The School for Moral Courage began as conversations among a small group of people who
asked, “Why hasn't  there been more progress toward realizing social justice and peace in our

In those conversations, many shared a common observation that there had not only been a
discouraging lack of progress in realizing social justice, but further that the agencies of
change had become to more and more mimic, in behavior, ideology and character, the
adversaries of justice.

Members of this group shared stories of progressive leaders who engaged in deception and
corruption, dysfunction and hypocrisy in leadership, destructiveness of power and greed in
electoral politics, and a pat acceptance of materialism, career agenda, status-seeking, and
other selfishness, general cruelty and trickery as acceptable means to an end.

Rather than principles of peace and justice becoming more commonplace, members of the
group felt increasingly intimidated into keeping silent about these values. Before you see
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Moral courage and its models had so deteriorated that it was a struggle to discuss the concept
itself.  Identifiable leadership to teach the morality of compassion and courage seemed wholly
absent from the world.  The willingness to sacrifice for principle seemed fantastical and even
imprudent and naive.  Doing the right thing without an immediate payoff was uncommon.  Doing
the right thing when it required giving up something resembling status or financial security was
almost unthinkable.

A need for a renewed understanding of and commitment to moral courage became apparent.
Within a world that sacrifices its children to war, we believed it reasonable to encourage
profound sacrifice for generosity, compassion, and peace.

We found renewed hope in the traditions of justice seekers, throughout history--like Tubman
and Gandhi-- who have told of a better way.  We remembered that it was a commitment to the
principles of moral courage that created these traditions, and we felt a mission to keep these
principles current and alive

We saw the need for a place where the principles of moral courage are spoken plainly, then
learned and encouraged.  We believed that by grounding ourselves and others who are
devoted to these principles that we send into the world a renascence of the spirit of justice
itself.  Rather than organizational and economic development, we decided to study the
development of human character.

We saw our nature as an affiliation of people from all cultures, regardless of religious or non-
religious traditions and set forth this School accordingly.
How we began.
Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
“Why hasn’t there been more
progress toward realizing
social justice and peace in our