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.
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)
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.