Report from the Charter for Compassion Peace Call April 15, 2014
Support Global Partner Calls
Thank you so much for your participation on the call today. Click here for the link to our special donation page for Charter Partner calls. Your contribution—even at the most modest of levels-- not only helps to cover our immediate costs but also serves as a strong vote for our continuing and expanding this effort. As Andrew mentioned, we could gather hundreds and even thousands of participants in this way. Your vote of support will encourage us to work aggressively towards that goal!
Lending a Helping Hand
As was demonstrated in our conversations yesterday so many of you have access to extensive networks of peace organizations. Would you consider letting your partners know about the Charter for Compassion network? We can accomplish a great deal more by adding hands, hearts and minds to our end goal of bringing shared dialogue, and compassionate action to our peace efforts. If you were on yesterday's call, and are not a partner, please consider it. It's easy to register.
Our next big step is to consider how we might have a world-wide on-line conference with our 200+ cities and 725+ partners. Finally, learn more about Compassionate Peace Reader. Please share your writings, thoughts and events with us.
Charter Staff on the Charter Peace Call
Simmi Kher Consultant, Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu have created the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge, a free online program starting May 4, 2014, designed to teach the world how to forgive. In early registration people from over 100 countries have already signed up to participate.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in leading non-violent opposition to South Africa’s apartheid system of racial domination. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that he chaired created a way to address the overwhelming suffering and grief that were the legacy of over four decades of racial oppression. Since then he has taken his deeply human approach to resolving conflict to many other countries including Northern Ireland and Rwanda. His daughter, Mpho Tutu, has helped rape victims and refugees displaced by war and is currently completing a Ph.D. on the topic of forgiveness.
“Forgiving is a choice. A choice I have seen profoundly transform lives time and again,” says Archbishop Tutu. “As Nelson Mandela said when he walked free after 27 years of prison, ‘I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.’ Mpho and I share a vision to bring the transformative power of forgiveness to people everywhere and to see it spread through families, communities, countries and our whole world.”
Together the Tutus bring their hard-earned and practical insight into the process of forgiving to a global audience in the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge. The 30-day program is based on a systematic process of forgiving that the Tutus present in their new book, The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Healing Our World (HarperOne; Hardcover; March 18, 2014).
“Forgiveness is universal. It’s not just for the religious,” said Sir Richard Branson. “Archbishop Tutu taught me to make sure I have no enemies—to forgive and ask for forgiveness—and I’m a better man for it. No one but the Arch and Mpho would conceive of a way to bring forgiveness to everyone—free of charge, no less—in an event like the Forgiveness Challenge.”
Registration is open at Forgiveness Challenge. All registrants will receive invitations to special events leading up to the May 4th start, such as live Q&As and interviews with the Tutus and others, including Sir Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Alanis Morissette and more.
When the Challenge starts, May 4th, everyone registered will receive daily inspirational emails for the following thirty days from the Archbishop and Mpho with a link to log in to an online forgiveness community. There they will be guided through practical exercises on how to forgive, have opportunities to join discussions and share their own stories. During the Challenge there will be resources such as films, music and exclusive interviews with forgiveness heroes, experts, cultural icons and leaders. All participants are also encouraged to participate in an optional study designed to measure the impact of forgiveness in people’s lives.
“Desmond Tutu is the face of forgiveness around the world and for years many, many people have asked him how to actually forgive,” said Mark Tauber, the Tutus’ publisher at HarperOne. “Finally he is sharing his wealth of experience, along with his daughter Mpho’s, who, while they were writing the book suffered a personal tragedy that required her to profoundly follow their own Fourfold Path of forgiving. This incredible work and this important, global challenge, provide a step-by-step process that every person can follow in order to achieve forgiveness in their lives.”
The Challenge provides opportunities to explore questions about forgiveness with both experts and the community, such as “What if I’m not ready to forgive?” and “Aren’t there some things that can’t be forgiven?” These questions and many more will be discussed during the Tutu Forgiveness Challenge.
