Supporting comprehensive activities and strategies in communities working to address such challenges as crime, violence, and gangs. Effective programs may include hands on street outreach and intervention, mental health services, out-of-school programs, police/community relations, and arts-based practices.
In Chicago, the Becoming a Man program, which places disadvantaged boys from 7th-10th grade into mentoring relationships, saw among their participants a 44 percent drop in arrests for violent crime and an up to 23 percent increase in graduation rates.
Diversion and mentoring programs produce $3.36 of benefits for every dollar spent, aggression replacement training produces $10 of benefits for every dollar spent, and Functional Family therapy produces $18 of benefits for every dollar spent.
Community Peacebuilding activities and strategies encompass a vast number of practices that bring together youth, adults, governments, organizations and schools to help cultivate peace and healing in local communities. There are many exciting and effective fields of work in this arena. The techniques below, and others, have proven to be far more effective and life-affirming than more traditional punitive oriented approaches relied upon so heavily today. In a nation with the highest incarceration rates in the developed world, it is important, particularly in neighborhoods highly impacted by violence, that robust and comprehensive peacebuilding strategies and programs be implemented. This will help build community resilience.
Our Leadership Council team lead JoHanna “J” Thompson has been developing programs under the header of the Bring the Peace Movement as a part of our Community Peacebuilding Cornerstone. Click Here to go to the page and learn all about what has been happening!
Compassionate/Nonviolent Communication: (also called Collaborative Communication) focuses on three aspects of communication: self-empathy (defined as a deep and compassionate awareness of one’s own inner experience), empathy (defined as listening to another with deep compassion), and honest self-expression (defined as expressing oneself authentically in a way that is likely to inspire compassion in others).
Mindfulness: The term “mindfulness” has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, the practices that promote this awareness, and a mode of processing information without judgment. Several disciplines and practices can cultivate mindfulness, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi and qigong. Mindfulness meditation consists of those self-regulation practices that focus on training attention and awareness in order to bring mental processes under greater voluntary control and thereby foster general mental well-being and development and/or specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration [Walsh & Shapiro, 2006 http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx]
Therapy/Counseling: Support in increasing our capacity to cultivate psychological and emotional well-being in families, relationships, parenting, and personal life.
Conflict and Anger management: The goal of anger management is to reduce both emotional feelings and the physiological arousal that anger causes.
Mediation: Mediation is an impartial, confidential, and voluntary problem-solving process to resolve conflict in which a third-party helps two or more participants better understand each other’s issues, interests, and needs and empowers parties to bridge their differences and find solutions that meet everyone’s needs. It is applied in a growing number of environs including the work place, our courts, between couples, within families and amongst business associates.
Additional areas of support:
Nonviolent communication and mediation services for elected officials.
Providing greater community resources for mental health services for families and individuals.
Greater funding and support for suicide prevention, research and support services.
Support strategic investments in suicide prevention, education, and research as a means of achieving the kinds of reductions in mortality that have resulted from strategic investments in other major public health concerns.
Harvard Medical School brain scans show 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain responsible for improving our ability to focus; strengthening our memory; making us more resilient under stress; fostering our decision making; helping us be more empathetic listeners; and showing more compassion to our colleagues. [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/]
Studies have shown that Triple P Positive Parenting approach had 25-35% reductions in rates of child maltreatment, hospital visits for maltreatment injuries, and foster-care placements, two years after random assignment. [Triple P System – Near Top Tier, Coalition for Evidence Based Policy]
UCSF, UC Davis, and Stanford University researchers found that school teachers who were given a short meditation training became more calm and compassionate.
There is abundant research showing that yoga practice reduces stress and improves our sense of contentment and connection, as well as autonomic nervous system function, and general physical well-being.
Approximately seven in 10 Americans report that they experience physical (69 percent) or non-physical symptoms (67 percent) of stress. Symptoms include irritability or anger (37 percent), fatigue (37 percent), feeling overwhelmed (35 percent) and changes in sleeping habits (30 percent). [American Psychological Association – http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2012/impact.aspx]
Suicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10-24. [2010 CDC WISQARS]
The groups are listed here for educational purposes only. Listing them here is not meant to imply that they endorse the above ideas.
Center for Nonviolent Communication:
People who practice NVC have found greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepening connection and conflict resolution. The NVC community is active in over 65 countries around the globe. Find out more about how NVC is changing the world and how you can get involved. See also BayNVC.
Mindful is an initiative that celebrates being mindful in all aspects of daily living—through Mindful magazine, mindful.org, and social media.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is a leader in the fight against suicide. They fund research, offer educational programs, advocate for public policy, and support those affected by suicide.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence:
Metta Center aims to promote the transition to a nonviolent future by making the logic, history and yet-unexplored potential of nonviolence more accessible to activists and agents of cultural change. They help people in any walk of life discover their innate capacity for nonviolence and use it more strategically for long-term transformation of themselves and the world, focusing on the root causes of injustice, competition and violence.
Association for Conflict Resolution:
A professional organization enhancing the practice and public understanding of conflict resolution. ACR gives voice to the choices for quality conflict resolution.
The Shift Network, Inc. empowers a growing global movement of people who are creating an evolutionary shift of consciousness that in turn leads to a more enlightened society, one built on principles of sustainability, peace, health, and prosperity.
The National Peace Academy is a home for peace professionals and community organizers looking to hone their practice and for budding community leaders and changemakers who are seeking knowledge and skills to create safe, healthy and sustainable communities and nurture positive change in themselves, their family, neighborhood, workplace and the world
Workplace Conflict Resolution: Mindtools
Triple P – Positive Parenting Program:
Many rate this as one of the most effective evidence-based parenting programs in the world, backed up by more than 30 years of ongoing research. Triple P gives parents simple and practical strategies to help them confidently manage their children’s behavior, prevent problems developing and build strong, healthy relationships.
The Foundations of Well Being:
In the Foundations of Well-Being uses science-based practices to help you re-wire your brain, changing the way you react, feel, and behave. These practices will focus on gaining more calm, confidence, and contentment.
The Forgiveness Challenge: Desmond Tutu
Human Journey is a new initiative co-founded by Desmond Tutu and Doug Abrams. Human Journey is committed to spreading the African understanding of ubuntu–the realization that each of us thrives only when all of us thrive. We are inextricably linked to our family, our community, and our world. They create events–like the Forgiveness Challenge–media and a global community that can help people to thrive on their individual life journey so we can thrive on our collective human journey.
More to come…
Donate by Check
Some of our generous supporters prefer to mail checks to our office to donate to the work of The Peace Alliance. We are so grateful for all of your support.
If you prefer your donation be tax deductible and you want your donation to focus on the educational side of this work, please make checks payable to The Peace Alliance Educational Institute– the 501(c)(3) arm of The Peace Alliance. We will send you a letter for your taxes.
If you prefer your donation to be unrestricted in how it is applied, be it to educational programs, operational costs, or advocacy work and do not need it to be tax deductible, please make checks payable to The Peace Alliance. Thank you!
PO Box 320651
Fairfield, CT 06825