The Peace Alliance
Maintained by Suzanne Thompson
Washington, DC 20036
The Peace Alliance is a nonpartisan citizen action organization representing a growing constituency for peace. A 501(c)4 organization established in March 2004, our mission is to empower civic activism for a culture of peace.
Our vision is a future in which the practical programs and principles of peacebuilding are the bedrock of our personal, national and global interest and investment.
Our goal is to take the field of peacebuilding from the margins of the political and societal dialogue and bring it to its rightful place: Central to our policymaking, investment and understanding. We achieve this primarily through a massive public education, outreach and citizen lobbying effort.
Our current focus is the campaign for a cabinet-level U.S. Department of Peace.
Peace is not a utopian ideal; it is an issue critical to our national and human security. Either we continue reactively addressing ever-increasing levels of violence and the consequent human and economic costs, or we take a fresh approach. This isn’t about the politics of left or right; it is about what is practical and effective.
We must create the possibility for applied peacebuilding to identify and resolve conflict before it erupts into violence. The science of peacebuilding has significantly expanded over the past 30 years, creating previously unavailable tools for dismantling violence. Yet nowhere in the highest echelons of our government is there a platform from which to launch a focused, strategic approach to reducing and preventing violence.
We support a grassroots volunteer network that is active in all 50 states. A new kind of peace activist, Department of Peace campaign supporters work to establish connection and understanding with people from all segments of society and political affiliations, to practice the principles of peace, and to be a demonstration of what we are calling for.We estimate approximately half of our base has a history of peace activism and half never before considered themselves “politically active.”
These passionate volunteers include Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Green Party members, former and current military and police, soccer moms, entrepreneurs, senior citizens, youth on high school and college campuses, traditional peace activists, and more. They enroll their elected leaders and the public at large by working with members of Congress, writing editorials, doing local media interviews, organizing local talks and trainings, getting city council endorsements, and meeting with police chiefs, fire chiefs, prison officials, directors of abuse shelters, school boards, and others to discuss how a Department of Peace will benefit their community.
So, it is with the help of thousands of citizen activists that we have taken this campaign from a beautiful idea into a political reality. Together we are building the foundation and infrastructure for a more peaceful nation and world. Click here to find out how you can become involved in your community.
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- Costa Rica embraces Culture of Peace!!!:
Wahoo!!! Congratulations, Rita Marie, Rasur Foundation, and all in Costa Rica with the patience, persistence, and political aplomb to pull this off.
Unanimous passage of a bill that expands the name and responsibilities of the Ministry of Justice to that of the Ministry of Justice and Peace is a major accomplishment for Costa Rica and the world.
Much to celebrate at the Summit next month!
Dear Global Alliance members and Rasur Foundation friends,
The Rasur Foundation has been working since 2006 to pass the Ministry for Peace bill in Costa Rica. Yesterday, after almost an hour of eloquent speeches by congressmen and congresswomen in favor of the bill, it passed with no opposition. (See press release in Spanish announcing this achievement below).
This achievement is timed beautifully with the Sum mit of the Global Alliance for Ministries and Departments of Peace coming September 13-21 in Costa Rica, which the Rasur Foundation is facilitating and the Costa Rican government is hosting. Please pass this e-mail on to people who may want to take the BePeace Foundations Course from Sept.13-17 or to NGO and government representatives who want to initiate a campaign for a ministry or department for peace in their countries. They can still register for the Summit and should contact Tara Ruttenberg summit@mfp-dop. org to receive the invitation packet.
We are busily preparing for the Summit welcome reception and BePeace Course at our Academy for Peace headquarters. To host these events, we need to=2 0complete our new training center, pictures are attached. We have worked for 12 years to strengthen Costa Rica’s model of peace through this bill, through working in the school system to train peace teachers in BePeace and to create an alliance of nonprofit organizations to work with the government on systematic national peace promotion. We have been successful now in setting up this replicable model and we just need funds to complete this last step.
