Chelsea Little published Internship Highlight: Ari Murphy, OEP’s Outreach Intern in Blog 2021-01-06 10:45:32 -0500
Chelsea Little published The Road Ahead for Migrant Justice Following the Presidential Transition in Blog 2021-01-06 10:43:05 -0500
Written by OEP's Migrant Justice Organizer, Jessia Avila
At this juncture of the presidential transition, it is critical to strengthen values of belonging, human concern, and empathy as we seek to overcome hate, xenophobia, and division within our country. It is both a time of hope and critical reflection, one that requires our collective and collaborative efforts to hold Congressional leaders and the Biden Administration accountable for a humane immigration system.Read more
Chelsea Little published OEP Honors the Glade Valley Brethren Church’s Holiday Contributions in Blog 2021-01-06 10:38:13 -0500
The Glade Valley congregation in Walkersville, MD, one of OEP’s blessed community groups, adopted 21 homeless highschoolers during this Christmas season and stuffed stockings for them with masks and many other valuable gifts.
Chelsea Little published An Update on the Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups in Blog 2021-01-06 10:34:08 -0500
Late last year we accepted our first two applicants for the Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups (CEGYG). Our first group is the Boarderless Relations Committee from Finlay, OH who are helping youth in their community learn about racial dynamics as well as how to become anti-racist by providing books and workshops to elementary schools. We have met with them to map out their project and have held our first session on how to teach race-consciousness to kids. Two of our interns, Tamera and Priscilla, drew from our webinar Raising Race-Conscious Kids and discussed racial scripts, the detriment of colorblindness, and introduced the group to activities that might be useful in engaging young children.Read more
With all the change inside and outside the OEP community, one thing that has held consistent is OEP’s Read Aloud Project for children. Throughout the last year, the Children’s Peace Formation Organizer, Priscilla Weddle, has brought wonderful content to OEP for the community to take comfort in during these strange times.
For the month of December, OEP highlighted some of the best multicultural Christmas books of the season, of which you can read about here. You can also watch the new Read Alouds, as well as catch up on some of our older favorites here.
The Read Aloud Project will be highlighting books about new beginnings for January. If you are interested in reading a book for the project, please contact Priscilla at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chelsea Little published Introducing Jessia, OEP’s New Migrant Justice Organizer in Blog 2020-12-16 05:41:46 -0500
Written by Jessia Avila, OEP’s Migrant Justice Organizer
My name is Jessia Avila, and I am the new On Earth Peace Migrant Justice Organizer Intern. I am studying Political Science, Marketing, and Spanish at McDaniel College, Westminster MD, to prepare for a future career in public service. It is my hope to foster support for marginalized and underrepresented peoples, promote educational advancement, and cultivate solidarity within diverse communities. As the daughter of immigrants from Colombia and Mexico, I strive to use my individual potential and global consciousness to advance the rights and human dignity of all people. For this reason, I am grateful to learn and act with an altruistic community in pursuit of migrant justice. Through productive dialogue, inter-organizational initiatives, and informed actions, we can stand in solidarity with immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons both domestically and abroad. I look forward to educating myself and serving with you as we advocate for migrant communities with love, compassion, and hope.
Before we continue this collaborative journey, I would like to pose the following question: what does migrant justice mean to you, and how can I facilitate your growth as an informed and active ally?
On Monday, December 14, twenty-nine participants completed a four-month course as part of their certification as Level One Kingian Nonviolence trainers. The group, which hailed from five continents, learned about the Kingian philosophy and methodology which provides individuals with values and skills to help resolve problems and conflicts peacefully and organize and mobilize for social change.Read more
On November 18th, OEP distributed its bi-annual newsletter. This newsletter featured as a Kingian Nonviolence resource for the OEP community. Through curated articles, interviews, and book excerpts, OEP hoped to give a guide to the community on the meaning behind Kingian Nonviolence, and how to create a local beloved community at home. You can find blog versions of the newsletter as follows:
Introduction - KNV Origins: An Interview with David Jehnsen
Principle 1 - Nonviolence as a Way of Life for Courageous People
Principle 2 - The Beloved Community is a Framework for the Future
Principle 3 - Attack Forces of Evil, Not Persons Doing Evil
Principle 4 - Accept Suffering Without Retaliation
Principle 5 - Avoid Internal Violence of The Spirit
Principle 6 - The Universe is on The Side of Justice
Chelsea Little published KNV Origins: an Interview with David Jehnsen in Blog 2020-12-03 12:32:49 -0500
an Interview with David Jehnsen
Interviewed, Collected and Written by Matt Guynn
Together with Bernard LaFayette Jr., David Jehnsen authored the Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation curriculum to codify what they learned from working with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other Civil Rights Movement organizers. David is a member of Living Peace Church of the Brethren in Columbus, Ohio. Matt Guynn interviewed David to learn more about the roots and vision of Kingian Nonviolence.Read more
Chelsea Little published KNV Principle 6: The Universe is on The Side of Justice in Blog 2020-12-03 12:21:37 -0500
Written by Dr. Joan May T. Cordova
Believing that the universe is on the side of justice is an affirmation of faith: “To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see" (1). Faith enables us to stay focused on visions for a more just world, sustained by the belief that as we join generations who’ve struggled for liberation, justice will eventually win. All who embody nonviolence must hold on to faith - not merely in a contemplative way - but to draw on faith that fuels the work of resisting unjust conditions. Listen to music pulsing in movements for justice: Buoyed by faith, people sing new lyrics boldly declaring freedom while drawing spiritual strength from voices and acts of resistance together, determined to transform institutions.Read more
Chelsea Little published KNV Principle 5: Avoid Internal Violence of the Spirit as Well as External Physical Violence in Blog 2020-12-03 12:12:30 -0500
Written by Curtis Renee
The summer going into my senior year of high school I was introduced to Kingian nonviolence, as a part of a youth summer enrichment program/job. I remember learning the principles and feeling like “ This can’t be real,” “ Only certain people can really be nonviolent.” I had no idea what it meant to avoid internal violence of the spirit as well as external physical violence. How do you avoid violence when it is all around you?Read more
Chelsea Little published KNV Principle 2: The Beloved Community is The Framework for The Future in Blog 2020-12-03 11:00:49 -0500
Written by Matt Guynn and Dean Johnson
Beloved Community as the framework for the future shapes how you see yourself, your beloveds, your organizing comrades, and your opponents. It means that no matter how bad things are in the moment, you have a place to stand and imagine a different future.