“Forgiveness is not something we do for others, we do it for ourselves and this then impacts all those around us. That is why forgiveness is our greatest gift and only hope,” said Archbishop Tutu. “I am delighted that people all around the globe are signing up for the Forgiveness Challenge, together I know we can change the world.”
More information can be found at Forgiveness Challenge.
Follow the Challenge on social media: Facebook, where you can join every Friday for #forgivingfriday; Instagram; and Twitter. Find out more about The Book of Forgiving.
The Tony Blair Faith Foundation provides the practical support required to help prevent religious prejudice, conflict and extremism.
About Face to Faith
Face to Faith brings students of different religions and cultures together using digital technology to connect schools in 19 countries.
Face to Faith connects students from every continent, across a number of religious and national divides. It is the young people who really make this programme.
What has become obvious to us over the past couple of years since we launched is the willingness of young people to come together in a spirit of openness to learn from and with one another in discussions about one another’s faiths and beliefs and on issues such as malaria, human trafficking, women’s rights, the environment and wealth and poverty, just to name a few.
Our young people often have creative approaches to alleviating some of these problems and they agree that there is a need to collaborate to share ideas and work practically to really make a difference.
The Face to Faith online community is a vital part of the experience for students, enabling them to carry on with their discussions, celebrating their cultures and building relationships with one another, outside the VC.
This is a secure monitored community where students can chat and communicate safely. Each student has their own customisable homepage, and can participate in discussion fora, competitions, hot-seat debates, and most importantly, making new friends.
The Face to Faith programme is underpinned by a set of principles that guide and give form to our work.
We remember these with the acronym “Respect”.
We ensure that everything we do, from the most strategic level, right through to classroom activities is informed and inspired by these principles.
R Respect – Our world is a diverse world. To communicate and grow we must respect one another’s beliefs, values, attitudes and faiths.
E Education – Good learning creates understanding, overcomes prejudice and opens the gates of dialogue. We are here to teach and to learn, not to convince or convert.
S Safety – A safe environment allows everyone to share with confidence. Help create one around you and watch everyone flourish.
P Perspective – Long journeys start with small steps and eyes lifted to the horizon.
E Empathy – When we try to see the world through other people’s eyes, we open our own.
C Celebration – We’re all different and that makes us special – so let’s bring our differences to the party!
T Trust – Through building relationships with people around the world, we learn to trust one another that our beliefs and values will be accepted.
Our work is also informed by the Toledo Guiding Principles on teaching about religions and beliefs in public schools – we agree that there is a positive value in an approach that teaches respect for everyone’s right freedom of religion and belief, and that teaching about religions can reduce harmful misunderstandings and stereotypes.
Currently, the Face to Faith is free to all registered schools, including installation of video-conferencing software. Please complete our registration form if you're interested in joining Face to Faith.
Break Out Groups
Andrew Himes' Group
Peter Johannesen Osisi: Ohio, Asona Ashram, an interfaith community. “We are intrinsically global, just by living. Our food, our home products, our lives are bounded by globalization. Interfaith must be international as well.”
Pam Glustrom: Atlanta, works to recruit Charter for Compassion Partners – there are 20 so far. Karen Armstrong asked us to focus on the global aspect of the movement – twinning Atlanta with a city in the developing world. We’re now considering whether we can do this immediately or should wait a bit. We don’t want such a relationship to be merely about how Atlanta can raise money for projects in Botswana.
Habeeb Alli: Toronto, originally from Guyana. Author of books on Islam and poetry. Grew up in Muslim, Jewish, Catholic community in Guyana. Met Karen Armstrong at a large Muslim conference in Canada. Habeeb is the Community Development Manager, International Development and Relief Foundation. “We have to think globally and act locally.” Alli is involved in twinning mosques and synagogues as part of an interfaith movement of the Abrahamic faiths.
