"Nonviolence is the greatest force at the disposal of mankind. It is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction devised by the ingenuity of man." - Gandhi
The Peace Alliance encourages you to join the 2012 15th annual celebration of A Season for Nonviolence! This 64-day educational, media and grass roots campaign has spread to more than 900 cities and 67 countries with a kick-off event at the United Nations. Offering a model of citizen empowerment, the program offers tools and training to self-organizing groups that use nonviolent principles and practices to heal conflict in families and communities. The event was co-founded by Dr. Arun Gandhi and The Association for Global New Thought with the memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as starting and ending dates. In 2007 the campaign added the legacy of Cesar Chavez as further inspiration to incorporate nonviolence into creating meaningful social change.
If you already have events planned during the Season, promote them at the global website: www.agnt.org/season-for-nonviolence To plan an event, go to the same website for resources, including background information, ideas for groups and churches, sample media releases, and daily lessons and study courses to incorporate in your own personal peace practices. You can also search the website for events in your area. This is a great opportunity to collaborate with other peacebuilding groups in your area to promote a culture of peace.
Indeed, networking and collaboration with other local and national peacebuilding groups has become an increasing focus for The Peace Alliance to develop stepping stones toward the culture of peace as envisioned in the Department of Peace proposal. At the local level, for example, grassroots activists have held educational programs that promote effective restorative justice reforms and lobbied for them. At the federal level Peace Alliance advocates lobbied for legislation, such as the Youth Promise Act, that are also in alignment with the goals of a Department of Peace. The actions of our grassroots and national staff also helped create the political space for recent federal reforms, such as the Bureau of Conflict & Stability Operations in the State Department and the Atrocity Prevention Board within the National Security Council.
"Let us declare our intent for peace. Let us work to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our own society. Let us recommit ourselves to the slow and painstaking work of statecraft, which sees peace, not war as being inevitable. Let us work for a world where someday war becomes archaic."
The goal and vision of a Department of Peace is to make nonviolence an organizing principle in our society and our government. A dialogue at all levels of our organization continues as to best strategies toward realization of that goal and vision. You are encouraged to contribute to that conversation on our national calls and to follow your own passion in deciding where to focus your energies. Recent website updates with more information and background on this discussion can be found here. A more in-depth discussion on how peacebuilding structures in U.S. government are evolving can be found here.
Cesar Chavez said, "there is no such thing as defeat in nonviolence" and taught us all to say "sí, se puede," or it is possible!