Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

Below is a list of some key tracks The Peace Alliance and Peace Alliance Educational Institute are looking to pursue in the coming months, much of this stemmed out of our  February board and staff retreat (see details from our eblast at: ).  We shared much of this on our Monthly conference call, March 1st.  On the call, we asked participants to give us feedback on this DoPeace forum (post your comments below). Also, please give us any creative ideas you have, particularly in the area of re-branding peace, we'd love other framing ideas. Help us come up with the best phrases you can think of!  

Here are the key areas.  

1. Legislative/Issues Slate:

Our legislative advocacy will continue to be core work. We will continue with our track of working deeply and in sustained fashion on a couple of key pieces of legislation (currently Dept. of Peace, Youth PROMISE).   We are also looking at more short-term advocacy, (like with US Institute of Peace, State of the Union) and other aligned legislation and issues, putting out occasional action alerts that people could partake in to make a difference.  

We have tens of thousands of online supporters.  What we learned from our survey is that many of them will take one-off online actions (or make phone calls), but not engage in in-depth activism.  This would allow us to help further educate the public, while also supporting, in smaller ways, moving the field forward.  We plan to create a committee of board, staff and volunteers to vet occasional action alerts on different legislative issues.  Whether it's petitions, call congress, etc.  

2. Re-branding peace:  

A major thrust soon would be to focus on creating a concerted effort to spotlight the "New Face of Peace" (or some framing like that).  Showing what peace is now.  It's tens of thousands of people and organizations who are doing incredibly effective work.  Let's put a face to them and to the key areas that make up peacebuilding work.  Making it a bold, sexy and compelling campaign that grabs a lot of attention.  While this isn’t really “new”, people have been working for many decades and longer on this work, the public at large has little concept of it.  

The New Face of Peace could be a major meta campaign, and the theme for our new website. Highlighting words that express the problem, overlaid with the new words of what is possible.  The words could be the first thing people see when they come to our site, animated visuals. The old words (the old ways) would crumble away, the new words shimmering forward like beacons of hope and possibility.  ex: Punishment ---> Rehabilitation; incarceration ---> restorative Justice; gang violence ---> prevention and intervention; stress ---> personal peace practice; war ---> peacebuilding. We can think of more and better, but you hopefully get the point. "Peace is Power, it's tangible, it's NOW"

We'd have resource sections highlight the key "Sectors of Peace" (tbd). With an overview of how things are currently going in the old ways (ex. criminal justice system as is), and new, more effective and powerful peacebuilding alternatives (restorative justice). Really putting a face and understanding to what already is. We can talk about how we see these are all apart of a growing movement, the modern face of peace.

We can have photos of the new face of peace, videos, psa's, ads on many sites like Facebook, Huffington Post, all directing to us. "I'm Joseph Smith, I used to be a gang member, now I work with at-risk youth, helping them transform their lives, I'm the new face of peace." "I'm Sally Winkman, I'm a peer mediator at my junior high, I'm the new face of peace", "I'm Marco Lucas, I work in conflict hotspots around the world to avert violent conflict erupting, I'm the new face of peace". etc.

This could also feed into our peacebuilders newsletter, making it a place to highlight this new face of peace, weekly peacebuidlers spotlight. We plan to enroll our partners and grassroots to help us come up with a good ideas and phrases to launch a public effort.

So in essence, while we build up the coalitions to help crate a real platform for peace (see Alliance building below), we focus on spotlighting what is, doing clever things to show what is already emerging. Find ways to plug folks into action. "The new face of peace, YOU!" engage: legislative, community, personal. Ways people can start to make a difference now.

3. Alliance building:

At our retreat, we talked about helping the field better see itself and helping to be a space-holder for stronger movement and alliances.  We want to move into a space of helping to convene the field to come up with a compelling plank or platform for peace - that is co-created by the field and could be a major platform for the 2012 elections.  

We also talked about having the Rockefeller grant we received for the youth violence prevention work being a testing ground for this area.  We could make the youth violence prevention platform and YPA our first test "track" for alliance building, bringing together key leaders in this arena for our first "council" and make it a test ground for how we might work with other areas of peacebuilding.  We can also continue to reach out to our other partners and explore ways to move forward, maybe still a peace summit in 2012.

4. Fundraising:  

Yahoo!  Who wouldn't want to fund all this??????  Grants, big donors, current donor cultivation.  

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1. Legislative - Regarding the on-line supporters, not only unify by action alerts, but boost their/our passion for Peace, now and again, with some awesome truth of Peace (a happening, quote, success . . .).  That way it affirms the heart's action, shows possibility, stimulates the thirst for more. Randomly timed mailings, not necessarily as a regular obligation. 


2. Re-brand - (just got the image of a smoking peace sign at the end of a branding iron)

~Yes, even to hear the word Peace, and to see its many faces, will bring it to life.  It has been sort of a word pathetically received or dismissed for decades now. It's time to revitalize it !