Simmi Kher: Seattle, works for Tony Blair Interfaith Foundation. Grew up in Zambia in Africa in a Christian community from a Hindu background, got married into a strong Hindu Family. Always thought of herself as more than from one faith. “While working on intercultural community development for years, I realized we have to think globally and be connected with global activism.”
Barbara Kaufmann’s Group
Terry Greene and Katharina Feil: both members of the September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows www.peacefultomorrows.org The mission of September 11 Families is to “turn our grief into actions for peace.” They work to end war and terrorism, to strengthen the connection among people, instill non-violence in civil societies, and restore civil liberties and human rights.
Katharina is the Coordinator of the organization. She did not lose a family member on 9/11 but she is the non-family member who supports the members and tries to make things happen.
What works for September 11 Families: Monthly updates- in the form of a Newsletter that highlights what individual members have been involved with, what activities they have been doing, what is currently happening, and the challenges of the organization. The newsletter is distributed to members and donors all over the US and the world.
Leveraging through using their voices while being sensitive to family members. Establishing peace as a goal. The 9/11 families want peace. They do not want the cycle of violence to continue. They do not believe in torture nor detaining people in Guantanamo Bay. They want an end to terrorism, violence and war. The United States is viewed from the outside around the world, as the most violent and with the worst prison system in the world.
Exchanges with youth around the world: A gathering of 17 countries- where each lost loved ones in political violence and formed international network for peace, www.internationalnetworkforpeace.org; places like, Columbia, Russia, Rwanda, Palestinian, Israel, etc. where family members have been lost to violence. There are many places that don’t have infrastructure but need support.
Joanne Feil: is from Peace Alliance, a national grass roots organization that looks at the work of peace building and brings it into a greater national discourse. Their work includes lobbying representatives and legislators advocating for legislation, education and mobilization. They wish to create an “empowering civic engagement.”
One of their long term initiatives was to work toward creating a Department of Peace in government, a proposal introduced by Representative Dennis Kucinich for a proposed cabinet-level department of the executive branch of the U.S. government in 2001. The idea of a Department of Peace (equivalent to the Department of War) was first introduced by Dr. Benjamin Rush an original signer of the Declaration of Independence. Joanne calls it a “piecemeal peace” for it’s been so long in coming.
Meanwhile they’ve instituted a National Peace Academy, lobbied and worked for the Youth Promise Act- (youth prison reduction through youth mentoring) because they believe in prioritizing our youth and employing prevention and intervention. They are trying to establish that the Youth Promise Act is a very practical local life and money saving method to address the “cradle to prison” problem. Much of their work is legal and legislative but it is bi-partisan. Websites: Peace Alliance, Student Peace Alliance, Youth Promise Action.
What Works: Developing Action teams (may already have 20 teams nationally), operating as one greater area (Los Angeles), get everyone together on a national call once per month, take national action together, etter writing campaigns, calls to representatives, articles in the newspaper, sending copies of the articles to senators and legislators, and work to inspire each other.
Lesa Walker’s Group
Rhoden Streeter (Rhody): with Compassionate Louisville- Interfaith paths and peace. Louisville, KY. Excited about these programs. Interested in Faith to faith. Has program called “peace postcards.” Anyone can do- mostly middle school and other kids as well. It is up on Compassionate Louisville website. Have done web sessions. Peace Museum in Tehran showing some of peace postcards. Middle school kids talking with each other. Learn tolerance. Learn to respect diversity.
What’s working? Advantages of Compassionate Louisville-- have strong Mayor. Inaugural speech-compassion was a pillar of his campaign. Part of the fabric of municipal life. “Give a day week”- people sign up and do service/betterment projects. Participated in the Compassion Games--set up the first challenge.
Peace Calls-- want to continue.There are affiliated organizations in Louisville that would be interested in Faith to Faith. Connections/interactions are good. Can see plugging affiliate groups in.
Michael Matkin: with the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge. What is working the best is we’ve had fantastic response from people across the spectrum. Huffington post doing series of blogs. Fox News will be doing a series of posts. Wonderful to see the response from all over the political and religious spectrums. People coming together around forgiveness and basis for peace.
What’s working? Reaching out and thinking about ways to reach various audiences- thinking about ways to bring it to younger people. Now geared to adults- want to create a system teachers can use to bring to younger people. In Toronto- the “FU Project”- Forgiveness = “F”- help young people to choose forgiveness instead of retribution in their lives. If more young people choose forgiveness, will see a greater understanding throughout society.
Peace Calls--getting our projects on each others radars; good for spreading the word. Cross- promotion. Additional awareness. Connection and sharing.
Lucinda- Hites-Claubaugh: participates in meeting of friends- Quakers- silent meeting tradition. Tenants of Quaker faith fit in alignment with the Charter. Program- Alternatives to Violence Project- facilitate in prisons throughout US and the world. Train guard, staff, and inmates in correctional facilities. Successful in humanizing individuals. Also, have been doing compassionate listening projects- bringing people together face to face. She was teacher for 30 yrs. On playground would gather children in truth and reconciliation circle. Pass the talking stick and listen. Direct conflict resolution. Recently in Friends meeting has been looking at criminal justice system. Oregon “Innocence project” has been created and is international in the “Innocence Network.” Interested in gathering people together face to face. People coming together to seek truth instead of courtroom situation. Hope to lessen adversarial relationships so parties have fair representation.
What’s working? Essentially choosing forgiveness over retribution. Truth and reconciliation circles are the most important thing we can do for the future. Bring about a change in attitude in our cultures and thelp youth see a choice and that they can make a difference. Sets a different tone for a community. What youth learn eventually reaches the parents. Supports the Tutu Forgiveness project in developing youth curriculum. Also, supportive of “Innocence Network”. Book “The New Jim Crow”- good to look at what has been allowed to happened with race and relationships. Important to work positively with groups such as the “Innocence Project”.
Peace Calls--try to exchange information on facilitation processes; share specifics on training and facilitation--more hands-on/ and practical.
Full Group Conversation: Nuggets from the Conversations
- All parties identified communication and connecting as paramount to the missions.
- Truth and Reconciliation
- The firm commitment that retribution and war are not the answers. Interrupting the cycle of violence and changing the culture and resources that support it, is.
- Reaching youth is key to changing the future
- Fostering respect and understanding of all faiths and beliefs is crucial
- Getting media attention for your work is key to public relations, expansion and support.
- Making powerful connections
- Campaigns, Initiatives and legislative lobbying are important
- Inviting others and participate in each other’s events
- There are many international efforts that focus on counseling and donations, but what is needed is to look at the root causes of violence and to end the cycle. Further militarization is not the answer.
- Think globally and act locally.
- Working inter-culturally
- Quote: “If you really want to know yourself, look in your neighbor’s back yard.” (attributed to John Steinbeck)
Resources Identified During Conversations
Sam Daley Harris was mentioned as a resource and expert on micro-financing:
Some of his writing is here at Huffington Post: Sam Daley Harris
Purpose, Poverty Pitfalls and Redemption
Sam Daley-Harris is founder of RESULTS, an international citizens' lobby dedicated to creating the political will to end poverty. Daley-Harris is also founder of the Microcredit Summit Campaign which surpassed its initial goal of reaching 100 million of the world's poorest families in 2007. That same year Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhammad Yunus said: "....no other organization has been as critical a partner in seeing to it that microcredit is used as a tool to eradicate poverty and empower women than RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund's Microcredit Summit Campaign." Daley-Harris is author of Reclaiming Our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government, about which Jimmy Carter said, "[Daley-Harris] provides a road map for global involvement in planning a better future." In 2010, Ashoka founder Bill Drayton wrote, "Sam Daley-Harris is one of the certified great social entrepreneurs of the last decades. After building RESULTS, he is the person more than anyone else who has brought microcredit into focus across the world and precipitated action. One of his mechanisms has been a series of global microcredit summits. I think these are the first such UN-like events not run by the UN, or by any government for that matter." Visit the website.
