Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.
CULTIVATING a CULTURE of PEACE
Who We Are: The Peace Alliance is about transforming our society by creating a culture of peace. Born as a campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace about ten years ago, the Peace Alliance has morphed into our nation's largest national grassroots peace advocacy organization. More than 50,000 on-line supporters represent every state and a majority of Congressional districts. The joyful work of the Peace Alliance is on multiple levels - - learning how to be peace in all our relationships, celebrating and supporting peacebuilding in our communities; and lobbying in support of effective peacebuilding by governmental bodies.
What Is Peace? The Earth Charter defines peace as "the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part."
Creating Governmental Change: Representative Dennis Kucinich recently reintroduced H.R. 808, the Department of Peace legislation. Its passage is a core goal, because it establishes peace and peacebuilding as a national value domestically and internationally. While citizens and governments often fail to live up to our values, it is important to give them institutional heft. Some say we cannot afford a new institution. We say we cannot afford not to have one.
Put into dollars and sense, violence in our communities and its aftermath cost our nation more than $300 billion annually. Proven prevention programs cost one-tenth as much as incarceration and reduce recidivism by 50% or more. It will actually streamline our government to put all the existing violence treatment and prevention programs under the one umbrella of the Department of Peace.
The Department of Peace campaign inspired citizens of other nations. The Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace meets annually with more than forty nations represented. There are three newly established ministries in Nepal, the Solomon Islands, and Costa Rica.
"Without people, nothing is possible, but without institutions, nothing is enduring." - Jean Monnet, a founder of European unity
When We Learn Better We Do Better: Our community, Sonoma State, and the Peace & Justice Center offer a wealth of opportunities to learn peacemaking skills. Nonviolent Communication classes are available nearby and on-line. The National Peace Academy offers certification classes. Michael Nagler's lectures on nonviolence are available through the Metta Center website. The Shift Network on-line programs include free recordings from Peace Week.
The Good News: Governmental and military leaders see the need for peacebuilding! Local school systems have adopted restorative justice principles and use services of non-profits like Safe School Ambassadors and Challenge Day to resolve tensions. Programs like Mediation Recourse, Alternatives to Violence Program, Men Evolving Nonviolently, and Restorative Resources offer valuable life-changing trainings.
"If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationship -- the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together and work together in the same world, at peace." -Franklin D. Roosevelt
Then I closed with local TPA and national website contact info. Kendra