Signing on will send the following statement to your elected’s:
We face staggering levels of violence in America and around the globe. The social and economic costs to individuals, families, and our communities are overwhelming, and yet we have far more effective root-cause solutions available than we are currently employing. We must implement policies and invest in programs, both domestically and internationally, that are proven to work, bringing them up to the scale needed to turn this devastation around.
We are asking that elected officials, candidates, governing bodies, organizations, businesses and individuals endorse and sign-on to this broad framework of the “BluePrint for Peace” The BluePrint advocates for proactive, healing-focused approaches that positively impact individual and societal challenges related to conflict, violence, and underlying traumas.
– Rep. Tim Ryan U.S. Congressman and Senate Candidate
– 20+ State-level Elected Officials
– FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation)
These effective, proven approaches should become concrete plans that are robustly funded and implemented at local, state, federal and international levels, ultimately lowering the financial and emotional cost to our nation and world. Endorse this broad framework of the BluePrint for Peace as an early implementation step and commit to moving these types of initiatives forward:
- Humanize Justice Systems: Move away from overly punitive policies toward healing-oriented, rehabilitative-focused criminal and juvenile justice approaches that address underlying root causes. Read more...Work to dismantle racial inequities in the current judicial system and monetary incentives inherently built into the current prison industrial complex and eliminate the cradle-to-prison pipeline. Restorative and transformative justice, diversion/alternative incarceration programs, trauma-informed systems, and robust prisoner rehabilitation and re-entry programs are among the most promising solutions.
- Empower Community Interventions: Comprehensive activities and strategies working to address such challenges as crime, domestic violence, intra-community violence, etc. as well as other broad prevention-focused supports, particularly for marginalized communities. Read more...Public health approach models have shown high success. Effective programs would be trauma-informed by offering cross-sector solutions that are deeply plugged-in to any potential Childhood Adverse Experiences (ACEs). They include: hands-on street outreach and intervention, wrap-around services, increased accessibility to mental health services, child-parent psychotherapy, out-of-school programs, police/community relations, among other key modalities. It is also critical to demilitarize police departments and direct robust funding toward mobile rapid response teams with mental health expertise to better de-escalate challenging situations.
- Teach & Practice Peace in Schools: Whole-child education, conflict resolution and self-regulation practices and curricula in our schools, using neuro-regulatory strategies and tools Read more...such as: social-emotional learning, stress management, empathetic and nonviolent communication techniques, restorative processes, mindfulness, and other proven peacebuilding methods to transform violence, bullying, and other challenges facing youth. Successful approaches can reduce truancy and increase performance and graduation rates. All curricula should have programs for students, teachers, and administrators taking into account the diverse needs of the student population as well as any ACEs. Programs created should again be trauma-informed and culturally intersectional.
- Enhance Personal and Interpersonal Supports: Robust resources addressing mental health, trauma, PTSD, toxic stress, suicide prevention, domestic violence, workplace conflict & violence Read more...with supports for: stress management, life skills, parenting skills, and related areas.
- Foster International Peace: Peacebuilding approaches to international conflict and atrocity prevention in global hotspots through mediation, diplomacy, and effective on-the-ground programs. Read more...Important components involve development, limiting nuclear weapons, mitigations relating to climate change, post-conflict justice, humanitarian aid, truth and reconciliation and support for frameworks necessary for democratic processes led on the ground by diverse and representative local stakeholders.
All efforts must integrate the understanding of intersectionality and implicit/explicit biases, taking all cultures into account, and be cultivated by diverse authors. As we attend to these peacebuilding approaches within the BluePrint, we must also address the climate crisis and the unprecedented conflicts which are emerging out of this global catastrophe. (To learn more about the individual areas of work and focus within these five sectors of the BluePrint, click here.) Download .pdf of the endorsement statement.
MAKING THE CASE:
The Positive Impact of Current Peacebuilding Solutions
There are great challenges we face and encouraging solutions before us, if we give them support. Here a few examples:
- LifeSkills Training programs have been shown to produce a $50 benefit for every $1 invested in terms of corrections costs, welfare and social services, drug and mental health treatment; and increased employment and tax revenue.
- Physical violence has shown a decrease of 43% in high schools with life skills and conflict resolution programs and curriculum.
- Re-offense rates have shown to drop from the current national average of around 65%, down to as low as 7% when Restorative Justice oriented programs are employed.
- We see a 62% success rate of international peace agreements when negotiated through mediation. Only 27% un-mediated cases are successful.
- $3.6 billion down to $5 million: reduction of violence costs in Kenya elections (2008 to 2010) after comprehensive peacebuilding efforts.
The Tragic Costs of Violence If we don’t move the Blueprint for Peace Agenda forward, these are some of the outcomes we can continue to expect:
- Domestically, homicide is the second leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24, seven times greater than other leading industrialized nations.
- According to the World Health Organization, violence causes more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide every year and is one of the leading causes of death for persons ages 15 to 44.
- In the United States we have some of the highest levels of crime and violence in the developed world and have nearly 25 percent — over 2.2 million — of its prisoners.
- The U.S. spends over $2 trillion annually on violence containment costs, or around 15 percent of our GDP.
- When adding up the concrete costs to the average American taxpayer it is estimated that violence containment spending costs $7,000 for every man, woman and child each year. That is $6 billion a day in total, or $246 million an hour.
- Globally, there are currently 50 million refugees and asylum-seekers forcibly displaced worldwide — the highest since World War II. There are 500 million people currently living in countries at risk of instability and conflict.
- Less than 2% of our income tax goes to civilian foreign affairs agencies such as USAID, State Department, U.S. Institute of Peace, Peace Corps, etc.; meanwhile, 39% goes to the military.
And yet, research has indicated that investing early to prevent conflicts from escalating into violent crises is, on average, 60 times more cost effective than intervening after violence erupts.
The challenges we face clearly demand we shift our investments, and prioritize legislation toward the efforts we know work, time is short. Thankfully, solutions are at hand.
We urge you to be part of the answer by endorsing this important step in support of the “BluePrint for Peace.”
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