~"The words could be the first thing"  I know you may not mean that literally, but it does remind me that I would like to see the mission of the PA stated as the page opens (like on DoPeace).  When I send people to the site it is reaffirming to understand what the vision is upfront.

~"these are all apart of a growing movement, the modern face of peace" yes, show the movement.  Society can begin to say, "Oh, yeah, I heard that's happening" rather than, "Really, your'e kidding me,"  Somehow be able to present the transformation - like watching Juan morph from his street gang wear into his medical coat.


3.  Alliance-

~Yes, it is time for the web to coalesce. There is probably not at sector of society which does not have a thread connected to Peace.  To begin with youth violence along with the support of the grant seems logical.

~This is an aside to broader alliance building:  To unify our own PA's national credibility and recognition would it be possible to offer a standard business card heading (like the heading on our emailings with the varying blues and the PA logo) for the use of SCs and leadership?  Have the legalities of all that been worked through?

Somehow that consistent aligning within our organization feels ripe now.  We, of course could still have independent state images and cards ( we have NH Dept of Peace cards) if desired, but a common card upon which we could all print our own individual info below a Peace Alliance heading might be consolidating.

4. Fundraising

~as always,

also somehow invigorate participation on a minor scale as well. (A Quarter to Peace Campaign- using a clock face [a New Face?]  with Peace as the 12 o'clock hour; hour hand straight up, minute hand at 1/4 of. Or would that be digital 11:45 now? [in the eleventh hour]  Encourage the "tens of thousands on-line supporters" to collect quarters for Peace. [The Time is Now]. Just letting the ideas flow, forgive me.)

Thanks, JanNH

This is great! Lot's of useful feedback, thanks Jan.  Love the idea of cards...

Thanks for telling your story.  You ask the many questions still seeking their answers! 

What I clearly read above was the variety of ways that our (humanity's) past experiences and perceptions receive or dismiss the word Peace. This notion of "Peace as a poisoned fashion" was also initially surprising, disconcerting and depressing in my own earlier Peace Alliance work. It definitely hampered the more idealistic (but possible!) forward movement. But my passion has since carried me.

Recently I received an email that was dealing with this same issue of word branding.  I liked its take on the necessity of "re-wiring the context of old words".  I believe that is what we are consciously trying to do here.  Not an easy task with trigger words such as Peace. It seems like the concept needs to establish a common ground before the real work can begin.  Since I began in '07 the use of the word Peace has become more mainstreamed.  Now we have to keep it enlivened, redefine it.

I imagine that the history of Ireland has cellularly engrained the mistrust of the word Peace into deeply wounded pockets.

We know for a fact that any "mission" statement cannot be heard if there is not ripeness to receive.  I do believe we can however endeavor to put forth the "re-wired new interpretations" for evolution's sake.  


 I offer part of the email below for your perusing. There, the question is about the war-connoting word "allies".

Keep up the positive work! Keep asking the questions!

 ". . .we are asking ourselves: If we are one humanity evolving,

how can we adjust our thinking and our projects to be more precisely together? How can we be…allies for the greater good?

Listening within

Re-wiring the context of old words -- through new hearts!
By Bonnie Kelley, writer, networker, and film director, and

Some of you may be standing aghast at our use of the word "allies". For instance, you might have muttered, "Why are they using a military term in a woman's newsletter?" Well, you've asked the perfect question.

And the answer is because we are re-wiring our belief system to receive enlightened transmission of new interpretations. Note this definition of allies. "Allies are people, groups or nations that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve a common goal or purpose, even when no explicit agreement has been worked out between them." [more...]


I always appreciate it when similar efforts or consciousness comes flying at me from many directions.  If it's in the air, it's more apt to be ripe for change.

In Peace, JanNH


Thank you for sharing this Yvette.  Great story and good perspective to think deeply about.  We do have a challenge in front of us.  But what a good one to take on!

Hi Jan, Matthew and Yvette


I like to see the view, intention and strategic direction for peace expand into all areas of civil society, beyond legislative action... which is already happening. We need new knowledge and awareness about causes and conditions that threaten peace everywhere so we address the blindspots in our system and not just myriad symptoms.


I have been thinking a lot about economic injustice and human rights in the world and how to ensure survival of all human beings, that is the only sane way we can ensure peace, sustainability of planet and people and secure our children's future.

We have democracy but we do not have democratic currency and financial system. This is creating huge accumulation of wealth in a few hands with wasteful production, distribution and consumption patterns along with mass poverty and hunger and food crisis for a growing majority at the bottom. We need to gain awareness and knowledge in monetary/financial economics and fractional reserve based central banking we inherited from colonial times.


A major peaceful shift is possible in this area with open knowledge sharing globally and locally. Please browse my blog to get familiar with some of the issues. And a legislative effort by Dennis Kucinich and S. Zarlenga (monetary historian) to restore the authority of Congress to control and stabilize our monetary system, privatized under federal reserve Act in 1913.



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