On October 11th we held our final CNV Conference call of 2016 to share and celebrate all the events that took place during the CNV Week of Actions! Below are the notes and audio from the call. Thank you to all those who took action for peace and nonviolence to end war, poverty, racism and the climate crisis.
Welcome – Ryan Hall/Rivera Sun Opening – Veronica Pelicaric
“Everyone of us can do something to protect and care for our planet. We have to live in such a way that a future will be possible for our children and our grandchildren. Our own life has to be our message.” – Thich Nhat Hahn.
Roll Call– Ryan Hall read the list of current people on the call. 50 RSVP’d to join us.
Organizer 1 on 1 follow up conversations. If you would like to do a skype chat or phone call about the week of actions or how you are organizing in your community, contact us: Email Rivera or Pace e Bene at firstname.lastname@example.org
Week of Actions Overview – Rivera’s report. Here are just a few highlights to offer a sense of the 758 powerful events that occurred. The Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions involved:
Over 16,000-20,000 people of all races, genders, classes, ages (from a newborn baby on International Day of Peace to elders in their 90s), every major faith group; and students in elementary, middle, and high school, as well as college and universities.
Over 60 different types of nonviolent action, including civil disobedience, direct action, rallies, marches, demonstrations, boycotts, picketing, candlelight vigils, prayer and ceremony, speeches, civic declarations, divestment, pledge signing, public mural paintings, street chalking, and releasing white doves of peace.
Nearly 50 workshops and educational presentations on racial justice, unarmed peacekeeping skills, conflict resolution, de-escalation, direct action, strategy for nonviolent movements, campaign building, ending war, demilitarization, alternatives to violence and more.
Actions and events in all 50 U.S. states and 20 nations, including Canada, Afghanistan, Australia, Cameroon, Congo, Dominica, France, India, Kenya, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Rwanda, Russia, St. Kitts, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Spain, and Zimbabwe.
More than 20 cities with events almost every day of the week, including Memphis, TN; Wilmington, DE; Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, NC; Dayton, OH; Little Rock, AK; Lansing, MI; Boise, ID; Orange, CA; Sebastopol, CA; Clinton, IA; Columbia, SC; Philadelphia, PA; Dubuque, IA; Davenport, IA; Chicago, IL; Prescott, AZ; Chico, CA; and more!
Hundreds of participating and collaborating organizations, including Veterans for Peace, World Beyond War, Pax Christi, Fight for $15, local organizers with Black Lives Matter and the Movement for Black Lives, Code Pink, National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance, and so many more! We also collaborated with Youth NAACP, YMCA/YWCA, city councils, mayors, and civic organizations.
Dozens of local and regional newspaper reports, interviews, and features; many local television spots; coverage in many online journals and peace and justice newsletters; and well over 1,000,000 people reached on social media!
CNV Action Organizer reflections from the Week of Actions
Caroline Stevenson in Arkansas: They had a central planning committee for their second year of events. They had everything from a major op-ed in their statewide newspaper, devotions and prayers, the showing of the film Who to Invade Next. The week culminated in the Arkansas Peace Fest with tables, music, etc. They are trying to engage many groups and interfaith groups including the Islamic Center. She likes that Pace e Bene/CNV is helping tie their events to all the others throughout the world.
Arthur Galus in Idaho: He thanked CNV for posting their events which were held everyday during the week of actions and said they felt like they really were doing good work when they saw their efforts online. Arthur said they are starting to work with other groups for next year too. He said they are also identifying an affinity group and that despite their state being an open carry state, they have chosen to openly carry nonviolence!
Lisa Boyles in Indiana: This is the third year they have taken part in CNV. This year they held an outdoor yoga event, a walk around the neighborhood with the police department celebrating peace. Their event was featured in their local Indianapolis newspaper. They also held a peace event at their labyrinth. The hope that next year they can bring in more involvement from the community!
Marcina Hale in New York, was also joined by friends from Palestine and another member of their organization called ReConsider. She said this was the first time being on the CNV call, and because of our challenge to hold a peace event they held an online event that included 563 views and reached over 1000 people. They also joined people in central park to create a tree of life. She was interested in the Nonviolent Lives book and would like to find ways to partner with Pace e Bene/CNV.
Lisa Stiller in Oregon: Lisa said that their church worked on gun violence during the week of actions and they got some local news coverage as well. Lisa also asked about the CNV mission and vision and whether other issues besides war, poverty, racism and climate change could be included in this message of nonviolence. Ryan said that we started CNV with a consensus around working on issues of war, poverty, racism and climate change. Those were the issues that our small staff felt important to work on and ones that we could tackle at the moment despite the huge task that involves. While we certainly understand that many other issues can fall under the umbrella of nonviolence our focus remains on these issues we began CNV with in order to continue to build the movement.
