Peace Alliance January 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to our e-News with updates from The Peace Alliance’s Leadership Council!

 Catch up on the updates in each of our Peacebuilding Cornerstones and Advocacy efforts in 2018!

 Wishing a Healthy, Happy & Peaceful New Year to All!

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday January 16th, 6pm PST/9pm EST, National Monthly Call, with Jennie Curtis, a renowned trainer and facilitator of the national Insight Prison program, which incorporates RJ Practices in cognitive behavioral curricula designed for incarcerated individuals. To Register, click here

Wednesday January 24th, 6pm PST/9pm EST, Community Peacebuilding Networking Call. To register, click here

– Tuesday February 13, 6pm PST/9pm EST, National Monthly Call, with Jeri Kennedy speaking on Systemic Violence and How to Change Our Culture, dedicated to Allan Johnson. To register, click here.

Community Peacebuilding Networking & Sharing Solutions

The Community Peacebuilding Networking Calls that took place in 2017 were a great success! We are proud to have organizations and individuals that support community peacebuilding networking with one another, sharing ideas and events together each fiscal quarter. Please join us on Wednesday, January 24  9 pm EST/ 6 pm PST for our next call!

A big thank you to all of our amazing guest speakers and participants. If you or someone you know from a peacebuilding organization would like to be a guest speaker in 2018 please send an email to shannon@peacealliance.org.

Shared by Shannon M. BettersCommunity Peacebuilding Council Lead

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal’s and  The Peace Alliance’s Five Cornerstones of Peace

 The 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) range from no poverty, clean water, and gender equality. They serve as a framework for partnership for all citizens of this planet. Outlined here are the 5 SDG’s which align with The Peace Alliance Five Cornerstone of Peacebuilding and set an ambitious agenda for change. To develop powerful partnership between individuals, organizations and governments who are adopting shared values and principles that relate to something bigger than ourselves to safeguard a global culture of peace.

As Fostering International Peace Lead, one of my objectives is to connect with people and organizations that are doing good around the world. To this end, in my other day job as a United Nations Representative, I have an opportunity to gain a global perspective. Attending meetings, conferences and forums led by delegations from member states, civil society, community leaders, and experts in the field serves as a rich informative environment.

One that I want to share with you is the ‘High Level Forum on a Culture of Peace’ held this past September. The meeting’s chair and moderator and friend of The Peace Alliance; Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury elegantly spoke in his opening statement;

 “The seed of peace exists in all of us. It must be nurtured, cared for and promoted by us all to flourish. Peace cannot be imposed from outside, it must be realized from within.”

President of this 71st Session of the UN General Assembly, Mr. Peter Thomson, closed the forum with his moving message;

“As global citizens, we all share in the responsibility to build a culture of peace to achieve a world of sustaining peace and sustainable development, as an essential element of our efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Shared by Marla Mossman, Fostering International Peace Lead

A Year in Review for Teaching Peace in Schools Cornerstone

What a fantastic year! Honored and proud to have an amazing opportunity to learn, advocate, network, teach and promote peacebuilding in education. This year’s highlights include learning and facilitating workshops at conferences such as Praxis Conference in Washington, D.C, and IV International Mindfulness Conference in São Paulo, Brazil, visiting & teaching in the classrooms, connecting educators and organizations, supporting school communities and raising awareness about the importance of peacebuilding practices in education. We would like to thank all of you who have supported and fueled this work and to invite you to stay tuned for some amazing things we are planning in 2018!

Teaching Peace in Schools was a focus of our December National Monthly Call. We had three amazing speakers, Renee Owen, Lucy MacGregor and J.G. Larochette, who shared how they are practicing, teaching and inspiring peacebuilding in schools. Please visit https://www.peacealliance.org/take-action/national-monthly-calls/ to listen to the recoding of that amazing call. We are planning more calls in 2018 so if you or someone you know practices and teaches peacebuilding in schools and would like to share with us to inspire others please send an email to jelena@peacealliance.org.

Please join our newly formed Facebook group to stay connected and share your peacebuilding work~ The Peace Alliance Teaching Peace in Schools.

An example of the Peace corner at The Rainbow Community Preschool, Asheville, NC

Shared by Jelena Popovic, Teaching Peace in Schools Lead

Nevertheless, the DoP Campaign Persists in 2017

Peacebuilding is to make real our vision for peace.  Despite a national climate of divisiveness, doubt and fear, the Department of Peacebuilding (DoP) Campaign continued in 2017 to work for a DoP and a culture of compassion, inclusion, respect and peace.

In 2017, the DoP Campaign worked with Rep. Barbara Lee’s (CA) office to update the 2017 DoP legislation (HR 1111), made hundreds of contacts and visited numerous members of Congress seeking DoP cosponsors, initiated actions throughout the year to promote the legislation, connected with other groups, supported other peace-related legislation and initiatives, secured more organizational endorsers, advanced city-related peacebuilding initiatives, and authored articles about DoP and related topics such as Restorative Practices.

To learn about other national and regional accomplishments, see “Nevertheless, Dept. of Peacebuilding Campaign Works On: 2017 Year End Report” at https://peacealliance.kontribune.com/articles/8502.

If violence and war are failures of the imagination,

then nonviolence and peacebuilding are triumphs of the imagination. 

Embellishment of Quote from Unknown

Shared by Nancy Merritt, Department of Peacebuilding Council Lead

Ways to Find Peace Through Conflict

Wisdom Quotes ability to cope quotes

2017 was a big year for Humanizing the Justice System – with Restorative Justice (RJ) leading the way!

