Movement for a Culture of Peace
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by Ken Butigan

Fifty years ago, Dr. King was working on his last initiative: “The Poor People’s Campaign.” He was assassinated in April before it was launched in June.  Now, half a century later, a new Poor People’s Campaign is sweeping the country—and Campaign Nonviolence invites people everywhere to join this powerful new effort which, like CNV, is connecting the dots between poverty, racial injustice, militarism, and environmental destruction.  Led by the Rev. William Barber and the Rev. Liz Theoharis, the Poor People’s Campaign will launch six weeks of direct action and nonviolent civil disobedience across the country this May.

We urge you to take action with the Poor People’s Campaign this spring as we build toward the fifth annual Campaign Nonviolence Week of Actions this coming September 15-23. Campaign Nonviolence envisions 2000 marches and rallies across the US and beyond that week, including a powerful march from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to the White House on Saturday, September 22.  Let’s take action with the Poor People’s Campaign this May and June—and build toward the CNV Week of Actions in September!

Here is a great article in the National Catholic Reporter that reports on the growing traction of the Poor People’s Campaign.


March for a Culture of Peace – Sept. 23, Rodney Square



The fourth annual March for a Culture of Peace will step off from Rodney Square in the center of Wilmington at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. It will be one of the culminating events of Peace Week Delaware. Upon our return to Rodney Square, we will participate in the third annual Day of Peace, organized by our grassroots anti-violence partner 302 Guns Down.

This year’s march will show our support for the residents and children of Wilmington’s West Center City, We’ll walk from Rodney Square to Washington Street, then return to the Square via Market Street. The one-hour march will cover about a mile.

The Movement for a Culture of Peace is a broad-based coalition of faith, nonprofit, and community groups formed in 2014 in response to ongoing violence in Delaware. Supported by dozens of partner organizations, it organized peace marches through Wilmington neighborhoods in 2014, 2015, and 2016—and again this year. Since 2014, it has sponsored monthly forums and peace activities. In 2016, the Movement created Peace Week Delaware to advocate for non-violentsolutions to Delaware’s high rate of violence and other justice issues.

We define a “culture of peace” as:
A coordinated approach to building alternatives to the 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 nations and neighborhoods.

To join our movement, all you have to do is “show up for peace.”  Will we see you in Rodney Square on Sept. 23?




Addressing the Trauma of Violence in Delaware


Seeking Community Input on a Holistic Plan for Peace

2017-04-30_Trauma_150On Sunday, the Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) moves forward with its plans to convene in the midst of the extreme violence and trauma that our Delaware community has seen this week. With collective community input, we will develop a more holistic Action Plan for Peace that includes our work against the Death Penalty. Sunday’s action forum invites a present, hurting community, complete with raw wounds and complex emotional experiences in a holistic and inclusive plan. We urge you to come prepared to think radically about how we address the extraordinary amount of trauma as a result of violence and the intersectionality of our holistic movement toward a true culture of peace in Delaware.

Sunday, April 30 – 3:00 to 5:00 – Grace Church – 900 Washington St. 19801
Corner of 9th and West St. – Ample free parking

MCP will reframe Sunday’s forum to provide an opportunity for members of the Delaware community to engage with this trauma and work toward a better future. The path to peace must include action against the systematic injustice of capital punishment. Yet the causes of violence intersect across the whole community and our action plan needs to consider everything that peaceful, healthy, thriving communities need. Come be a part of this vital forum about rejecting all forms of violence—including the violence of silence—and creating a culture of peace in Delaware.


What is a Culture of Peace?

A coordinated approach to building alternatives to the 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 nations and neighborhoods.

Lock the Door on Delaware’s Death Penalty — April 30


Action Forum to Stop HB 125
Sunday, April 30 – 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Grace United Methodist Church

Movement for a Culture of Peace (MCP) is teaming up with Delaware Citizens Against the Death Penalty (DCODP) and other groups to take action to defeat HB 125, which seeks to restore capital punishment in the First State. Delaware’s former death penalty statute was declared unconstitutional last year by the state supreme court.

We need to act now to stop HB 125, which is currently scheduled for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, May 3. After opening remarks from civil rights attorney Jeremy Collins and Kristin Froehlich, vice president of DCODP, we’ll get to work writing letters, sending postcards, making posters, and preparing to rally against capital punishment at Legislative Hall May 3. Persons interested in testifying against the bill may receive training and tips on how to be most effective.

