A Peacemaking Project by David G.
What is the injustice we are solving?
All too often in our polarized country, we find ourselves yelling across political divides and can't seem to agree on anything. PeacePledge.World believes that all humans can agree to something: peace. Peace begins with citizens taking the pledge, but we understand that citizens are limited in what they can do. So what if politicians took a pledge for peace? What if the decision makers decided to make peace a priority? What if instead of inheriting the political issues of an older generation, the demanded that peace become a priority?
Our Compassionate Solution:
To solve this injustice of obstinate violence and war
we will address the indifference legislators have
by mobilizing pro-peace youth to petition decision-makers to take a pledge for peace.
Our Project Plan:
- Create a website serving as a peace-building resource
- Accumulate a list of politicians sponsoring the project
- Create a "Petition Your Politician" Toolkit
- Create a movement among youth to pledge for peace
- Translate the pledges into different languages so that youth around the world can petition their politicians
We will increase my / our compassion by...
Being mindful of the wars and conflicts around the world and to remember to value human life. We will look to the innocence of children and remember that they are the most innocent victim of war and conflict. We will increase our compassion by remembering the daily victims of war and violence.
How will you show courage?
I will show courage by being fearless and to dream big. I will be fearless in asking politicians to sign the pledge, in spreading the pledge movement, and in having conversations about war and peace. I will dream big by being ambitious and having big long-term goals.
How will you collaborate with others?
I have reached out to an organization down in California to collaborate and combine our efforts to build a peaceful world. Additionally, I am ready to reach out to multiple networks to push the pledge and make it know to young people. I will also make an effort to collaborate with a local team to petition my politicians.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)
I will know that I am moving in the right direction by asking third-parties for their opinions and analyses. I will know that I am moving in the right direction when peace is viewed as a political possibility and not a utopian ideal. I will know that I am moving in the right direction when a prevailing concern and action for peace exists among citizens and politicians.
- Build a team
- Find partners and allies
- Build a website + organization branding
- Ask youth to take the pledge (get 500 pledges)
- Petition politicians to take the pledge (get 50 pledges)
- Become a registered nonprofit
How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?
Since this is a long-term project, my team's understanding of Peace, violence, and politics is still developing. We have since learned more about the civic process and how to contact legislators, and in our San Francisco retreat, we will be given seminars on major conflicts around the world.
How did your community change as a result of your project?
My immediate community has not been impacted, and since this is a long-term project, the impact is yet to be seen. But the biggest impact thus far is that among the international peacemaking community, believe some of the players are beginning to realize that youth are becoming much more prominent in peacemaking.
How many people were impacted by your project?
Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?
There are 49 legislators/candidates who have signed the pledge. There are 14 sponsors of the project and 7 youth members. There are an additional 7 elder members who help with finances and legal things. This totals 77 people impacted by the project, this is not including the impacts of legislator action on their constituents.
How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?
From connecting with a youth from Japan, we learned from her about the affects of the atomic bombs in Japan. We also learned from each other about the conflicts some of our parent fled. I talked about the conflict and history of Ukraine, another member talked about the Vietnam war, and yet another member talked about the domestic violence in the United States.
What did your team learn?
Our team learned that in very few cases is violence and war justifiable. WE learned that war is very real and violence is not at all glamorous. It is a disgusting, vile, horrible, atrocious, and heinous act that greed leads countries and people to engage in. We also learned that many conflicts occur due to a bad history, or a fight over limited resources. As a result, we are learning that in the coming years, with environmental issues, the next huge outbreaks of violence will be over natural resources like farmland and water.
What challenges did your team overcome?
A challenge our team had to overcome was the generational and physical gap between the youth members and the older generation in Berkeley. I had to facilitate communication between both parties and had to call into Berkeley meetings and introduce myself. Through technology, we were able to overcome these challenges. Through our retreat in June we also hope to break down these barriers.
How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?
A team member, Justin Thach, is in charge of our website and reached out to his friends for feedback on how to improve the website. I reached out to international activists to sell an idea for a Youth Count of nuclear weapons' money. In particular, while in San Francisco, we will be holding a benefit to raise money for expansion, and we are joining forces with an international project to count the nuclear weapons money as a separate project dedicated to involving youth counting their public money being spent on a program maintaining weapons of mass destruction.
What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?
Remember the why of your project. Remember what originally drove you to change a problem you perceived. Remember the people who will benefit from your project and look at how they are impacted. Remember your morals and remember to get some rest, you deserve a break.
Joining forcesSince conception, we have reached out for help. We ended up connecting with a group of elderly peace-minded professionals in Berkeley, CA. They already started a similar project and had a list of politicians who took their pledge. After much discussion, we are joining forces and organizations to couple the fundraising power and guidance of one group, with the creativity, drive, and willingness of a youth team. The group in Berkeley is the generation of the Vietnam peace protests, and now, they are joining forces with the generation of Parkland, Syria, and Korea in creating a peaceful world!
Our first team calls!We had our first virtual team call on May 5th with the youth team.
We had a joint team call with two of the youth members and the Berkeley team on May
Connecting with international peace activistsOur project has been endorsed by Alyn Ware, a renowned peace advocate from Australia, and Marzhan Nurzhan, a legislator from Kazakhstan.
We also have connected with an individual from Japan who wants to be involved in PeacePledge work.