Serve 2 Unite was Founded after the Sikh Temple shooting on Oak Creek, Wisconsin. Currently operating a
pilot program in Milwaukee Schools to address violence and religious differences. The purpose of S2U School Chapters is to foster student leaders who build inclusive, compassionate, nonviolent climates in their schools and surrounding communities. Students are introduced to global mentors who inspire them to create service-learning projects and share their work with the world through digital magazine entries that feature literary, visual, multimedia, and performance art.
My Life After Hate
A former racist skinhead examines aspects of his past: Where did the hate begin? How did a teenaged alcoholic become a central figure in the white power movement of the late 80s and early 90s? What happened to bring about his drastic change of mind and heart? With a collection of reflective essays, disturbing flashbacks, and an interview, My Life After Hate scrubs scabs off the festering wound of racism, then soothes with the essential wisdom of forgiveness and compassion. “...a reckoning between who a person was and who a person can be. The drastic changes of Arno's perspective and the effects thereof clearly demonstrate that how we experience reality is up to us—that we can always choose compassion over aggression.” —Bashir Malik, Artist, Milwaukee Community Elder “My Life After Hate is the new standard of brutally honest. It is sure to invoke strong reactions and personal moral inventories. The recounting of past hate oozes ugliness, but it is a necessary evil if others are to understand the true meaning of the word 'change.'” —Sammy Rangel, Mental health and AODA therapist, former gang leader. See: The story of Serve 2 Unite (the Sikh and the Skinhead) Born from the Sikh Temple Massacre, My Life After Hate and The Forgiveness Project: Arno Michaels USA
Bryan Stevenson and Equal Justice Initiative:
Children in Adult Prison: Across the United States, thousands of children have been sentenced as adults and sent to adult prisons. Nearly 3000 juveniles nationwide have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Children as young as 13 years old have been tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison, typically without any consideration of their age or circumstances of the offense.
Death Penalty: 3170 people in the United States currently are under a death sentence. Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 1314 men, women, children, and mentally ill people have been shot, hanged, asphyxiated, lethally injected, and electrocuted by States and the federal government.
Prisons and Sentencing Reforms: The United States incarcerates more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. The increase in the jail and prison population from 200,000 to 2.3 million in the past 40 years has lead to unprecedented prison overcrowding and put tremendous strain on state budgets.
Race and Poverty: In America, nearly one out of every three black men in their twenties is in jail or prison, on probation or parole, or otherwise under criminal justice control. Black men are eight times more likely to be incarcerated than white men. Without reform, it is estimated that 40% of the black male population in the State of Alabama will permanently lose the right to vote as the result of a criminal conviction.
We Need to Talk about an Injustice
In an engaging and personal talk--with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks--human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America's justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of the country's black male population has been incarcerated at some point in their lives. These issues, which are wrapped up in America's unexamined history, are rarely talked about with this level of candor, insight and persuasiveness. Native American Talking Circle
excerpt from: Voices Education Project
The “Words and Violence” Curriculum identifies well the ways in which words are used to harm or bully others. What is needed to transform a culture of cynicism and divisiveness is to infuse the elements of a humane narrative. In what ways to we communicate with and in kindness? What methods are used to evaluate the “temperature of what is being said or written?
When one comes from the viewpoint of “community” it changes the dialogue and interjects a sense of unity, of family, of life being an interconnected web where all the members are of equal importance. All of life is held as sacred in such an ecosystem.
In the modern world of technology, and in particular at the Internet, people are anonymous and in that environment sometimes “anything goes” because the individual “speaking” cannot be traced or identified. That does not always make for compassionate or civil discourse. As a result, some sites that invite commentary are now requiring identification and are tracing IP addresses of those who post comments. Some sites use electronic moderation along with human moderation to ensure that communications among participants remains civil.