Sherri Maurin in California: Sherri said they had some successful actions at Beale AFB, they also had a house party/concert with Betsy Rose, who spoke about her travels around the world meeting girls and raising the issues of human trafficking. They also collaborated with the Afghan peace volunteers (APV) where people in the US wore the blue scarves made by the Afghan peace volunteers to be in solidarity with them. They also got friends in Hawaii to spread the word about the APV blue scarves at a local peace event there. What’s next for them involve continued work with the Global Days of Listening where they are working with Standing Rock and plan to introduce them to CNV.
Netra Halperin in Washington, DC. She attended the World Beyond War Conference. She said that her group would like to showcase parts of the CNV actions in their six part TV series, called Transitioning from Endless War to an Alternative Global Security System. This will first be shown in the Greater Washington D.C. area. The focus of the six parts are:
One: Resist War
Two: Change War Culture to Peace Culture
Three: Transition to a Peace Economy
Four: Practice Nonviolent Peacebuilding
Five: Introduce an Alternative Global Security System
Six: Formalize Global Democracy
Netra said they need video footage of the highlights of action organizer’s events. No more than 7 minutes. Can be separate clips. Can be links to media coverage posted online. This would be a great way to get exposure for your organization, and put it in the context of National action for peace. If you would be interested in participating, please upload your footage to Google Drive. You can do it with any free Google account. Then invite Netra at: Netra[at]maui08.com
A written log, either general or detailed would be very helpful. And they definitely need the names of the speakers (if you know them), and at what time code they speak. Please contact Netra if you have any questions.
Sue Woodling in North Carolina: This was their second year organizing with CNV. They began with a prayer vigil for nonviolence, during the week they had workshops on Islamophobia and racism, they held a film event showing Scarred Lands-Wounded Lives, they had the Jewish Voice for Peace speak to college students about what’s going on in Palestine, they did a press conference where they ended up speaking to people on the streets, they had six towns sign a proclamation on nonviolence, they held a peace action award dinner, they ended with a festival from 25 different groups which included workshops and singing. She said this has helped to bring together many peace groups and they hope to create an umbrella for all peace groups. They also did a walk for values with local Hindus. They are now thinking about what worked and what didn’t to prepare for next year. She’s hoping that some of the other groups involved will now take ownership of various events for next year.
Sharon Halsey-Hoover in New Mexico: She and David just returned from a 5000 mile trip performing plays on Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. She mentioned that they started the CNV week with a nonviolence training with Rivera Sun, which was amazing! They had a speaker on Gandhi’s salt march, discussion on what needs to change in Albuquerque, They had a silent peace walk at a local monastery along with a silent peace vigil at the air force base nearby. They also performed their play on Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton during the week. She’s working to identify more people in the area to be involved next year too.
Tom Casey in New York: He was very encouraged to hear what everyone was doing. This was their third year organizing in Buffalo with CNV. They tried hard to bring many peace and justice groups together this year, which included 125 partners with 400 people involved! He said they had good media attention and good synergy among groups working to reduce violence in various ways. They opened with indigenous groups and involved local police as well. They struggle to get environmental groups to take part sometimes, but they have hopes for next year. They were encouraged by the diversity they saw this year though.
Diego Rubalcava-Alvarez in Colorado: He said they had a week of peace in Montrose with a peace award dinner, info on the Messengers of Peace program in the boy scouts along with numerous other events.
Ann Mbacke in California: Ann invited people in Ventura county to help her work with students to become peace ambassadors. She is contacting girls incorporated, boys and girls club among other youth groups. She wants to start peace clubs for youth and young adults, she is also starting a letter writing campaign with Amnesty Int’l. Email us to get in touch with Ann! She is also working with Linda Richards at Oregon State University to increase peace literacy based on the work of Paul Chappell. They have found that the university is getting interested in more peace related activities.
Beatrice Hernandez in Illinois with Wheaton Franciscans: They had their Season or Peace through Oct 9th which also included the CNV Week of Actions. They held a concert across america to end gun violence, petitions, prayers and pledges on nonviolence, they also had involvement from interfaith groups and held meditations for peace. She said they had about 100 people involved and they hope to follow this up in November with a film about St. Francis meeting the Sultan.
Wrap-up – Rivera
Rivera thanked everyone for joining us. She said that many of us involved don’t live in big cities or peace communities so we hope you feel connected to this movement. She also lifted up the work of youth involvement during the Week of Actions. Seeing them marching and taking action was very inspiring. She also said that as we raise our voices for nonviolence we help end the culture of violence around us and bring in the peaceful message of nonviolence.
This is our last CNV Call for 2016, but if you want to reach out to use feel free.
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