Third Annual March Most Diverse Ever
About 300 people marched yesterday in Wilmington’s West Side to promote the possibility of peace in our neighborhoods, nation, and world.
The Movement for a Culture of Peace took a giant step toward diversity and inclusivity today with its third annual march. A new partnership with the grassroots community group 302 Guns Down brought scores of new people of peace into the movement that began in 2014.
The march today was followed by A Day Of Peace in Wilmington’s Judy Johnson Park, a purposeful and joyous festival focused on building individual capacity and stronger community in the West Side neighborhood.
The March and the Day of Peace were highlights of Peace Week Delaware—an entire week of events focused on transforming Delaware from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.
As the marchers gathered, a peace poem by Diamond McFarland, a member of the Wilmington Peacekeepers, dug deep into peoples’ hearts. Bishop Aretha Morton of Tabernacle Full Gospel Baptist Church blessed the marchers and the movement for peace as they assembled in the park. Bishop Morton has been a pastor in Wilmington for more than 50 years.
Marchers then walked about 0.8 miles on Fourth Street, Franklin, and Second Street. Residents waved from porches and windows in support and some joined the march back to Judy Johnson Park, where they heard the Movement for a Culture of Peace’s calls to action for 2016: renovate and revitalize the William “Hicks” Anderson Community Center; make a lasting commitment to community policing, and bring education in conflict resolution and trauma reduction into our schools.
Movement for a Culture of peace will offer a workshop in restorative justice and trauma-informed education on Nov. 5 at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andres and Matthew. Subscribe to this blog to receive updates on this and other future programs.
Minister Rachel B. Livingston of Mother African Union Church delivered closing remarks to the marchers. Her topic was “Transforming to a Cultural Norm of Peace.” She called for a “new reality” that rejects the cultural norm of violence—our reality today. Peace, she said, is no longer “normal” in our society. This defies the conventional definition of peace as the absence of war and violence.
To transform from our culture of violence to a culture of peace, Livingston said, requires a new reality, a “new norm” that defines peace differently. A culture of peace, she said, includes education, economic opportunity, anti-racism, equal justice for all, human rights, gender and sexual equality, democracy, and disarmament of nations and communities.
The march ended with a large circle of commitment, in which people prayed and connected for peace, holding hands and pledging to keep working for the transformation of our community.
First Peace Week Delaware Launches Sept. 18 with More Than 30 Events Statewide
Noted Peace Activist John Dear to Speak on Internatinal Peace Day, Sept. 21
Third Annual March for a Culture of Peace is Sept. 24 at 11:30 a.m.
The Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) has partnered with dozens of organizations and individuals across the First State to present a week-long series of more than 30 peace and justice oriented events September 18 – 25, 2016.
Events will include art exhibits, films, workshops, talks, meditation, yoga, readings, rallies, marches and more. Events will be offered in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties. There are more than 30 events on the Peace Week Delaware schedule.
MCP sees the purpose of Peace Week Delaware as two-fold: (1) To build our state’s capacity to achieve our collective goals for peace and justice by collaborating to create Peace Week together and (2) To offer peace-loving people across Delaware the opportunity to join together to recognize the possibility of peace and energize their actions.
MCP will sponsor a talk by noted peace activist John Dear at First Unitarian Church at 7:00 p.m. on September 21, International Peace Day. Dear has spent over three decades speaking to people around the world about the Gospel of Jesus, the way of nonviolence and the call to make peace. He has served as the director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, the largest interfaith peace organization in the United States.
MCP envisions a coordinated approach to building alternatives to Delaware’s prevailing culture of violence based on education, economic opportunity, anti-racism, equal justice, respect for human rights, equality between women and men, respect for LGBTQ rights, democratic participation, the free flow of information, and disarmament of our neighborhoods.
Peace Week Delaware was launched in early 2016. MCP has sponsored monthly forums on peace and nonviolence for two years, as well as the 2014 and 2015 Marches for a Culture of Peace in Wilmington. MCP’s third annual March for a Culture of Peace will be held on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 11:30 a.m. in Wilmington’s Judy Johnson Park.
Peace Week Delaware volunteers and event sponsors believe that we are more effective working together than we can ever be working separately—and that working together will accelerate the change to a culture of peace across the First State. The hope is that Peace Week Delaware will be an annual event, broadening in scope, participation and impact each year.
