Here are the highlights from the OEP community for the March 3rd PeaceBuilder:
- The Westminster Maryland Church of the Brethren, part of OEP’s vast community of churches, is running a March webinar series focused on Racial Justice. Running March 2, March 9, March 23, and March 30, the webinars look to highlight topics like healing the racial divide and racism in teaching and history. You can register here!
- OEP has signed onto Pax Christi Northern California, the World Council of Churches, and Soka Gakkai International’s joint interfaith statement in support of the work of the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, titled "A Plea for Preserving our Shared Humanity." You can learn more here!
- OEP has signed onto CodePink’s letter to Lewis Hamilton asking him to boycott or make a statement at the F1 race in Saudi Arabia. The letter highlighted the Saudi-led war on Yemen, the treatment of Loujain AlHathloul, and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. The letter was sent to his team on February 22nd, and Middle East Eye covered the story.
- Tabatha Lanning completed her internship as Social Media Organizer.
- Priscilla Weddle completed her internship as Children’s Peace Formation Organizer.
- OEP welcomes Marilyne Njuraita as Social Media Organizer.
- The first two Training for Community-Based Responses to Asylum Issues took place on Monday, February 8 and February 22.
- Matt Guynn, Anna Rodriguez, and Cristobal Van Breen worked with five clusters of participants from OEP's fall 2020 Kingian Nonviolence Level One certification who are organizing local workshops as an opportunity to practice their skills and complete their certification.
- Matt Guynn provided nonviolent strategy and campaign consultation with members and supporters of Hazelnut Grove, a tiny house village in Portland, Oregon, as they gathered petitions and negotiated with city officials about a possible imminent closure of the village. More info here.
- Matt Guynn provided a Kingian Nonviolence session focused on the social dynamics of nonviolence for members of the Oregon Poor People's Campaign.
- The Kingian Nonviolence Coordinating Committee met to discuss an emerging online toolbox for Kingian Nonviolence trainers.
- Matt Guynn and Clara McGilly facilitated a one-hour Kingian Nonviolence session for On Earth Peace interns, focused on positive peace versus negative peace and the types and levels of conflict.
- Emma (LGBTQ+ Organizer Intern) and Jessia (Migrant Justice Organizer Intern) hosted Coffee Hour with Migrant Justice and LGBTQ+ Justice on February 27 to build community and reflect on LGBTQ+ migration.
- OEP held its monthly meetings of the Board and the Anti-Racism Transformation Team.
- Our executive director represented OEP at monthly board and steering committee meetings for the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth, Military Families Speak Out, and the Church of the Brethren, and the “The Reunited States: The Red and Blue Carpet Premiere” online event.
By Ari Murphy
International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated annually on March 8th, is a day to honor and uplift the accomplishments of women around the world and raise awareness for issues facing women today.
This year, the campaign theme for IWD is #ChooseToChallenge. In order to create change, we must challenge personal biases and structural inequality. We must call out those biases and inequalities when we see them in ourselves and in our communities.Read more
In December 2020, the On Earth Peace Racial Justice Learning Action Community hosted a meet-up to help members of the group reflect and “re-situate” themselves in their racial justice advocacy. During that meeting, participants had time to reflect on their racial justice journey, discuss hopes and plans for 2021, and brainstorm what recurring accountability meetings could look like.
For the next couple of months, the OEP Racial Justice LAC will host a six-session program of bi-weekly accountability meetings to talk about confronting policies and practices of racial injustice. In these meetings, we will hold each other accountable as we build on the educational work we’ve done in past years. We will build space in our cohort to “do the work” personally and to strategize together about organizing to dismantle systems of oppression. What are the specific policies and practices in your communities that uphold racial injustice? Who is in charge of these policies? Who is already working on change efforts? How can you join or strengthen that work?Read more
We are approaching the one-year anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in the US. A year ago, colleges began to close campuses and send students home- ending not only their in-person classroom experiences but also campus jobs and many internship opportunities. A month later, OEP began to experience a growth in its internships, doubling the cohort from 10 to 20 interns. We were ready to support students in remote internships, which was the original design for the program.
Throughout the pandemic, interns have contributed to the many offerings OEP has created to connect with constituents in their work for justice and peace. As our Executive Director, Bill Scheurer, says “Interns are involved in everything we do.” In 2020, interns provided daily content on social media developed the #ReadAloud program for children (and adults), assisted with Community Meet Up webinars, facilitated Learning Action Community opportunities including book clubs, webinar series, community connections, and advocacy, supported the Kingian Nonviolence certification cohort, and collected stories for OEP’s JustLeaders campaign.Read more
The Read Aloud Project was created by Priscilla Weddle and Marie Benner-Rhoades to provide homeschooling resources in peace and justice during the pandemic. For February, the project celebrated Black History Month by reading books about the achievements of Black Americans along with books written by Black authors. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email us at [email protected]. Here are the books that were read for the project in February:
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Summary: This book is based on the story of Mae Jemison, the first Black woman to travel into space.
Reflective Questions: What do you want to be when you grow up? What kind of dreams do you have for the future? Do you ever draw pictures of what you want to be and put it on your wall?Read more