Quarterly eNews Fall 2021

Welcome to our Quarterly eNews with updates from
The Peace Alliance!

Upcoming Events

  • First Tuesday monthly, Empathy Circles, 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET and all times between and beyond
  • November 4-7 – Activating Hope – Together we can, Together we will
  • 2nd and 4th Saturday Hope Story Circles 9:00am PT / 12 noon ET and all times between and beyond

Note that we will not be holding a Hope Story Circle on Saturday November 27, or Saturday, December 25, due to holidays

  • Second Tuesday monthly, National Monthly Peacebuilders Call, 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET and all times between and beyond
  • Third Wednesday monthly, Department of Peacebuilding call, 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET and all times between and beyond
  • December 8 – Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Avon Mattison, 5:00pm PT / 8:00pm ET and all times between and beyond

Check the Calendar of Events on the website for connection information for everything!

 

Remembering and Honoring Avon Mattison

Friends and colleagues around the world are mourning the loss of a brilliant and dedicated Peace leader, Avon Mattison. Avon passed on October 13, 2021, and her legacy lives on in all of us, as we continue to pursue Peace in our lives and on our planet. We know Avon is sending her love, wisdom, and support as she experiences the infinite Peace that is beyond our earthly imaginings yet remembered in our hearts.

All are invited to join a virtual “Celebration of Life Memorial Service” for Avon on December 8th, the anniversary of Pathways To Peace, at 5:00 pm PT, 7:00 pm CT, 8:00 pm ET via zoom. Check the Calendar of Events on the website for connection details.

Avon would want you to know that you are a pathway to peace, regardless of your chosen work. You can bring Peace to our world through living Peace in your life and in your relationships.

For five decades and up until the end of her life, Avon worked tirelessly for Peace. She kept a busy schedule of presenting, consulting, and mentoring. She will be remembered for her love, humility, wisdom, and selfless acts of compassion, and continually lifting -up the beauty, strengths, and talents of others. We will miss her bright light, her unconditional love, her passion, and her unwavering spirit. Through her work for Peace, Avon touched the lives of millions around the world. Avon is the recipient of four Lifetime Achievement Awards.

UN Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury states, “On 13 October, humanity lost a great soul dedicated to promoting the cause of Peace to all corners of our planet. We will miss Avon and her valiant spirit, inspiring us for so many years in so many ways. May her noble soul rest in eternal Peace!”

Avon is Co-Founder and President of Pathways To Peace (PTP), an international Peacebuilding, educational, and consulting organization. PTP has Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and is an official Peace Messenger Organization of the United Nations (UN).

Avon co-led efforts to inaugurate the UN International Day of Peace (Peace Day) as established by a unanimous United Nations resolution in 1981. Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace. Avon inspired civil society to embrace Peace Day so it has grown from a single event of a few hundred people in San Francisco in 1984, into a global movement that reaches hundreds of millions of people worldwide and continues to grow.

Through Pathways To Peace, she co-created the Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI) in 1983/84 in colleagueship with former UN Assistant Secretary-General Robert Muller at a time the term “peacebuilding” was generally unknown. This local/global Peacebuilding Initiative unites the strengths of over 4,000 international peacebuilders and organizations and focuses co-operative Peacebuilding along diverse pathways/sectors. Avon worked with innovative leaders, groups and organizations on the “frontline,” building a diverse and regenerative Culture of Peace inter-generationally and multi-culturally for the Common Good and future generations.

Avon has served as special advisor to United Nations Conferences, Declarations and Programmes, and also to renowned international leaders and emerging youth leaders. She serves on the Advisory Councils/Boards of several international organizations and has been quoted in numerous publications worldwide.

Gifts can be given to the Pathways To Peace Avon Memorial Fund.

You may also wish to donate to the Avon Mattison Scholarship Fund to send youth to the United Nations.

Checks can be sent to:
Pathways To Peace Business Office
122 Demont Avenue E, #173
St. Paul, MN 55117

PTP is a 501c3 organizations and your gifts are eligible for tax deduction.

 

Message from our Managing Director

Dear Peace Partner,

Greetings to you as we celebrate another spook-tacular Halloween! Fall is in the air in many regions, and the holidays are right around the corner. Time seems to speed up during this part of the year, just when I often wish it might slow down. I have to set intentions to breathe, to keep moving forward, and to “be where my feet are” as I used to teach my daughter — I wonder if that is also true for you?

This edition of The Peace Alliance’s eNews is dedicated to one question that we want to ask of you: What do you need? Whether you are a parent, an essential worker, or an educator, we want to know what it is that you need to realize peace in your community, your home, and your heart.

I often meditate on the concept that peace looks different for different folks. There are so many variables in an individual’s life that might contribute, or detract, from their realization of peace that peacebuilding is a highly nuanced practice. I want to acknowledge how hard it is to live and thrive in this society for so many and ask that you find the courage to not only identify what you need from your community, state and federal leaders, yet be able to articulate those needs so that you can be heard. This is not a question with an easy answer, nor can the roadblocks to these realizations be minimized quickly. Part of being an alliance is to bring together folks from all walks of life to work together to make our voices stronger by amplifying each other’s needs. This is what The Peace Alliance wants to support you with.

