Quarterly Peace News – September 2018

Welcome to our Quarterly eNews 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!

 

Hoping you Enjoyed a Sunny Summer and are Ready for Autumn!

“Peace comes from being able to contribute the best that we have, and all that we are, toward creating a world that supports everyone. But it is also securing the space for others to contribute the best that they have and all that they are.” ~ Hafsat Abiola

Upcoming Events

 

Cultivating Intentional Pause is Teaching Peace 

Intentional pausing and orienting inward, 4th Grade, FernLeaf Community Charter School, Fletcher, NC

 There is something about a new school year that spells hope, joy, growth, wonder and peace for educators. Hope in beginnings, joy in growth while igniting wonder and cultivating peace. How might we work together to manifest these into our daily life and within our school communities?

We can start by cultivating and practicing intentional pausing. Try finding a moment during school day to stop, notice your breath or feet on the ground and orient out into the room toward gratitude and joy of what is going well around you in your classroom/school. Our mind often sees what’s wrong and that overwhelms us, creating an emotional vortex of negativity, moving us further away from assisting growth, igniting wonder and cultivating peace. The repeated intentional pausing is a practice of teaching peace that we can embody and model for our students and other educators. Consider giving it a persistent try and let us know what you notice via our Facebook group ~ The Peace Alliance Teaching Peace in Schools or by e-mailing your insights to [email protected] 

Teaching Peace in Schools will be a focus of our September National Monthly Call. We will have Jill McManigal, co-founder of Kids for Peace, as our guest speaker. She will talk about Kids for Peace 10-day “Do it for Peace” campaign starting on International Day of Peace (9/21). Please click here to register for this free call. We are planning more calls and podcasts interviews 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 [email protected] 

Wishing you all much intentional pausing and orienting toward hope, joy, growth, wonder and peace this school year! 

Shared by Jelena Popovic

Teaching Peace in Schools Lead 

 

Pie for Peace

For Mother’s Day 2018 and beyond, we called for our nation to prioritize peacebuilding by establishing a Department of Peacebuilding (DoP/ HR 1111), seeking solutions to prevent gun violence and practicing peace in our personal lives, the community, schools, a more humane justice system and internationally.

San Diego DoP and Kids for Peace supporters at the office of Rep. Juan Vargas

The San Diego DoP & Kids for Peace Supporters at the office of Rep. Juan Vargas

The message we took to legislators was that children are afraid to attend school, sacred spaces of worship have been shattered by bullets from weapons of war, and the feelings of really being safe in traditionally safe spaces are memories from the past. We said that is not acceptable and peace wants a piece of the federal budget pie to prevent violence. What would our world look like if we prioritized peace by creating a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding? What if lives were not shattered by violence — particularly the amplified violence from the threat of assault weapons – if all people could live, each day, with hope instead of fear?

This year the Mother’s Day “Peace-Wants-A-Piece-of-the-Federal-Budget-Pie” initiative included meaningful connections and some new ingredients, flavors and twists at May and June meetings with legislative offices in CA, CO, GA, IL, NM, and SD. Pies of Choice: All offices welcomed the delivery of peace pies and are happy to see us (or at least our pies) year after year. In 2018, apple pie was the first place pie of choice, with homemade cheesecake in second place.

We have visited some offices many times in the past. Some were first-time pie visits. All enjoyed their pie and now link pie to the DoP request to make peacebuilding a national priority.  At most visits, volunteers asked members of Congress to cosponsor legislation: 1)  the Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2017 (H. R. 1111), which will develop policies that promote nonviolent intervention, national and international conflict prevention, structured mediation and peaceful resolution of conflict; 2) the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018 (H.R. 5087) and the Assault Weapons Ban of 2017 (S. 2095); and Establishing a Select Committee on Gun Violence Prevention (H.Res. 367).

For more about the flavors of the pie meetings, see 1) Mother’s Day 2018 Call for Peace & CA, CO, GA Photos.  See also 2) Mother’s Day Peace 2018 – More No. CA & So. CA Photos and 3) Mother’s Day Peace 2018 – NM & SD Photos.

Thank you to all who participated. Pie on.

Shared by Nancy Merritt

Department of Peacebuilding Council Lead

 

Paws for Peace: Restorative Justice & Therapy Dogs

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a common sense approach to dealing with incidences of crime and/or conflict. Those who were impacted – the individual(s) who caused the harm (offender) and the person(s) impacted by the harm (victim) – and their family/support people meet face to face with trained facilitators who initiate dialogue in a Restorative Circle. These Circles are supported by community members – and now Therapy Dog Teams – who assist in holding those who caused the harm accountable, while developing an agreement on how to make it right. 