The Parents Circle - Families Forum (PCFF) is a joint Palestinian Israeli organization of over 600 families, all of whom have lost a close family member as a result of the prolonged conflict. Joint activities have shown that the reconciliation between individuals and nations is possible and it is this insight that they are trying to pass on to both sides of the conflict. Moreover, the PCFF has concluded that the process of reconciliation between nations is a prerequisite to achieving a sustainable peace. The organization thus utilizes all resources available in education, public meetings and the media, to spread these ideas.
The PCFF was established in 1995 - by Mr. Yitzhak Frankental and several bereaved Israeli families. In 1998 the first meetings were held with a group of Palestinians families from Gaza who identified with the call to prevent further bereavement through dialogue, tolerance, peace and reconciliation. The connection with the group in Gaza was cut off as a result of the second Intifada.
From 2000 the PCFF expanded to include Palestinian families from both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. These new members have substantially influenced the activities of the PCFF and shaped the character and functioning of the organization
The Parents Circle - Families Forum is registered as an association and is managed jointly by the professional staff, Israelis and Palestinians working in two offices: the Palestinian in El'ram and the Israeli in Ramat Ef'al, Tel Aviv.
Although the PCFF has no stated position on the political solution of the conflict, most of its members agree that the solution must be based on free negotiations between the leadership of both sides to ensure basic human rights, the establishment of two states for two peoples, and the signing of a peace treaty.
The historic reconciliation between the two nations is a necessary condition for obtaining a sustainable peace treaty.
Information Sent in From Partners
The Peace Alliance
Empowering Civic Engagement toward a Culture of Peace
The Peace Alliance is a national grassroots organization taking the work of peacebuilding from the margins of society into the centers of national discourse and policy priorities … working through legislative advocacy, education and mobilization. Our advocacy work includes:
Advocating for the Youth P.R.O.M.I.S.E. Act, H.R. 1318, S. 1307
Youth Prison Reduction through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support & Education Act
Reducing Youth Violence and Incarceration through practical, local, life and money-saving methods:
- The bi-partisan Youth PROMISE Act will reduce crime and save money by investing in a myriad of evidence-based youth and gang violence prevention and intervention practices – such as mentoring and afterschool programs – which are proven to engage and divert at-risk youth more effectively and at a lower cost than incarceration.
- The Act empowers local “PROMISE Coordinating Councils” to shape custom strategies that meet their communities’ needs. Councils will include representatives from schools, youth and parents, social and health services, nonprofits, courts, law enforcement & other stakeholders.
- Strict Accountability & Oversight – Funding tied to measurable success.
To learn more,visit: Youth Promise Action
Advocating for a U.S. Department of Peacebuilding Act, H.R. 808
H.R. 808 has been entitled “Peacebuilding” in reference to focusing on root causes of violence and developing broad and proven cost-effective measures aimed at reducing and preventing violence, domestic and international:
- Provide much-needed assistance for the efforts of city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs in their own communities, as well as programs newly developed and provided by the Deptartment of Peacebuilding
- Teach violence prevention and mediation to America’s school children
- Effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology and institute restorative justice principles
- Build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad
- Support our military with complementary approaches to ending violence--and much more
In our advocacy work, we use a RESULTS methodology promoted by Sam Daley-Harris.
Peace Alliance Action Teams across the nation collaboratively take an action each month. (~ 2 hours/mo: 1 hour national call + monthly action)
The International Network for Peace (INP)
submitted by Terry Greene from Peaceful Tomorrows
This is a global network of organizations comprised of people who lost loved ones to, or were directly affected by war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, genocide, organized crime, and political violence. We work together to break the cycles of violence and revenge, and are committed to honoring the memories of the victims and to the dignity of the survivors. Our task is to turn our grief and loss into action for peace. We believe it is helpful for partners to know that such a network exists and that those personally affected by such violence support the Charter for Compassion and nonviolent approaches to resolving conflict.