For followers of Jesus, the term “Beloved Community” echoes with the message that we are the beloved children of God made in the image of God. Kingian Principle #2 applies that theological truth to all our current and potential relationships. What if each person had that same worth? Faith-based pacifists can see the irreplaceable value of each human life. What if we weave that value into an active commitment to engage systems of oppression and violence? Beloved Community is a place that people experience a profound sense of belonging and worth. And it reaches beyond that circle of belonging to courageously confront harm and injustice.Read more
Chelsea Little published KNV Principle 1: Nonviolence is a Way of Life for Courageous People in Blog 2020-12-03 10:55:36 -0500
Written by Kazu Haga
Excerpted with permission from Healing Resistance: A Radically Different Response to Harm (Parallax Press, 2020)
“Nonviolence is for punks." "Nonviolence is weak.” "I'm not gonna be nonviolent and back down.” “I'm not gonna just sit there and let someone abuse me." These are all common things I hear in my work, and they are all rooted in a misunderstanding of nonviolence.
The misunderstanding lies in the difference between “non-violence" and "nonviolence.” “Non-violence” is essentially two words: “without” and “violence.” As long as I am “not being violent,” I am practicing non-hyphen-violence. Nonviolence is not about what not to do. It is about what you are going to do about violence and injustice in our own hearts, our homes, our neighborhoods, and society at large. It is about taking a proactive stand against violence and injustice. Nonviolence is about action, not inaction.Read more
Chelsea Little published KVN Principle 4: Accept Suffering Without Retaliation in Blog 2020-12-03 10:48:46 -0500
Written by Sherrilynn Bevel, PhD
In the context of nonviolence, what does it mean to offer one’s self? To willingly relinquish privacy; personal security; to risk injury or arrest? In some circumstances, to risk death?
Nonviolence is a rejection of the idea that violence and murder can resolve social problems. Violence is a means of trying to bend people to your will, but it does a poor job of creating real peace and a reconciled community. At best, violence aims for the submission of the opponent. Agape means advocating for the health, interests, rights, and needs of everyone, without exception to the rule. We can abandon agapic love, but this merely escalates exploitation, hatred, murder, intimidation, etc.
Dr. King wrote, “I realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” King chose the path of healing and educating all of the people, instead of plotting the demise of some.Read more
Chelsea Little published KNV Principle 3: Attack forces of evil, not persons doing evil in Blog 2020-12-03 10:41:40 -0500
Written by Dr. Mary Lou Finley
Sometimes we describe this principle as ”Attack problems, not people.” I find that those are the words that more easily get through to my heart.
When things go wrong, when we see evil or injustice being committed, we may sometimes feel like striking back at the person who is committing that injustice. Sometimes, we hear others call for “justice” against that wrongdoer---meaning punish him or her. And yet, where does that take us? Not as far as we might think.
Instead, we need to find a way to attack the “forces of evil” - the root causes of what has gone wrong. Otherwise, injustice is likely to just keep rearing its head in new forms.Read more
OEP has partnered with a mobile app and website that allows you to automatically donate the change from your card purchases to support our work. It's a small change for you, but a game changer for us!Read more
As we continue conversations that engage and call us to action, the OEP Racial Justice team wants to finish 2020 together by re-situating ourselves in this racial justice moment. You can join us for our final meeting of 2020, which will be held on December 15th from 7:00-8:30 PM EST.Read more
Written by Sylar Rella, OEP’s Gender Justice Organizer Intern
On December 1st of each year, the world comes together to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS: to remember and honor the overwhelming amount of lives lost from AIDS, and to provide visibility and support for those living with HIV today. Although the AIDS pandemic was from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s, the virus itself never went away. Language was and continues to be a powerful tool in widespread erasure of the mass death and loss that occurred in that time--primarily that of the queer community, BIPOC, and those living in poverty. ACT UP, an organization dedicated to fighting for the visibility and rights of those living with HIV and dying of AIDS, coined the phrase “Silence = Death”; this sentiment is still incredibly relevant today, not just with HIV/AIDS, but with all kinds of marginalized voices and bodies that are routinely and systemically overlooked or dismissed.Read more
Congratulations to our first two groups of grant recipients for our Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups.
OEP’s Community Engagement Grants for Youth Groups pose as a new initiative within OEP to give back to our local communities. Through these grants, we hope to encourage community engagement and growth, and develop a better, more beautiful world than the one we came into.Read more
“Until the people in Palestine are free, none of us are free...The world must stand boldly...Do as Jesus did...He stood up and he was radical against the oppression of the Jewish and the Palestinian people. So I admonish you today to wake up, to wake up, to wake up.”
These are the words of Reverend Erica Williams, a preacher, activist, and community leader and 2016 graduate of The Howard University School of Divinity. She serves as one of the lead organizers for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.Read more