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.
Chelsea Little published International Women’s Day is for All Women in Blog 2021-03-03 11:45:24 -0500
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
Here are the happenings of OEP and its greater community from January 20th to February 3rd:Read more
Pictured above are Lauren and her mother, Karina Anderson.
Community Engagement Grants are happy to announce our next recipient! We asked Lauren to introduce herself and the project:Read more
Chelsea Little published Priscilla, OEP’s Children Peace Formation Coordinator, and her Legacy at OEP in Blog 2021-02-03 12:18:49 -0500
As Priscilla Weddle, OEP’s Children’s Peace Formation Coordinator, finds herself at the end of her year-long internship, she would like to take a moment to look back at her work with OEP. Known for the #ReadAloud program, Priscilla has worked tirelessly on what has become a major part of OEP’s identity during the 2020 pandemic.
On Earth Peace has been working with peace and justice leaders for 45 years, but our roots go back more than 300 years in the historic peace church that birthed our movement and community.
We have started collecting the stories of dozens of leaders OEP has helped in each generation, and now are excited to begin sharing their work. Hopefully, you will find inspiration in these stories and share them with others.
JustPeace Leaders is a new biweekly email for sharing stories about some of these leaders who have worked with OEP. Because it is new, our team of interns decided to start out with this first edition featuring our executive director Bill Scheurer. (He was easy to get, all we had to do was offer him a sticker from the new JPO online store!)Read more
During this holiday season, you are able to give back every time you use your credit card. Sign up with OEP on RoundUp and support our work for justice and peace.
Roundup is a service that collects the loose change left over after purchases and makes a gracious donation to the OEP community. Your pennies could help OEP create and run some of our community-favorite events this year.
Learn how it works here: https://roundup.app/p/onearthpeace
Chelsea Little published Black History Month with OEP’s Read Alouds in Blog 2021-01-20 11:03:24 -0500
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 the project, members of the community record themselves reading children’s books about peace, courage and justice. The response from the community has been great and we appreciate those who have participated. We have decided to extend the project through 2021.
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 [email protected].
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