Paws for Peace Parade for Full Circle Restorative Justice, Salida, CO

Paws for Peace Parade Event for Full Circle Restorative Justice in Salida, Colorado

A trained RJ facilitator/handler and nationally certified therapy dogs promote the RJ focus on the “back story”, its compassionate approach of respecting all participants equally, and providing closure and the means to repair the harm, leading to healing for victims, offenders and community.  

In Salida, Colorado, within the 11th Judicial District, we are fortunate to have Full Circle Restorative Justice (FCRJ) collaborating with the Courts, schools and community to address harm done and helping repair relationships.  As an experienced RJ Facilitator, I noted the uncomfortable moments when the Victim and Offender initially sat down in a Restorative Circle together.  How to ease the inherent tension? We needed an “ice-breaker” to assist in creating connection and building rapport. Who better to do this than a dog – a cute canine connector who helps meet individual needs for ease and comfort? This pioneering approach evolved into FCRJ’s Paws for Peace program – Therapy Dogs are now welcomed into the victim-offender conferencing process.

By inviting a certified Therapy Dog into the Circle/Conference, RJ practitioners take concrete steps to ease the tension and to calm anxiety experienced by participants. Therapy Dog Teams provide comfort and connection throughout this extremely effective and transformational process known as restorative justice. Find out more on the FCRJ website at fullcirclerj.org.

Shared by Patty LaTaille

Humanizing The Justice System Lead 

 

Cultivating Personal Peace 

Our National Conference call in July featured guest speaker Nancy G. Shapiro, author of The Book of Calm. She is the 2017 Silver Award Winner – Nautilus Book Awards. Nancy is also a Life Coach and Advocate of Calm. Our theme for our discussion was cultivating personal peace and healing as an act of personal reconciliation. If you would like to learn more about Nancy Shapiro’s work you can visit her website.

You are invited to an opportunity to Cultivate Personal Peace with our November guest speaker Joe Weston, author of Mastering Respectful Confrontation.  Joe is hosting a weekly session for Global Meditation for Lasting Peace. You can check the Lasting Peace mediation Schedule for more information. If you want to know more about Joe’s work and how you can get involved in this powerful self-healing work, please visit his website.

If you are interested in joining the movement of Cultivating Personal Peace, please contact [email protected]

Shared by Ngozi Rasheda Akosia

Cultivating Personal Peace Lead

 

Promoting Peace By Phone & Podcasts

In July and August we hosted two very powerful calls for shaping our upcoming focus, and we invite you to listen to the August call recording and the July call recording, and share these recordings with others. They are suitable for long drives, while preparing meals, or even discussion groups!! The Action Sheet can be found here, a guided meditation on healing personal trauma, plus action steps to promote racial healing through truth and reconciliation processes.

National Memorial for Peace and Justice

The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery, Alabama

The July call was mainly focused on a Truth and Reconciliation process to heal America’s history of racial violence  – as well as an internal process to cultivate greater personal peace power. Our two special guests were author Nancy Shapiro, and Randell Gamble – Ambassador of the Memphis Lynching Sites Project.

The August call introduced our Common Understandings initiative, bringing more respect, compassion, and hope into our political realm. We were joined in August by board members Terry Mason, Steven Smith, Matthew Albracht, Judy Kimmel, and Lynn Lannon – all of whom shared important perspectives and questions about this powerful campaign.

Shared by Dan Kahn

National Field Coordinator 

 

Update from TPA’s Dedicated Board of Directors

 As we approach the fall and Mid-term elections, our Board and members of our leadership Council have been pondering the dearth of peaceful and civil political discourse in our country. We are focusing on a Declaration of Common Understanding and Civil Dialogue Statement, addressing the current need for peaceful dialogue, respect and compassion for hearing the “other side” of the pressing issues of the day. 

Our Board and Leadership encourage everyone in the spirit of the First Amendment to remember the power of really hearing an opposing view and realizing that alignment with higher, larger principles of citizenship transcend party politics and distracting, subversive rhetoric. We must, as a nation, search for our common ground and advocate that our members of Congress do the same.

There is much to do to support our democracy, advocate for all our citizens, and solve the pressing issues of the day.

Lobbying for Peace in DC

Lobbying for Peace in Washington DC

 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.

 

 

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