Neighbors Joining Together to Build Peace in the First State
Home Page: www.peaceweekdelaware.org
Listing of Events: www.peaceweekdelaware.org/events
Join 1,000 mothers and fathers against violence
Five meet-up locations—all marches converging on Rodney Square
Christina Park – 4th & Church
Congo Parking Lot – 25th & Market
Cool Springs Park – 10th & Van Buren
Rodney St. Park – 4th & Rodney
Jackson St. Boys and Girls Club – Elm & Jackson
All locations will have a designated person to lead marchers to Rodney Square.
EVERY LOCATION TO LEAVE PROMPTLY AT 11 a.m.
Wear your shirts and bring your posters!
Movement for a Culture of Peace
Supports Black Lives Matter Vigil
On Weds, Aug. 10 at 5:00 pm, First Unitarian Church will host a peaceful vigil in support of Black Lives Matter at the corner of Whitby Road and Route 202.
Members of the community are invited to stand with the church in solidarity with people around the nation who are doing the hard work of dismantling racism in our society.
Members of First Unitarian Church of Wilmington intend to persevere in advocating for Black Lives Matter in the face of ongoing vandalism. In the past week, the church’s two Black Lives Matter banners on Concord Pike have been damaged three times. The vandalism occurred over night on Friday July 29, Tuesday August 2, and Wednesday August 3. After the first two incidents, new banners already on hand were immediately erected. The church is currently out of spare banners, but plans to re-install new ones at a rededication ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 21.
After the second incident First Unitarian added a new sign informing the vandals that not only would the church continue to erect new banners, but would make a contribution to Black Lives Matter UU each time an act of criminal vandalism occurred. It has made two donations in response to the vandalism, insuring that these cowardly criminal actions lead to positive work for racial justice.
Church members know that many in the Wilmington community—especially the faith community—are eager to have honest conversations about race, justice, and the value of black lives in America. “We are grateful for the outpouring of love and support from members of the community since the vandalism began,” says Rev. Roberta Finkelstein. “We have received calls and emails and Facebook messages. People have offered to help pay for replacement banners.”
It’s time to get involved: Create. Volunteer. Plan. Give.
Peace Week Delaware (PWD) is gaining momentum and attracting attention across the First State. Our inaugural series of peace-themed arts events, workshops, lectures, concerts, films, and festivals will run from Sept. 18 to 25 – Sunday to Sunday – bracketing International Peace Day on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
We’re excited to report that events are in the works for Rehoboth and Lewes, in addition to the many events planned for New Castle County. All told, we anticipate more than two dozen events statewide—maybe more!
Here’s what we know now:
PWD will begin Sept. 18 with a children’s peace art exhibition at the Delaware Contemporary. It will include a potluck friendship dinner with Muslim neighbors, meditation workshops for envisioning peace, training in alternatives to violence, a talk by internationally admired peace activist John Dear, street events in Wilmington neighborhoods, a Day of Peace in Judy Johnson Park, and the third annual March for a Culture of Peace. PWD will close Sept. 25 with the youth-oriented Concert Across America to End Gun Violence.
View the current schedule. New events are being added as they are finalized. Check back often to see how the list is expanding.
How can you help?
Create – Create an event and have it added to the PWD calendar! We will accept event plans at any time – but after August 14, we can’t add your event to our print materials. The sooner you submit your event, the more publicity we can provide!
Volunteer – We’re still seeking someone with media skills to help us promote Peace Week Delaware statewide. We have great ideas to promote PWD but need someone like you to put those ideas into action. If you can pitch in, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional volunteer opportunities are described here.
Plan – The PWD Steering Committee can always use more brainpower! We’re meeting weekly until September 18. Email email@example.com to receive meeting invitations, agendas, and minutes.
Give – The Movement for a Culture of Peace is grateful for the outpouring of support for Peace Week Delaware – but many of the things we’d like to do depend upon receiving additional funds. If you, your organization, or group would like to financially support Peace Week Delaware, please visit our Support page.
We can astonish our state with our commitment to change.
Our goal is to build Delaware’s capacity to work together to solve our problems and create a culture of peace. Our vision is that Delaware will become known for its transformation from a culture of violence to a culture of peace.
Visit www.peaceweekdelaware.org to find out how you can become involved.
If you have questions, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you ready for Peace Week Delaware?
One Year Later: Racism in State Government
July 21, 2016
Ezion Fair Baptist Church
1400 B Street, Wilmington DE 19801