The International Network for Peace is a project that grew out of Peaceful Tomorrows’ international conference “Civilian Casualties, Civilian Solutions,” which took place on September 11, 2006, the five-year anniversary of 9/11. The seeds planted at that conference have grown into a truly international network of organizations from 17 different countries, formed by survivors of political violence to promote justice, reconciliation and genuine peace. In the weeks following, September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows brought conference participants to speak at several public events at American universities. The response was overwhelming. Educators and students of international affairs were extremely grateful to learn about the successful models of non-violent conflict resolution that are occurring all over the world. Peaceful Tomorrows continues in its commitment to help the International Network to grow, with programs that bring the successful work of INP member organizations to wider American and international audiences. We encourage you to view the International Network for Peace website.
Member biographies can be found at International Network for Peace
The member organizations represent a stunning gathering of those working together on many fronts to promote nonviolence and unite regions which have been in conflict from Palestine, Israel, Rwanda, Sudan, South Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, England, Ireland, and Columbia. Also included are those who lost loved ones in the attacks of 9/11, the Madrid Train Bombing; Beslan, Russia school hostage taking; Oklahoma City, as well as survivors of nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
About Peaceful Tomorrows is an organization founded by family members of those killed on September 11th who have united to turn our grief into action for peace. By developing and advocating nonviolent options and actions in the pursuit of justice, we hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Acknowledging our common experience with all people affected by violence throughout the world, we work to create a safer and more peaceful world for everyone.
- To promote dialogue on alternatives to war, while educating and raising the consciousness of the public on issues of war, peace, and the underlying causes of terrorism.
- To support and offer fellowship to others seeking nonviolent responses to all forms of terrorism, both individual and institutional.
- To call attention to threats to civil liberties, human rights, and other freedoms in the U.S. as a consequence of war.
- To acknowledge our fellowship with all people affected by violence and war, recognizing that the resulting deaths are overwhelmingly civilian.
- To encourage a multilateral, collaborative effort to bring those responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks to justice in accordance with the principles of international law.
- To promote U.S. foreign policy that places a priority on internationally-recognized principles of human rights, democracy and self-rule.
- To demand ongoing investigations into the events leading up to the September 11, 2001 attacks that took the lives of our loved ones, including exhaustive examinations of U.S. foreign policies and national security failures.
Submitted by Lesa Walker
THE COMPASSION RELAYS: The Charter invites every individual and group to join in the Compassion Relays. The Relays put compassion into action. They can be done by any person (of any age), anywhere, and at any time.The Relays are a simple way to engage people in your projects and activities and help translate your projects into daily life reality. When people participate in the Relays, they have intention each day (for at least one week) to discover insights and acts of compassion in their own daily lives. The Relays motivate compassion in three dimensions (caring for others, self, and the Earth). When we each take action to make compassion a priority in our daily lives, we create a more peaceful world. Join in the Relays: Take the Compassion Torch (the commitment to compassion), discover and do acts of compassion in your daily life, report on your week's experience in the Compassion Map, and pass the Compassion Torch to at least one other person or group (by asking another to commit to participate in the Relays). Let's connect everyone with compassion. Important links for the Relays: 1) Key information and instructions: ; and 2) the Compassion Map (where you report on your acts of compassion and your week's compassion journey.
Voices Compassion Education
Submitted by Barbara Kaufmann
Voices Compassion Education and Barbara Kaufmann, founder, writer and editor for Voices and Violence have extended an invitation to submit material for the next edition of its online publication Words and Violence's 3rd edition, released last fall, featured performance arts as communicator and change agent (film, dance, hip hop, music as messenger and universal language and more…) The upcoming 4th edition will address ways in which we “bully the planet,”-- that subject limited only by human imagination: climate change, war, sustainable agriculture, waste and recycling, drilling, bio-fuels, oil dependence, Indigenous land disrespect, ocean and water, animals: humane treatment, farming, extinction…. Words and Violence is accepting submissions for the 4th edition. If you would like a compendium of what is featured in the project, please contact Barbara at One Wordsmith