Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D. (1934-2015) was the founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, an international peacemaking organization. He is the author of Speak Peace in a World of Conflict and the bestselling Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life that has been translated into more than thirty languages.
Dr. Rosenberg was the 2006 recipient of the Global Village Foundation’s Bridge of Peace Award, and the Association of Unity Churches International 2006 Light of God Expressing Award.
Growing up in a turbulent Detroit neighborhood, Dr. Rosenberg developed a keen interest in new forms of communication that would provide peaceful alternatives to the violence he encountered. His interest led to a doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1961, where he studied under Carl Rogers. His subsequent life experience and study of comparative religion motivated him to develop the Nonviolent Communication (NVC) process.
Dr. Rosenberg first used the NVC process in federally funded school integration projects to provide mediation and communication skills training during the 1960s. The Center for Nonviolent Communication, which he founded in 1984, now has hundreds of certified NVC trainers and supporters teaching NVC in more than 35 countries around the world.
What set Marshall apart from the thousands of conflict resolution and communication trainers he’s influenced, was his exceptional capacity to role-play interactions with the audience. Whether it was an argument between warring spouses, or warring villages, a dialogue between a victim and perpetrator, or modeling an interaction between a counselor and her patient, these role-plays offered a unique, moving and powerful experience to all who hear them.
With guitar and puppets in hand, a history of traveling to some of the most violent corners of the world, and a spiritual energy that fills a room, Rosenberg was a revolutionary leader whose legacy will carry on far beyond his death.
"I would like to suggest that when our heads are filled with judgments and analyses that others are bad, greedy,
irresponsible, lying, cheating, polluting the environment, valuing profit more than life, or behaving in other ways
they shouldn't, very few of them will be interested in our needs. If we want to protect the environment, and we
go to a corporate executive with the attitude, "You know, you are really a killer of the planet, you have no right
to abuse the land in this way," we have severely impaired our chances of getting our needs met. It is a rare human
being who can maintain focus on our needs when we are expressing them through images of their wrongness."
- Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
Source: Adapted from the biography at PuddleDancer Press.