Johnny J. Mack is the Associate Director of the World House Project at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, housed in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He has extensive experience in social change, community development, and international relations. His professional background includes serving as the director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, president of Nelson Mandela Family Foundation, and the Drum Major Institute president.
Dr. Mack studies social change, social movements, and human development. His research focus is subsumed in his seminal work “After Confrontation, Then What?.” It rearticulates nonviolence beyond the traditional understanding of resistance to a meta-logic using Martin Luther King Jr.’s call to restructure the social edifice with a “revolution of values” through “peaceable power.” The framework explains Dr. King’s peaceable power as direct, structural, and cultural nonviolence with strategic, conscientious, and cultural action components. He, thus, argues nonviolence is a meta-logic, with direct, structural, and cultural forms that counter-pose Johan Galtung’s seminal conflict and violence triangles. Dr. Mack constructs the counter-pose of violence and nonviolence as a spectrum or alternative paths of change as articulated in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1967 book Where Do We Go from Here, Chaos or Community?
Dr. Mack has worked throughout the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and South Asia. His community and international relations work includes comprehensive community initiatives and community-based dialogue, education, and training programs on nonviolence, peace, and development. He organized Gen II, an international initiative that brought together the second generation of 20th-century peace icons, including Christine Chavez, Nadime Gemayel, Kerry Kennedy, Martin Luther King III, Dahlia Rabin, Naomi Tutu, and Justin Trudeau. He also designed and launched the initiative “Realizing the Dream: Poverty in America Tour” with Martin Luther King, III. Over 24 months, the tour visited 40 communities across the United States, including urban and rural communities, Native American reservations, Appalachia, and the Gulf Coast. The tour concluded with a national conference, a report to the nation, and a documentary aired on American Life TV Network.
He is the lead facilitator of the National Police Foundation National Council on Police Reform and Race, and Co-Director of ACT NOW! the national initiative to reimagine community. He has served as a senior advisor on domestic policy to Search for Common Ground and as the Henry Hart Rice Fellow at the Jimmy and Rosaland Carter School for Conflict Analysis & Resolution at George Mason University where he earned a doctorate.