I hope what you read here inspires you to find your voice and claim your peace as we head into one of the busiest times of the year. We are living in extraordinary times, and the Peace Alliance wants to be in partnership with you to try to make the changes that are so desperately needed to realize peace for all.

From my heart to yours,

Diane Tate
Managing Director

 

Harvesting our Work & Celebrating Peace Progress

As 2021 moves into its final days, only 62 left in the year, I find Fall a good time to stop and take inventory. Or perhaps it’s because I was a school teacher for seven years, I always feel September is the time to reflect, recalibrate and set the course. I recently sent out a letter to some of my friends and family, and included these Peace Alliance accomplishments:

  • Blueprint for Peace” endorsement statement reaches over 13,000 elected officials
  • 100 PEACE ON podcasts (27,000 downloads) spotlighting solutions and experts
  • More than 5000 messages sent in our “Condemn Election Violence” initiative early in the year.
  • Monthly collaboration with 7 peace organizations for a greater national voice
  • Lobby Days (virtual during COVID) to train citizens to powerfully advocate nationally & locally, so their message is heard
  • Internship programs that train youth on peacebuilding solutions
  • Advocacy for nonviolence, peacebuilding, socially just State and Federal legislation – use of our website engagement tool to lobby
  • Continued articulation of our visionary US Dept. of Peacebuilding, HR1111 legislation, Virtual Lobby Days completed in Sept.!
  • 12 National Action Calls this year focusing on specific causes, with powerful experts and timely advocacy
  • “Build Peace Story by Story” a 7 part video series, an educational collaboration with Mt Blue TV, sponsored by the University of Maine, and Western Maine Storytellers.

There’s so much more, yet I wanted to share these and thank you for your part in accomplishing all this outreach and education on behalf of peacebuilding. As we all know, like drops of water in a pond, every action has a ripple effect, and so I see our work rippling out in this world. Everyone with peaceful intent contributes in some way to our larger peace.

Please let me or anyone on the Board and Council know if we can support your efforts in any other way. We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and insights, particularly as we move into 2022. As always, we are very grateful for your support.

With warm intentions and in partnership,

Judy Kimmel
Board Co-Chair

 

What Do We Need for the Department of Peacebuilding?

What do we need to establish a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding (DoP/ HR 1111)? Engagement, focus, connection, persistence. And YOU!

During the September Advocacy Days for a Department of Peacebuilding and other peace-related legislation, The Peace Alliance met with HR 1111 sponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) and the offices of other members of Congress. Congresswoman Lee said we need to engage more individuals, groups and constituents in the effort to take this legislation from a bill to the law of the land. This will make peace and peacebuilding a national priority and policy with an ongoing voice at the table of government.

Over and over we hear about the importance of engagement. When talking to the Tibetan community about successfully enacted legislation relating to Tibet, Congressman Jim McGovern (MA-2) — also a DoP cosponsor — emphasized the importance of engagement. He reiterated that on a recent DoP call, where he also said our advocacy gives him and others hope.

For International Day of Peace (9/21/21), San Diego DoP advocates honored Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely — community mayor of Harlem — who has worked with the United Nations for many years. Her engagement took her into many San Diego schools to champion aspirations of women, youth, education, reparations, economic-social development and community relations.

As part of Advocacy Days 2021, the DoP Committee hosted a series of reimaging peacebuilding panel discussions. Rita Marie Johnson, educator and initiator of a bill to create Costa Rica’s Ministry of Justice and Peace, shared that everyone needs to feel safe and to feel that they matter.

A DoP will pass from bill to law under one condition: that a wave of interest rises up from the American people to make itself heard in the halls of Congress. Our engagement, focus, connection and persistence will create a space for legislators to feel safe in taking this transformative legislation forward.

Upon returning from a ‘real life’ space flight recently, Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk (AKA William Shatner) said, “I was moved to tears by what I saw. I come back filled and overwhelmed with sadness and empathy for this beautiful thing we call Earth. … We’re at a tipping point – and we don’t have time to wait 30 years … burying your head in the sand another instant about global warming and the destruction of the planet is suicide for all of us.”

A DoP addresses the interconnection of all life and the intersectionality of peace, justice, equality, planetary survival and other aspects of life. What we need is to engage, focus, connect and persist. And we need YOU. Another Star Trek Captain, Jean-Luc Picard (AKA Patrick Stewart), said, “Make it so.”

See below for the many ways to get and stay engaged. Let’s make it so!

Nancy Merritt
On Behalf of the Department of Peacebuilding Campaign

There are many ways to get and stay engaged with creating a Department of Peacebuilding:

 

Fostering International Peace

Please allow me to introduce myself as your recently appointed International Peace Council Lead.

