Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated his life to the pursuit of peace. He believed, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”
As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. this week, Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are launching a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States. Our new U.S. section of Peace Direct’s global online website, Peace Insight, is an interactive map that includes information about groups working for peace across the U.S.
We invite local groups around the U.S. that are working to build peace in their communities — and in connection with others around the world — to join us in sharing their work on Peace Insight’s U.S. map. We believe peace will not just happen, but must be built. The map shows that there are everyday Americans building peace from Anchorage to Orlando. Visualizing the range of work across the United States is heartening at a time when it may seem like Americans are more divided than ever.
Share your peacebuilding information
1) Add an organization to the U.S. peacebuilding map, click: https://www.peaceinsight.org/submit-your-organisation/
2) Do you know of datasets that map conflict and violence across the U.S.? We are also integrating conflict data on the map and are looking for more sources of information. You can send your ideas and recommendations to firstname.lastname@example.org
The power of local
As peacebuilders, we recognize in recent events such as the Charlottesville tragedy the same kind of “us versus them” violence that emerges in divided societies around the world. We see deep legacies of racism, exclusion, and injustice that demand change. And we see the progression of “fringe groups” that are infiltrating mainstream institutions and trying to divide us further. Despite the presence of these groups and the narrative around growing polarization, we believe that we are more united than we think.
AfP and our member Conciliation Resources conducted the first ever national survey of public attitudes toward peacebuilding in the U.S. We found both Republicans and Democrats agree on the importance of peace, and 74% overall think we should invest more in peacebuilding. We find hope in these results and the many people who have reached out to us asking how to get involved.
In the United States, Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday that people across the country celebrate as a day of service (January 15, 2018). Our map shows the many places and ways Americans can serve in the name of peace. We encourage you to contact an organization near you and get involved. If you are part of a peacebuilding organization not currently on the map, let us know so we can add you.
This mapping is just a beginning and the launch is an invitation to add your information and demonstrate the power of local peacebuilding in the U.S. at this critical time.
By Laura Strawmyer, Alliance for Peacebuilding and Brianna Isaacs, Peace Direct
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- As we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. this week, Peace Direct and the Alliance for Peacebuilding are launching a new effort to lift up and support local peacebuilding in the United States.