Not in our names. Movement for a Culture of Peace opposes the death penalty. A culture of peace can never be achieved when the state puts persons to death in the name of its citizens.

For more information about the so-called Extreme Crimes Protection Act and why we need to lock the door on the death penalty in Delaware, visit the DCODP website.  And join us at our Action Forum on April 30.

Please help us publicize by printing and distributing our poster and mentioning this meeting on social media. You will find various versions of this graphic on our Resources Page.


Peace Week Delaware Kickoff


Peace Week Delaware 2017
Kick-Off Meeting
Wednesday, April 19, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

Doors open at 5:30. Light refreshments. Program begins at 6:00

St. Stephens Lutheran Church
(in the Chapel, enter right side of church)
1301 N. Broom St., Wilmington 19806

Peace Week Delaware 2016 was an unprecedented success. We can do it again!

This kick-off meeting will be a facilitated, inclusive, idea-generating session. We welcome your ideas and participation—whether or not you or your organization was involved with or supported Peace Week Delaware 2016. Let’s widen the circle of peace!

NOTE: The first meeting of the Peace Week Steering Committee will be held on Thursday, April 20, at St. Stephens’s—also at 6:00 pm. We hope you will join the organizing team. Attend one or the other meeting—both if you are able!

Your friends at the Movement for a Culture of Peace.

Judy, Jeff, Medard, Moira, Nancy, Marie, George, and Dorothy

Bring a friend—forward this email or share our website.
Can’t attend the kick-off but still want to be involved? Come to the steering committee (April 20), or email us at
Questions? Email

FORUM: Critical Issues for Returning Citizens—Sat., April 1



Movement for a Culture of Peace presents the second of a two-part series on the correctional system in Delaware:

OUTSIDE: Critical Issues for Returning Citizens

Public Panel and Open Discussion

2017-04-01_OUTSIDE_poster.jpgSaturday, April 1 – 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
1108 North Adams St., Wilmington 19801
(parking on 11th Street)

The forum will address the following critical questions:

What is the Corrections system doing to prepare prisoners for re-entry in society?
What are the critical needs of returning citizens? How can we reduce recidivism?
Is the Probation system effective?  How can it be improved?
What are churches and nonprofits doing to help returning citizens? Are they effective?
Are there particular classes of offenders (such as those convicted of sex crimes) who have more difficult issues about re-entry?

 Panelists will include:

Bishop G.E. Gordon – My Brethren Ministries’ Reconnect Program
John Kornegay – Small Business Owner, Returned Citizen
Corie Priest, In-Reach Coordinator, Achievement Center
Priscilla Turgon, Executive Director, Project New Start

Help us publicize this event:

Capacity Crowd Considers Prison Situation

Following up from Saturday’s Forum

Great turnout on Saturday, March 4, for the Movement for a Culture of Peace forum: INSIDE: Right and Wrong in Delaware Prisons.

Thanks for your participation. And thanks to Rep. James “J.J.” Johnson, Kathleen MacRae, Coley Harris, and John Flynn for serving on our panel. As requested, their contact information is as follows:

 J.J. Johnson
Kathleen MacRae

Coley Harris
John Flynn

We began the forum with a visioning exercise.

It’s important to preserve what was said in answer to our question: What do we want our Department of Corrections and Criminal Justice System to be contributing to our community? Your answers were positive and clear:

“restorative justice” / “true rehabilitation” / “focus on healing” / “encourage returning citizens to be activists” / “focus on youth (preventative work)” / “teach life skills” / “fairness in sentencing” / “embrace, don’t ostracize” / ”eliminate [federal] incentives to lock people up” / “eliminate post-incarceration punishments” / “jobs and education options”

What’s remarkable about this exercise?  None of your answers had to do with inflicting pain and punishment on those who violate our laws or societal norms—just helping them overcome whatever sent them to prison and rejoin us as productive members of the community. Does that tell you something about what’s wrong with the “correction” system? That it fails to correct anything?

Your Questions—Dept. of Corrections Take Note!

More than 25 questions were submitted for the panel, provoking a powerful discussion. Most were asked and discussed, but we thought it was important to list all of your questions here on the website. (They are listed here in no particular order.)