The National Association of Community and Restorative Justice (NACRJ) hosted its 6th National Conference and nearly tripled its previous conference attendence from 2015 – from 600 registrants  to 1300+ attendees in ’17. The NACRJ “employs principles of social and restorative justice seeking transformation in the ways justice questions are addressed. It promotes effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and socially constructive.”  (See more at: https://www.nacrj.org/)

As the Executive Director of Full Circle RJ from Salida, CO, and TPA’s Humanizing the Justice System’s Corenerstone Lead, I was honored to present on Paws for Peace – an innovative approach of incorporating Therapy Dogs into Victim-Offender Conferences. Together with their Handlers who are trained RJ Facilitators, these dog/community member teams bring a powerful presence of compassion and connection while opening up lines of communication to the RJ process. The Peace Alliance hosted a well-attended Webinar in July promoting this interspecies collaboration.

Having Representative Pete Lee, D – CO, promote the benefits of RJ and the legislative efforts to support RJ in the state of Colorado, was a highlight in this year’s monthly Field Calls. Please join us on January 16 at 9 pm EST/6 PST for a call with Jennie Curtis, a renowned trainer and facilitator of the Victim Offender Education Group (VOEG) national Insight Prison program, which incorporates RJ Practices in cognitive behavioral curricula designed for incarcerated individuals.

Shared by Patty LaTaille, Humanizing The Justice System Lead

Legislative Advocacy

The Peace Alliance was formed to transform a culture of violence into a culture of peace by working to pass the legislation in Congress to create a US Cabinet Department of Peace.  We organized volunteers by Congressional District to do the advocacy work on this bill that are now Action Teams.  We welcome any and all that would like to join us in this work.

Several years ago, we expanded to support other legislation that advanced our mission like the Youth Promise Act YPA that has not been reintroduced in this legislative session. However, we are supporting The Mercy Act S.329 by Senator Cory Booker a bill to place restrictions on the use of solitary confinement for juveniles.  This is one of our five cornerstones – Humanizing the Justice System.

Another bill under Fostering International Peace is Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017 H.R. 669 by Rep. Ted Lieu This bill prohibits the President from using the Armed Forces to conduct a first-use nuclear strike unless such strike is conducted pursuant to a congressional declaration of war expressly authorizing such strike.

“First-use nuclear strike” means a nuclear weapons attack against an enemy that is conducted without the President determining that the enemy has first launched a nuclear strike against the United States or a U.S

A new bill added under Teach Peace in Schools is the Teacher Heath and Wellness Act H.R. 2544 by Rep. Tim Ryan a study on reducing teacher stress and increasing teacher retention and well-being.

To support any of the bills mentioned above you can call the Congressional switchboard (202) 224-3121 and ask for your Representative or Senator by name.

Shared by Jerilyn Stapleton, Legislative Priorities Lead

Cultivating Peace by Compassionate Parenting

In the month of December, I read online about a father who murdered his 14-year-old son because he was gay. This touched me emotionally deeply. I felt a deep sense of sadness and disbelief that a parent – a father – would do such a thing to his own child. It really got me thinking about the fear that is grappling at the hearts of many parents.  We live in a world today that requires compassionate parenting skills. I thought this article on Compassionate Parenting would stimulate your interest and open new opportunities for sharing with your families and communities. So, even if you don’t have children, or possibly your children are adults, you are still an asset to your family and community.

A new beginning is the signal of a new year and I embrace 2018 in intentional peaceful action. In January, we will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, a non-violent leader. The work of Dr. King, and many other non-violent leaders has empowered my ability to persevere as I have journeyed in a world filled with fear, anxiety, frustration, and anger. I’m inspired to learn, discuss and share knowledge and my personal experience with our community about the subject of Nonviolent Action. Here is a premier on What is nonviolent action? I’m looking forward to hearing your feedback or ideas about how we can Cultivate Personal peace together. Please email me at ngozi@peacealliance.org

Shared by Ngozi Rasheda Akosia, Cultivating Personal Peace

Promoting Peace By Phone

We have had a series of marvelous, inspirational, informative speakers on our monthly calls – along with targeted actions each month aimed at social, political, and deeply personal progress.  If you would like to hear any or all of these calls, for the first time or the fifth time, the recordings can all be found at https://peacealliance.org/take-action/national-monthly-calls/.

You can also find Action Sheets on that page, giving guidance and focus for making a significant difference in the world around us – and within us!  Our actions have focused on US Congress, national media, local communities, and also individual hearts and minds.  We are truly all in this together!

Shared by Dan Kahn, National Field Coordinator

Take the Challenge, Be a #PeacePartner2018 – The Peace Alliance Holiday Campaign

A turbulent year lies behind us; one that shed a lot of light on the state of our national discourse, unity, democracy, and justice. Yet, this year (as every year since 2004), we at The Peace Alliance have worked relentlessly and successfully to foster a nationwide community of peacebuilders who facilitate peace education and solutions throughout communities and schools across the nation and in the Halls of Congress. Our work of educating, advocating, and motivating for peace will continue in 2018. And  we continue to rely on our Peace Partners across the nation to support us in this crucial task.

Our Holiday campaign started at the end of November and will continue until December 31, 2017. We have gained dozens of new supporters and to date, have reached 20% of our goal of raising $10,000.

Help us enter 2018 well-equipped to fight for peace, unity, and democracy in our communities and nation! Become our #PeacePartner2018 now

About The Peace Alliance

Mission:

The Peace Alliance empowers civic action toward a culture of peace.

Who We Are:

We are an alliance of organizers and advocates taking the work of

peacebuilding from the margins of society into the center of national discourse and policy priorities.

We champion a comprehensive, collaborative approach to peace and peacebuilding