources/action ideas will give you the courage and insights you need to fight systemic racism (and other societal ills).

  • Books (We suggest you consider ordering titles from any of these black-owned independent bookstores.)
    • Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything by Becky Bond and Zach Exley
    • Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution assembled by Andrew Boyd
    • Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds by adrienne maree brown
    • Unapologetic : A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers
    • This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the 21st Century by Mark Engler and Paul Engler
    • Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic
    • Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World by Alexia Salvatierra and Peter Heltzel
    • Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan


Actions You Can Take:

  1. Watch this teach-in on nonviolent with others
  2. Find your community's Vision of Tomorrow. Invite members of your community to get together on a video call to imagine the world you want to live in. Think specifically about human rights, education, general welfare, corruption v. transparency/rule of law, religion, economics. Listen carefully. What values do you hold in common? Where do you disagree? Finally, what's the lowest common denominator of agreement? Write this down. Your vision of tomorrow starts here. Invite these folks to do the same exercise with a broad swath of the community. Can others see a place for themselves in this vision? Consider which set of values will bring the most allies to your cause.
  3. Commit yourself to strategic nonviolence, and invite others to do the same. Make sure your people know why and how nonviolence works. You might consider using a commitment card or another ritual to distinguish between those who have committed themselves to nonviolence as a grand strategy and those who have not. You might distribute t-shirts or stickers to your people before an action so your movement can be distinguished from interlopers. Remember: One person throwing a rock in the midst of a nonviolent action can undermine the entire tactic.
  4. Analyze the pillars of power that uphold the oppressive ruler or system you want to remove. Here are some pillars that may be at play: religious groups, media, police and military, education system, business community. Who are the individuals working in a given pillar? What incentives and motivations keep people working there? What incentives and interests might cause them to defect from the opposition? These are the places where the ruler is most vulnerable. Direct your campaigns in this direction.
  5. Use Beautiful Trouble's Strategy Card Deck to generate creative tactics. This is a fun way to get out of the rut of re-using the same marches, boycotts and petitions. Remember, there are more than 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action! Engage your humor and imagination in generating tactics that will be surprising and subversive.

Rev. Lauren Grubaugh is an Episcopal priest, certified Kaleidoscope Institute dialogue Facilitator, Spanish-English translator, subversive liturgist, and nonviolent strategist. She's committed to the liberative practices of soulful dance, radical curiosity, and bold storytelling. She lives, bikes and birdwatches in South Denver, on Arapaho and Cheyenne homelands. Follow her on Twitter (@laurengrubaugh) and Instagram (@lologroobs).

Andre Henry is program director for ESA's Racial Justice Institute. Learn more about Andre at; follow him on Twitter (@andrehenry) and Instagram (@theandrehenry).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

You May Also Want to Read

  • By Rev. Margaret Ernst Dedicated to Jan Richardson, in gratitude for her book The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of…

  • Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of Faith, Strength, Energy, Will, Sympathy,…

  • By Kristyn Komarnicki It is for freedom that Christ has set us free! (Galatians 5:1) Jesus paid the price so…

Comment policy: ESA represents a wide variety of understandings and practices surrounding our shared Christian faith. The purpose of the ESA blog is to facilitate loving conversation; please know that individual authors do not speak for ESA as a whole. Even if you don\'t see yourself or your experience reflected in something you read here, we invite you to experience it anyway, and see if God can meet you there. What can take away from considering this point of view? What might you add? The comments section below is where you can share the answers to those questions, if you feel so moved. Please express your thoughts in ways that are constructive, purposeful, and respectful. Give those you disagree with the benefit of the doubt, and assume they are neither idiots nor evil. Name-calling, sweeping condemnations, and any other comments that suggest you have forgotten that we are all children of God will be deleted. Thank you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.