This Mother’s Day Prioritize Peacebuilding

Mother’s Day was originally a call for a day of peace by Julia Ward Howe after she experienced the horrors of war while tending the wounded during the American civil war. 

Make this Mother’s Day a call for our nation to prioritize peacebuilding by establishing a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding, by seeking solutions to prevent gun violence, suicide and other types of violence, and by practicing peace in our personal lives, the community, schools, a more humane justice system and internationally. 

Peacebuilding wants a piece of the federal budget pie.  Participate by:
1) meeting with members of Congress in District; and
2) calling the Mother’s Day 11 for HR 1111.  (See details below.)



Budgets represent priorities. According to the National Priorities Project, the current President’s budget priorities FY 2020 go even further than last year’s request in bloating the already enormous military budget, requesting $750 billion for the military — an increase of 5%, or $34 billion, from the 2019 enacted budget.  That would put 57% of the $1.3 trillion discretionary budget into the Pentagon and nuclear weapons.

While pumping up all these facets of the militarized budget, the current president’s budget “is proposing a 23.3% cut to the State Department, America’s major means of preventing military conflict through diplomacy, bringing it down to $42.8 billion.  This is all while proposing massive cuts to agencies that actually meet human needs, like the Department of Education (down 12% to $62 billion), Housing and Urban Development (down 16.4% to $44.1 billion), Department of Transportation (down 21.5% to $21.4 billion), and the Department of Labor (down 9.7% to $10.9 billion).” – Trump’s FY2020 Budget Request Bloats Militarized Spending – and Slashes Actual Human Needs.  (See  www.nationalpriorities.orgHow we spend our money matters.



Investment in peacebuilding policies and programs saves lives and money and improves quality of life.  Make Mother’s Day a time to reaffirm that peacebuilding matters and that peacebuilding wants a piece of the federal budget pie. 

You can do this by completing one or both of these actions and sharing this email:

1) Schedule a “Mother’s Day Pie” meeting with your member of Congress and your Senators (and/or their staff members) to tell them peace wants a piece of our federal budget pie and urging them to cosponsor Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s Department of Peacebuilding Act of 2017 (HR 1111) (Congressperson’s office can contact [email protected] or 202-225-2661 to sign on).

2) Call your member of Congress and one or more (preferably all) of the Mother’s Day 11 for HR 1111, who are some of  the former Department of Peacebuilding cosponsors.  Thank them for cosponsoring HR 1111 in the past and to ask them to cosponsor the current Department of Peacebuilding bill (HR 1111) by contacting Rep. Barbara Lee’s office ([email protected] or 202-225-2661).  Each call takes only moments. Please email [email protected] to report your calls:

  • Rep. Tony Cardenas (CA-29) at 202-225-6131
  • Rep. Yvette Clarke (NY-9) at 202-225-6231
  • Rep. Danny Davis (IL-7) at 202-225-5006
  • Rep. Dwight Evans (PA-2) at 202-225-4001
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (OH-11) at 202-225-7032
  • Rep. John Garamendi (CA-3) at 202-225-1880
  • Rep. Al Green (TX-9) at 202-225-7508
  • Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) at 202-225-7944
  • Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13) at 202-225-5261
  • Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-3) at 202-225-8351
  • Rep. Darren Soto (FL-9) at 202-225-9889

Violence manifests in many ways.  It endangers, impacts or takes the lives of those who are shot or violated in our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches, our schools, our theaters and clubs, our work places.  It is inequality, militarism, racism and poverty.  It is preventable.  Peacebuilding includes violence-prevention policies and programs that work.  Peacebuilding saves lives and money. For every dollar invested now, the cost of conflict could be reduced by $16 over the long runWe cannot afford to neglect peacebuilding.  Even dedicating as little as 1% of the federal discretionary budget to peacebuilding will make a huge difference.


Peacebuilding is multi-faceted. Legislation calling for a cabinet-level Department of Peacebuilding (HR 1111) includes the following offices:
1) Peace & Education Training;
2) Domestic Peacebuilding Activities;
3) International Peacebuilding Activities;
4) Technology for Peace;
5) Arms Control & Disarmament;
6) Information & Research;
7) Human Rights & Economic Rights;
8) Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Peace; and
9)  Federal Interagency Committee on Peace.

Ask your member of Congress and othes to co-sponsor
The Department of Peacebuilding Act

Nancy Merritt

On Behalf of the Department of Peacebuilding Committee & the DoP Campaign
Anne Creter, Karen Johnson, Nancy Merritt, Kendra Mon, Debra Poss, Pat Simon, Cetta Smart & Jerilyn Stapleton


In the 1800’s, Julia Ward Howe, original advocate for “Mother’s Day” and writer of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” nursed and tended the wounded during the civil war. She worked with the widows and orphans of soldiers on both sides of the war, and realized that the effects of the war go beyond the killing of soldiers in battle. The devastation she witnessed called her to “rise up through the ashes and devastation” calling out for a day dedicated to peace: Mother’s Day. In her various social capacities Julia tirelessly worked for justice throughout her life. Read more about the history of Mother’s Day including the full Mother’s Day proclamation Julia wrote.

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