We also need donations to provide scholarships for developing country representatives to the Summit. You can make your donations online at www.rasurinternatio nal.org/donate. html. If you make a contribution online, and would like your donation directed to the BUILDING FUND please indicate that. In the online donation process where you will see a place for this. If you prefer to send your donation by check, please mail your donation to:
Janice M Stanley
Treasurer, Rasur Foundation International
10407 Grant Lane
Overland Park, KS 66212
You can designate whether it is a donation toward finishing the training center or for a scholarship to the Summit.
Costa Rica is proving that peace is practical and possible and will be able to share this “dream coming true” at the Summit. The new peace paradigm is at hand. Please partner with us now by helping to complete our international training center where countries will be able to come and learn to replicate this victory for peace.
With profound gratitude and joyous anticipation,
Rita Marie Johnson
Founding Director, Rasur Foundation
Despacho del Diputado Alexander Mora Mora
Comunicado de Prensa
MINISTERIO DE JUSTICIA CAMBIARA DE NOMBRE Y TENDRÁ MAS FUNCIONES
Ahora se llamará Ministerio de Justicia y Paz.
Para tal fin hoy la Comisión Tercera Plena aprobó en segundo debate el Proyecto de Ley N.º 16438, el cual modifica el nombre del Ministerio de Justicia, para que en adelante se denomine “Ministerio de Justicia y Paz”.
Dicho proyecto de ley fue dictaminado en forma unánime afirmativa por la Comisión Especial de Derechos Humanos, en su momento presidida por el Diputado Mora Mora y además proponente, entre otros, de dicho proyecto de ley.
La iniciativa también prevé la creación del Sistema de Promoción de la Paz como una dependencia del “Ministerio de Justicia y Paz”; el cual estará conformado por: La Dirección General de Promoción de la Paz; La Dirección Nacional de Resolución Alternativa de Conflictos; La Dirección de Espectáculos Públicos y La Comisión Nacional de Prevención de la Violencia y la Promoción de la Paz Social.
Por otra parte, el proyecto asigna nuevas funciones legales al “Ministerio de Justicia y Paz”, dentro de las cuales se encuentran las siguientes:
1- Impulsar y coordinar planes y programas dirigidos a la promoción de la paz en el ámbito nacional.
2- Apoyar la prevención de la violencia en materia de las armas de fuego en el país.
3- Promocionar la resolución alternativa de conflictos como una forma de desarrollar una cultura de paz.
4- Propiciar la mejor articulación inter-institucional a fin de cumplir el mandato de la Ley de Espectáculos Públicos, Ley N.º 7440 y 5) Promover la participación de la sociedad civil por medio de organizaciones no gubernamentales y cualquier otro tipo de organismo dedicado a promover la paz y la no violencia.
Asimismo, la iniciativa plantea la reforma del sub-inciso ch) del inciso 1) del artículo 23 de la Ley General de la Administració n Pública, Ley N.º 6227, publicada en el Alcance N.º 90 al Diario Oficial La Gace ta N.º 102 de 30 de mayo de 1978, para que donde se lee la frase: “Justicia y Gracia”, se lea en adelante: “Justicia y Paz”.
Periodista Ana Cecilia Cruz
- "Taking Peace to the Next Level"
Draft 2009-2011 Strategic Plan: We Want Your Input!
After almost 11 months of dialogue among board, staff, grassroots leaders, donors and other supporters of the Peace Alliance and Student Peace Alliance, we are very excited to share with you this draft two-and-a-half-year Strategic Plan. Our bold request is that over the course of the next two weeks you will join us in a process of dialogue and engagement to help inform the final version of the plan, and to help us align as an organization and team around our overarching goals moving forward.
We are sending this first to a smaller group of our core leadership and active supporters of the campaign, as we want to pay special attention to feedback from the people doing work on the ground. We are asking State Coordinators and District Team Leaders to please forward this along to the people in your district who are actively working with you. We will begin to ask for input from our larger network later next week.
This plan as written thus far, is a distillation of our network discussion and best thinking. The goal with the document is to end up with something that is both bold and focused enough for you to do your own local yearly planning, and coordinate nationally so that our actions can have the biggest impact possible.
