If it is so as stated by Emerson that every institution is but the lengthened shadow of one person, then the Agape International Spiritual Center, the University of Transformational Studies and Leadership, Association for Global New Thought, and the Season for Nonviolence are indeed extensions of Michael Bernard Beckwith and his vision of a world joined together by humankind’s highest development spiritually, educationally, scientifically, governmentally, economically and socially.
Dr. Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building community. In the 1970’s he began a journey that to this day embraces the world’s major spiritual teachings and cultures of East and West. “I greatly admire what you are doing to bring about the Beloved Community,” the late Coretta Scott King wrote to him, “which is certainly what my dear husband worked for and ultimately gave his life.”
In l986, Dr. Beckwith founded the Agape International Spiritual Center, located at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Agape Movement, a trans-religious community which today counts a membership of thousands locally, and hundreds of thousands of worldwide friends, as well as regional and international affiliates.
Agape’s local outreach programs feed the homeless, serve individuals who are imprisoned and counsel their families, partnership with community service organizations active in children’s schools and youth at risk homes, support the arts, and advocate the preservation of the planet’s environmental resources. Agape’s global humanitarian programs include the building of schools, orphanages, hospitals and libraries, and the construction of an Eco Village in partnership with the Association for Global New Thought for the Sarvodaya Foundation in Sri Lanka, along with supporting its home for unwed mothers.
Dr. Beckwith’s renown as a harbinger of the world’s quest for peace has drawn into his visionary orbit leading catalysts of societal change. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi, shares with Dr. Beckwith the national co-directorship of A Season for Nonviolence, which promotes the principles of nonviolence taught by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Their work is endorsed by UNESCO on behalf of its Culture of Peace and Nonviolence Appeal by Nobel Peace Laureates. Other distinguished supporters include Dr. C.T. Vivian, Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne of Sri Lanka, His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet, Dr. Robert Thurman, professor of Indo-Tibetan Buddhist studies at Columbia University, and Dr. Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
A Season for Nonviolence is a grassroots campaign whose participants are located in more than one hundred U.S. cities in 40 states and10 countries. Its inauguration in l998 at the United Nations marked the first commemoration of the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of M.K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King, respectively. Throughout its 64-day campaign across the nation, over three hundred events and programs are facilitated.
As co-founder and president of the Association for Global New Thought, Dr. Beckwith stands at the forefront with other visionaries in the fields spirituality, education, sociology, economics, science, international futurists—those who dare to call an end to human suffering. AGNT is the convening organization of A Season for Nonviolence, of which the Dalai Lama has said: “Both Gandhi and Martin Luther King are inspiring examples of the power and truth of nonviolence and the actions that arise from them. They not only embraced nonviolence in principle, but implemented it in action. This Season for Nonviolence is a very good tool to remind us of their witness, but also of the large unfinished work we have together in transforming awareness on our planet.”
The Association for Global New Thought exists for the purpose of galvanizing organizations and individuals to complete the unfinished mission to which the Dalai Lama refers. As its voice, Dr. Beckwith guides activities such as AGNT’s Awakened World conference, which brings together mentors at their creative edge in guiding humanity to its highest potential. Every other year the Synthesis Dialogues are held with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama of Tibet, drawing together impresarios of peace who create together networks of people engaged in transformative world leadership.
Dr. Beckwith is a sought after meditation teacher, and facilitates conferences and seminars on the Life Visioning Process, which he originated. He is the author of the national bestseller Spiritual Liberation: Fulfilling Your Soul’s Potential, Inspirations of the Heart, Forty Day Mind Fast-Soul Feast, and A Manifesto of Peace. He has appeared on The Oprah Show, Larry King Live, and is a featured teacher in the book and film The Secret. He is also featured in the following films: The Moses Code, Pass It On, and Living Luminaries, as well as in a documentary of his own life, Spiritual Liberation.
His humanitarian activities have attracted to him and to the Agape Movement accolades from many organizations, a few of which are:
- 2008 The Maharishi Award
- 2007 Model Citizen Award
- 2006 Black Aids Institute Hero Award
- 2004 The Africa Achievement Peace Award
- 2004 The Kashi Humanitarian Award
- 2004 Dr. Beckwith and Agape’s works were read into the 107th Congressional Record
- 2002 California Legislature Assembly Award for Meritorious Service to Humanity
- 2002 World Festival of Sacred Music Local Hero Award
- 2000 Induction into the Martin Luther King Board of Preachers at Morehouse College
- 2001 Gandhi-King-Ikeda Award from Morehouse College
- 1999 Humanitarian Award of the National Conference for Compassion and Justice