Even though I am new to this role, I am not new to the international scene pertaining to my mission advocating for governmental departments, ministries and other infrastructures for peace (I4P) to build the culture of peace. Our Peace Alliance friend, David Hazen, designed the graphic to the left, that beautifully depicts these inter-related peace associations, hence the essence of my work. I have been an active member of both The Peace Alliance and its international sister organization, the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructures for Peace (GAMIP) since both were co-born (by the same mother, our Dot Maver) some 15+ years ago. Concurrently, I have been serving at the United Nations as an NGO representative with Peace Through Unity and the Global Movement for the Culture of Peace.

I see my international peace work as seeking to integrate these three vast, inter-related peace systems through the common vision of establishing departments of peace worldwide. It is about urging all countries (most specifically in the US through passage of HR 1111) to establish governmental departments, ministries and other “Infrastructures for Peace” (I4P) worldwide TO BUILD THE CULTURE OF PEACE per implementation of the UN Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace A/RES/53/243 mandate.

This Fall has been a productive time raising more awareness at the UN about I4P. Recent milestones have included introducing the topic of I4P at this September’s 10th annual UN High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace for the first time. In addition, the team is crafting an I4P Concept Note which aims to have an I4P paragraph added to the upcoming 2021 annual (agenda item 15) Culture of Peace resolution to pass during this 76th session of the General Assembly.

May Peace Prevail on Earth,
Anne Creter
Leadership Council International Lead

 

For the Hope Story Circle community

Sound True is offering a FREE Activating Hope Summit from November 4-7, 2021.
We thought you might find this event interesting and enriching.

Hope to see you all there!

Yours,
Terry, Liz and Jelena

 

Dear Educators,

Thank you for your service and for all that you do everyday to ensure that the hearts and minds of our young people are cared for and nourished. We see your dedication, exhaustion, compassion, frustration, creativity, kindness and love — lots and lots of love! We want to take a moment to honor that love, your hard work and deep passion, and bow in gratitude for your noble service.

The Peace Alliance is committed to supporting and collaborating with you to provide the most relevant Practicing Peace in Schools peacebuilding resources. We acknowledge that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, you faced many personal and professional challenges within the educational system which the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. We also know the pandemic continues to significantly impact your personal health and wellness and the overall wellness of your schools. To better understand how best to support you, we invite you to share more about your needs by responding to this survey. As we are dedicated to educator advocacy and serving you, we would love to learn more about your specific needs at this challenging time so that we can work on co-creating relevant, concrete and wholesome supports that are healing and life-affirming for you and your learning community.

If you are reading this and are not an educator, please reach out to an educator in your community to extend your gratitude for their service and invite them to share their needs with us here.

Thank you so much for the greatest gifts: your attention and time!

Peace and gratitude,
Jelena Popovic (she, her)
The Peace Alliance Practicing Peace in Schools Team Lead

 

National Peacebuilders Monthly Connect

We are celebrating over 15 years of monthly calls devoted to peacebuilding! Listen, learn and share every Second Tuesday of the Month: On November 9 is this month’s National Peacebuilders Call.

Our featured guests are Lynn Lee and Patty LaTaille speaking about Compassionate High-Impact Dialogues in Sexual Violence.

Lynn Lee co-facilitated the first Restorative Justice (RJ) conference for the Colorado Department of Corrections and continues to work in facilitating conferences for felony offenses. She holds a BA in Education and an MA in Education Administration from the University of Colorado. Lynn and her husband Senator Pete Lee (CO, D) are true pioneers doing incredible work in the RJ arena.

Patty LaTaille serves on the Cornerstone Leadership Council for the Peace Alliance as the Humanizing Justice Systems Lead. She is the author of Paws 4 Peace: Enhancing Restorative Practices with Therapy Dogs. Patty is an international speaker on methods of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and Restorative Justice.

ALSO: If you’d listen to calls you have missed in prior months, please access our Peace On podcasts at this link.

Patty LaTaille
Humanizing Justice Systems Lead

 

We Need Empathy

The Peace Alliance will be hosting Empathy Circles on the first Tuesday of every month. The circles are based on the principles Edwin Rutsch developed 15 years ago. In looking for a practice to serve our network and to foster personal peace, I was encouraged by a friend of a friend to try Empathy Circles.

I was skeptical that something so simple could be impactful. I was wrong! Empathy Circles allow us to be heard and allow us to refine and deepen our listening skills. Empathy is multi-faceted and ripe with values. Values reflected include presence, patience, vulnerability, open-heartedness, non-judgmental listening and reflecting, and many more. The more I participate in Empathy Circles, the more embodied my values become and the more I pause and slow down. What do we need? The practice of slowing down, tuning in, and giving the gift of empathy to ourselves and others. Join us on the first Tuesdays and give it a try! Check The Peace Alliance Calendar for details.

Partnering in Peace,
Kathy L. Kidd LCSW
National Field Coordinator

 

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.

www.peacealliance.org

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