Department of Peacebuilding
Act of 2021
Systemic racism is a significant driver of violence
and a key obstacle to peace
in the United States.
– Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2021
THE DEPARTMENT OF PEACEBUILDING ACT OF 2021 (DoP 2021/ HR 1111) WAS INTRODUCED by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) on February 18, 2021. This historic and transformative legislation calls for a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding to make peace a much-needed national and ongoing focus. It addresses the interconnection of all life and the intersectionality of peace, justice, equality, planetary survival and other aspects of life.
We are in the midst of the Season for Nonviolence (SNV) (1/30 – 4/4/21). What better way to commemorate the SNV than a Department of Peacebuilding? We know there are root causes of violence and root conditions of peace. We know that violence prevention saves lives and money and raises the quality of life for all. DoP 2021 is about creating a nonviolent and Beloved Community.
Some DoP 2021 provisions and updated language include:
- Confronting and uprooting systemic racism in America will require efforts by the Federal Government to properly acknowledge, memorialize, and be a catalyst for progress toward permanently eliminating persistent racial inequities, including through a United States Commission on Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (DoP 2021, Fact #13)
- Including in peace education not only anti-bullying/ anti-harassment, nonviolent conflict education, mindfulness and restorative practices, but also study of the U.S. civil rights movement and human rights and liberties movements, contributions to the U.S. of its diverse ethnicities, races and religious communities and practices that enhance peace and peacebuilding (DoP 2021, Sec. 102(g), Sec. 104)
- Developing violence prevention and violence de-escalation training for the general public — in the domestic and the international arenas — to provide tools and educate about peacebuilding skills and to promote sustainable peace, peacebuilding buy-in and peacebuilding awareness (DoP 2021, Sec. 102(c)(4), Sec. 105(4)(E), Sec. 106(b)(1)(C))
- Encouraging all nations to create infrastructures for peace within their nations and among nations (DoP 2021, Sec. 102(c)(16))
DoP 2021 also expands upon language in prior DoP bills relating to arms control and nuclear weapons; includes health and medical concerns; calls for prevention of hate and a culture of violence and domination — including development of non-threatening, non-harassing community policing strategies, mindfulness and conflict de-escalation training skills among police and other public safety officers. (DoP 2021, Sec. 102(e), Sec. 105, Sec. 106, Sec. 108)
The bill calls for, among other things, eradication of dehumanization and mistreatment of individuals and eradication of genocide, human trafficking, and infectious and other diseases. (DoP 2021, Sec. 106)
It provides for wide-ranging studies relating to mass shootings; police violence; the impact of war and violence on soldiers, veterans and civilians; the impact of violence, racism and inequality on many conditions of peace and rule of law; and the impact of teaching nonviolent conflict resolution skills and social emotional learning. (DoP 2021, Sec. 109)
DoP 2021 includes among entities to be consulted Tribal governments and calls for collaboration on peacebuilding efforts and programs to include and prioritize those who are most impacted by the related programs. (DoP 2021, Sec 111, Sec. 115)
NOW FOR OUR PART … please contact members of Congress to cosponsor the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2021. It is critical to continue letting Congress know that peacebuilding must be a national priority:
- To determine your member of Congress: Find Your Representative
- To call any member of Congress: Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121
- To email your member of Congress: Ask Your Congressperson to Cosponsor Dept. of Peacebuilding (HR 1111) by contacting Congresswoman Lee’s office ([email protected] or 202-225-2661)
Thank you Congresswoman Lee and thank you to all who advocate for a DoP and a more peaceful world. Many of the DoP 2021 updates are from DoP Campaign advocates.
Nancy Merritt, On Behalf of the National DoP Campaign
Including Fernando I. Andrade (GA), Laura Brown (PA), Anne Creter (NJ), Karen Johnson (IL), Maggi Koren (CA), Nancy Merritt (CA), Kendra Mon (CA), Debra Poss (GA), Josh Roebuck (CA), Pat Simon (MA), Cetta Smart (IL), Jerilyn Stapleton (CA), Stephanie Thomas (CA) and Many Others
For more information, see Department of Peacebuilding. Join National Department of Peacebuilding conference calls on the third Wednesday of every month at 5 pm PT/ 8 pm ET, 1-929-436-2866 or 1-669-900-6833, meeting ID 464 735 321 or, to be placed on the call notice list, contact [email protected].
Donate to the Department of Peacebuilding Campaign here.