We on staff believe that the finalized plan WILL LAUNCH an unstoppable movement in both the public and private sectors -- building more sustainable peace among people, communities, and ultimately in the federal government. The finalized plan will reduce violence now and build the necessary systems and infrastructure for a more peaceful world for decades to come. We hope this plan expands positively on the successful work we've already done, and brings us to another level of effectiveness -- exciting each other and hopefully many new people to get involved in our work.
Much of this draft strategic plan has already been seen or heard by many of you, starting at our March conference in Washington D.C., followed by conversations on conference calls and in one-on-one dialogues. Some of the content in this current version has simply been refined since, some of it updated more significantly -- like the legislative strategy section that suggests a more multi-faceted strategic approach to the Department of Peace itself. There is also a new "Community Peacebuilding" section.
This dialogue around the plan is one of the most important conversations that we as an organization will have. It is our first ever collaboratively designed long-term plan. Please take the time to read it, discuss it with your friends and local partners and engage in a dialogue with u s about it (details are below on specifically how we are asking you to engage in the discussion).
We want to know specifically:
What excites you about it?
What concerns do you have?
What could be made better?
What are ways you want to implement it personally and with your local teams?
We'll do our very best to generate a plan that fits the values and vision that our network holds, and make it a plan to which you feel connection, pride and inspiration. We will remain open to the process and what emerges from the dialogue, allowing that to deeply inform the final plan. We will report back the key themes that emerged from the dialogue process, both in terms of the plan itself, as well as what worked and what could be improved about the process of engagement in the future. We will schedule a conference call in September to discuss what we learned.
Thank you for being a partner in this great work to move our country toward a culture of peace and nonviolence. Ultimately we hold a vision of a structural change in our federal government, one that will champion peace initiatives above all else and bend the course of history of the United States toward a more sustainable, nonviolent society. We deeply appreciate your partnership.
HOW TO ENGAGE:
(You can either contact Suzanne Thompson for the link, or log on to the Peace Alliance website to view the plan)
We are first targeting our active leadership and key supporters so that the initial phase of feedback can be primarily focused on those of you who are most active in the campaign. Please forward this email to people who are or have been active on your team so they can engage as well. Later next week, we will open it up for other grassroots supporters to begin to engage in the conversation.
1. DOWNLOAD THE PLAN: Click here to download and then read through the draft plan.
2. WATCH POWERPOINT VIDEO PRESENTATION featuring Lynn McMullen, exploring more deeply two key parts of the plan, the Legislative and Community Peacebuilding sections. (Choose the "HQ" option in YouTube for a bigger image to read the text and for higher quality):
WATCH PART ONE
WATCH PART TWO
3. DoPEACE DISCUSSION FORUM: Go to the DoPeace discussion forum to begin to participate in the dialogue! We have separated out each of the five areas of the plan to have a discussion topic on each one, along with one forum for the plan overall. We also have a section set up on the topic of 'what worked and what could be improved' in the future with this collaborative process overall.
HOW TO USE DoPEACE: You can read discussions without being a member. You must be a member to participate in conversation. If you are not already a member, just create a username and password and you'll be set to join the discussion, all you need to do is hit "reply" and post your comments. Using DoPeace is a fairly straightforward process.
We ask that you please use this tool for the discussion, as this will allow for an engaged dialogue, where others can read, ponder and respond to all thoughts raised. If it becomes absolutely necessary, you can send your feedback to email@example.com and we can post the comments for you (please include your name and state). Staff posting will create more work for our small staff, so please only send along by emai l if you cannot participate directly on the site.
4. CONFERENCE CALLS: We have three calls scheduled so far to discuss these topics live. You are invited to attend any and all. The dates and times are as follows:
August 17th at 9:00 pm eastern, 6:00 pacific
August 19th at 10:00 pm eastern, 7:00 pacific
August 24th at 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific
The Call-in number will be 1-712-432-1601, Access Code: 470821#
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