Historically, people with power have excluded, killed, or harshly treated others that looked different, lived different, prayed different, or organized their societies in different ways. Today in the United States, we live with governmental policies and corporate practices that reflect these biased power imbalances. This affects every part of our society, even our churches. Jesus spoke directly to exclusion and bias, and modeled inclusion of different people among his disciples, and breaking down dividing walls.
Nonviolent direct actions may have a simple goal, but often they aim to positively impact deeper issues of our society. Understanding the cultural, political, and economic dynamics at play—both in larger society and in your peace-seeking group—is crucial, or the action could backfire.