"They're still talking about the lunch counter sit-ins," said Creating a Culture of Peace facilitator Doug Horner at a recent CCP board meeting. Horner had invited 16 inner-city Cleveland residents to attend a 20-hour CCP nonviolence training in Mansfield, OH back in November, 2013. The viewing of a segment of a Civil Rights-era nonviolence campaign from the documentary A Force More Powerful had had, according to Horton, a particularly strong effect on several of the teenagers in the training group. "They saw themselves in those kids."
Horner has recently built upon the success of the November training by landing a grant from The Cleveland Foundation to fund a series of CCP trainings in Cleveland. He is particularly interested in opening up the training for individuals in his neighborhood who are involved in 12-step programs. "Some of our hard edges have been softened," said Cleveland resident Bruce Jones of his experience in the November training.
The CCP nonviolence training program, developed some ten years ago at FOR by Janet Chisholm, is currently shepherded by a team of nine national board members who met in February in Aliquippa, PA. The unique attraction of this training, says board member Toni McClendon, is the "popular education" process of action and reflection that CCP uses in partnership with community-based groups. She and the other board members are especially excited about a renewed interest by local groups to hold CCP trainings across the country over the coming months, from Coast to Coast and beyond.
"In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December, NRA head Wayne LaPierre famously quipped that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. I guess no one told Antoinette Tuff, who just yesterday prevented a standoff with a gunman from turning into another tragedy using only the power of her words." Read more of the blog post here.New York Times article here.
He plans to hold to his hunger strike until he feels enough Americans care enough to start a self-sustaining movement. "The government is afraid of losing votes," he said. 'If everyone in this country wanted the prison shut down, it would be, regardless of any law." As his strike continues, Adams said his progress will eventually be posted on closeguantanamo.org."
Most everyone, Christians and people from all faiths and no faith, know the line from the Beatitudes in the Gospel According to Matthew, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” (Mt. 5:9) It has been a scripture lifted up by those committed to making peace for over two thousand years. Sometimes people forget that is the seventh step in what former executive of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, Jim Forest called, “The Ladder of the Beatitudes”. For Jim, these passages were in a specific order for spiritual work. The belief lies in that all journeys must start with powerlessness. Whether you are taking the first step in recovery and realizing you are powerless in relationship to addiction or sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing, “Blessed are the poor in the Spirit.” (Mt. 5:3) Becoming a peacemaker does not happen overnight or even at will in the right moment. Peacemaking is deliberate and designed. Peacemaking is organized and strategic. Peacemaking is purposeful and positive.
The Sun Chronicle, Tuesday, January 15, 2013: On Jan. 1, I began a 30-day fast to encourage our nation and leaders to embrace the values and commitment to nonviolence exemplified by the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I propose a National Day of Prayer and Reflection on individual and collective responsibility for violence; the appointment of a National Advisory Commission on the Causes of Violence in America; incorporating nonviolence education into elementary and secondary school curricula; a study on the history and causes of violence; and a commitment by faith communities to teach forgiveness and unconditional love. Continue reading rest of article.
A timely message from Maulana Karanga, the creator of Kwanzaa, about violence and peace. --Toni McClendon, CCP Board Member
Los Angeles Sentinel, December 27, 2012, p. A-6: The savage and senseless massacre of 26 people, 20 children and 6 adults, at an elementary school in Connecticut has once again forced the country to face a random rage and murderous rampage which allows no exemption for innocence of age, non-involvement or accidental presence. Indeed, it extends no respect to person or place, striking with cold-blooded calculation at movies, malls, religious sanctuaries and schools, and in big cities, small towns, so-called nice neighborhoods and mean streets, offering security and peace of mind to no one. But no matter how often it happens, it is a shocking and shattering experience, and a reminder of the continuing and problematic presence of violence as both an inadequately discussed legacy and continuing life-experience in this country and in its conception of overwhelming armed power as a personal and national existential need.
It is with a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation that we announce the retirement of our founding Executive Director, Janet Chisholm, on May 31, 2012.
More than 12years ago, Janet envisioned the possibilities that would emerge from a national nonviolence training organization. She created the curriculum that is at the heart of our work, thus giving birth to this organization that is becoming a national movement. We would, simply, not be here without her leadership, her vision and her dedication.
Creating a Culture of Peace (CCP) is a nationwide program for community-based peacemaking. The innovative design of CCP provides a holistic and practical foundation in spiritually-grounded active nonviolence. Participants come to recognize their own power for making personal and social changes without violence and improve their skills for respectful engagement with opponents, instead of confrontation that polarizes and demonizes.
Unlike trainings that focus only on anti-war protest, CCP training is an incubator for participants to raise issues which most concern them--group controversy and conflict, neighborhood violence, domestic violence, climate change, war and militarism, discrimination, video games, homelessness, peace education, and health care.
The training is highly participatory and does not depend on reading a book or lectures. It draws upon the wisdom, experience and talents of all the participants and on the skills and knowledge of trainers. Mutual learning occurs through storytelling, meditation, small group sharing, brainstorming, role plays, thought-provoking exercises, music and movement. CCP offers training on nonviolence principles, analysis of social change and community-building, skills for peacemaking, and resources. Every group chooses and plans concrete projects for change.
Nonviolent Public Witness
Downloadable documents from CCP for organizing nonviolent actions: