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 KNV 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
OEP staff currently plans to not schedule any national or international travel for at least the first six months of 2021.
It is clear at this point that the COVID-19 pandemic will remain a substantial presence through that time (unless the virus happens to mutate in such a way that it starts to fade on its own like SARS-CoV-1 did, which the science indicates to be an unlikely event).Read more
"For too long, churches have shied away from talking about Palestine from the pulpit, but we know that for our faith to be truly alive, we must preach good news to the poor and freedom to the oppressed (Luke 4:18). Sunday, November 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the first week of Advent, when Christians around the world focus on Bethlehem, Palestine. It is also International Day of Solidarity for the Palestinian People.Read more
Chelsea Little published Trans Day of Remembrance (vs Trans Day of Visibility) in Blog 2020-11-18 11:48:21 -0500
By Skylar Rella, OEP’s Gender Justice Organizer Intern
Photo Credit: https://www.joincake.com/blog/candlelight-vigil/
I’ve heard many ask, “Why are there two days for trans people? What’s the difference?”--and it isn’t just people outside the trans community who seem to have this confusion. There are lots of trans people, too, who regard TDOR (Trans Day of Remembrance) and TDOV (Trans Day of Visibility) as synonymous. I’ll admit as a young trans person, I used to think of the two days as basically the same thing. These days were two times to be extra vocal about my transness, and many young trans people I encounter believe this same thing. I’m not here to try to make some argument that either day should not be used to be more vocal about being trans. However, I’ve personally come to feel very strongly about the distinction between these annual observances. After losing trans people in my own life, having intimate ties to trans death has added extra weight to TDOR that I had not felt prior to these losses.Read more
With the current state of the world, OEP wants to focus on the positive and let our communities know what we at OEP are thankful for this November. Regardless of our individual placement around the world, OEP is thankful to join together as a collective with you and help the world become the better place we know it can be. From all of us to all of you, Happy Thanksgiving.
We would love to share some of the things our staff, interns, and board are thankful for this year.
As the semi-weekly internship highlights turn towards highlighting our OEP organizers, we thought this would be a great time to highlight what some of the OEP intern’s value most!Read more
Chelsea Little published Internship Highlight: Priscilla Weddle, our Children’s Peace Formation Organizer! in Blog 2020-08-26 05:33:55 -0400
Priscilla works as our Children’s Peace Formation Organizer ! “I am responsible for creating and promoting the children's curriculum.” More recently, Priscilla’s work has been based on her big quarantine project; the Read Aloud Project. “The main thing right now is the Read Aloud project, where members of the community record themselves reading peace and justice children's books and ask engagement questions. That was made to help parents with homeschooling resources for the pandemic.” While Priscilla coordinates the Read Aloud Project, she also finds herself helping in other spheres of OEP, like more recently the Raising Race Conscious Kids Webinar Series. She finds joy in the interactions she encounters. “I like collaboration with the other members. I recently did a webinar series where I got to work with Laura, Grace, and Tamera and that was a lot of fun!” Outside of OEP, Priscilla finds herself just as busy. “Right now, I have a new job at the food pantry at my university, as my major is food insecurity. I have my job and I like playing with my dog and going to the beach and stuff like that.”
Priscilla’s many big projects are a staple of OEPs justice acts and gifts to its community, making Priscilla a greatly valued member of the OEP family. Thank you Priscilla for keeping OEP running proud and strong!
Chelsea Little published Raising Race Conscious Kids Webinar Series Overview in Blog 2020-08-26 05:31:34 -0400
From July 23rd to August 13th, On Earth Peace held a webinar series called “Raising Race Conscious Kids.” Several members of OEP were involved in creating the series, including Marie Benner-Rhoades, Priscilla Weddle, Laura Hay, Tamera Shaw, and Grace Cook-Huffman. Topics included culturally responsive teaching, the myth of color-blindness, the role of racial scripts, and the future of racial justice. The books “Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America,” by Jennifer Harvey, and “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria and Other Conversations About Race,” by Beverly Daniel Tatum, were used to guide the discussions.
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 read children’s books about peace, courage, and justice. With the school year coming up and many students attending remotely, we have decided to create a curriculum to go along with the read aloud videos.
Beginning in September, the project will return to its regular schedule of posting two videos a week on Mondays and Wednesdays with a peace skills lesson. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, we will be reading books about Hispanic history and culture every Wednesday.
The project is looking for bilingual readers to read these books. If you are interested in recording a video for the project, please email Priscilla at [email protected].
We are also looking for child readers. If you are a child or teen and would like to read for the Read Aloud Project, we’ll mail you the book of your choice to keep from a list of peace and justice books. For more information email Priscilla at [email protected].
Chelsea Little published Internship Highlight: Taylor Cole, the Social Media Intern for Dunker Punks Podcast! in Blog 2020-08-12 05:25:52 -0400
Taylor Cole works as our Social Media Intern for the Dunker Punks Podcast! “I work indirectly with OEP, and mainly with the Dunker Punks Podcast staff.” For Taylor, the history and meaning behind Dunker Punks brings life to her work. “Dunker Punks, coined by Jered McKenna, reinforces the idea of supporting youth and bringing youth back into the church by emphasizing it as a beacon away from hate and anger. The podcast has been created to inspire the youth on the church's philosophy as it should be.” Taylor finds joy in the freedom of her job at OEP and Dunker Punks. “I really like having the freedom to work on my own. A lot of the jobs I've had before I have had very direct authoritarian supervision, so I like the independence.” Outside of the podcast world, Taylor can be found knitting and watching 2000’s sitcoms. “I am kind of a grandma. The two main things that I do outside OEP are knitting and watching the Big Bang Theory or West Wing.”
Dunker Punks and OEP are very grateful for the amazing work that Taylor does for the podcast world. Thank you Taylor for all your hard work keeping OEP proud and strong!