Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 21--Season for Nonviolence--Inspiration

[From The Season for Nonviolence, 64 Ways in 64 Days pamphlet]
"Feb. 19 INSPIRATION Think of at least 2 people who exemplify the practice of peace. What is it you admire about them? Practice these behaviors today."

My father Nick Nichols exemplified the practice of peace. He was always calm and forgiving and loving. He almost never raised his voice. He was always working towards true peace at home and in his university and California and the world. When he noticed that he taught classes and held meetings about feminism, but that he wasn't doing his fair share of cleaning and cooking at home, he came home and changed. He started to cook and clean. He believed in walking his talk.

My father was a professor of comparative literature at San Diego State University. He was instrumental in organizing the professors of the California state college system to unionize--particularly he advocated for the rights of part-time, women and people of color on the faculty. He was also actively involved in opposing and organizing against the Vietnam War, supporting the United Farmworkers of America in their first great grape and lettuce boycott, and advocating for U.S. out of El Salvador.

After my father's death in 1987 at the age of 55 from a heart attack, the university named the big quad at San Diego State "the Nick Nichols Free Speech Plaza."

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