  • In your opinion, what can be done to make our corrections system more trauma-informed in order to avoid re-traumatizing men and women who both live and work in the prisons?
  • Economics of incarceration: What is the cost (in $) of the DE prison system? Would it be cheaper to do things differently, e.g. are “best practices” more cost effective?
  • What’s being done on fairness in sentencing and bail? When you bail is $500,000 cash, it’s not bail it’s ransom. People of color believe justice is for those who can afford to pay.
  • What would it take to get court-ordered federal oversight of our correctional system? Is it possible?
  • Can each of you speak to what changes need to be made to address more comprehensively the emotional and mental health of current prisoners—and what steps can be taken to put these in place?
  • Can I get the panels’ info? 300 prisoners and the hostage negotiator wants me to represent and I would like to share their complaints. I have petition in car.
  • Were there a lot of [prisoner] complaints against Lt. Floyd?
  • Can any of [you] address current issues? I talk to brothers last night with broken bones since Feb. 1 and stillno medical care.
  • Prison work programs exploit inmates for cheap labor. Are prison industries a concern in Delaware? Are prison work issues a violation of civil liberties as described by the ACLU?
  • John: Who gets to be in New Beginnings inside the prison? Please describe what the gentleman [meant] when he said, “Here at New Beginnings is the only place in prison where I’m free.”
  • Are the numbers of women in prison going up?
  • Where and how can the public and inmates find out about all the legal changes—as pertains to re-entry and their rights, i.e. voting, licensing, Medicaid, etc?
  • How can folks outside support incarcerated individuals via advocacy, understanding that there will likely be retaliation for those inside?
  • How can we advocate for increased programming for prisoners?
  • Who is available to work with the traumatizing effects of incarceration in the way of mental health issues?
  • What are some useful ways that people can help support in-prison programs and keep them from disappearing?
  • Why were effective, beneficial programs stopped? How do we get them started again?
  • Can I or Bro. George address that he was down 27 years? [Bro. Debro]
  • Was that a white inmate? Because two blacks I am working with are going blind. His brother brought me here.
  • If zipcodes determine your entire life and the person you’re going to be, how can we keep the children in these zipcodes from going to jail?
  • [For J.J.] Given the [state’s] financial situation, how can we redirect funds for diversion and rehabilitation to reduce the prison population?
  • I’d like to hear more about prison life at Vaughn.
  • What specific legislation would help make effective change?
  • Are there concerns in Delaware about privatizing the prison system?
  • What specific things can organizations or individuals do to make a differentce in your programs oand in the community?
  • [For Coley] Which in-prison programs most impacted your life? Are these programs at risk?
  • Why don’t they let you vote [if you commit] certain crimes?
  • Speaking of thanking folks, how can we support businesses like ShopRite that hire returning citizens?

Next Up

Movement for a Culture of Peace will hold its next public forum on Saturday, April 1, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church. The topic will be: OUTSIDE: Returning Citizens and the Community.

Organizers and Supporters

Become a Supporter of the 2015 March for a Culture of Peace.
Register your organization today at the Register Your Organization page.
Organizations and sponsors will be listed here as they register.


• Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence
• First Unitarian Church Social Justice Forum
• Heeding God's Call to End Gun Violence
• One Village Alliance
• Pacem in Terris
• Wilmington Peacekeepers


• Ainsley's Pharmacy
• Sating Francis Healthcare

• Delaware Citizens Opposed to the Death Penalty
•The Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew
•Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League Young Professionals
• Edgemoor Revitalization Cooperative, Inc.
• St. Helena's Parish Social Ministry
• Brandon Lee Brinkley Foundation
• Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement
• Newark Friends Meeting
• Silverside Church
• Delaware Center for Justice
• ACLU of Delaware
• North Brandywine Civic Association
• Because U Matter Community Outreach
• Congregation Beth Emeth
• Unitarian Universalists of Southern Delaware
• Warriors4Christ
• Safe United Neighborhoods S.U.N.
• Quaker Hill Neighborhood Association
• West Side Grows Together
• Hopes Academy
• St. David's Episcopal Church
• Trinity Parish
• City Church of Wilmington
• Missio Grace
• Stop the Violence Prayer Chain Foundation
• St. Francis Healthcare
• Hanover Presbyterian Church
• Trinity Episcopal Church
• Latin Community Center / El Centro Latino
• The Awakened Kitchen
• M.O.T.H.E.R.S Inc.
• Center for Joyful Living
• Urban Promise
• YWCA Delaware
• Churches Take a Corner (CTAC)
• Salesianum School Center for Faith and Justice
• Murder Victims for Reconciliation
• Girls Inc of Delaware
• National Assoc. of Black Veterans, Chap. 94