Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

A major new study released this week shows even more clearly the daunting challenges we face. The Obama administration -- with the Secretary of Education and the Attorney General -- called for a "national conversation on values to address youth violence" after some highly discouraging news. Attorney general Eric Holder stated:

"The Department of Justice is releasing a new study today that measures the effects of youth violence in America, and the results are staggering. More than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence in the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly half of children and adolescents were assaulted at least once, and more than one in ten were injured as a result. Nearly one-quarter were the victim of a robbery, vandalism or theft, and one in sixteen were victimized sexually. Those numbers are astonishing, and they are unacceptable. We simply cannot stand for an epidemic of violence that robs our youth of their childhood and perpetuates a cycle in which today's victims become tomorrow's criminals." ~ News Conference on Youth and School Violence. Chicago, Ill. Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What are your thoughts??

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First of, all noting that violence is everywhere and kids are affected by it, is stating the obvious. I guess having statistics next to the ideas is useful....

My latest thought on this general topic of the pervasiveness of violence is that those of us interested in the alternative, peace and social justice, should make ourselves apparent every day. All of us are faced with images and words of violence and competition every day. So, I have tattooed myself, put stickers on my cars, bought clothes all carrying peace messages. I wave in a friendly fashion to every driver I see as I ride my bicycle. I smile at children and their parents. My thinking is that if enough people did such things, then the norm would become different, and because people like to be with the norm, peace would become more common.

This is what I hope.


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