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Big Step Forward for Culture of Peace

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Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance engages participants in the Movement for a Culture of Peace at its Nov. 1 meeting.

Chandra Pitts of One Village Alliance (left) engages participants in the Movement for a Culture of Peace at its Nov. 1 meeting.

The Movement for a Culture of Peace took a big step forward on Saturday.

The energy generated by the Sept. 27 March for a Culture of Peace filled the meeting room at Hanover Church as more than 40 activists—many of whom had marched on 9/17—learned about efforts to reduce violence in Delaware and to create a culture of peace in our community.

The focus was on youth, public witness, illegally obtained guns, and sensible public policy. Participants heard brief presentations from One Village Alliance, Wilmington Peacekeepers, Heeding God’s Call, and the Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence—four organizations among many others seeking to bring down the murder rate in one of America’s most violent cities. Each presenter then held one-on-one conversations with other activists during a 30-minute breakout session. Many signed up to help.

Left to right: Chandra Pitts, One Village Alliance; Terry Walls, Wilmington Peacekeepers; Bryan Miller, Heeding God's Call; and George Higgins, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violenc:e: panelists at the Movement for a Culture of Peace on Nov. 1.

Left to right: Chandra Pitts, One Village Alliance; Terry Walls, Wilmington Peacekeepers; Bryan Miller, Heeding God’s Call; and George Higgins, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violenc:e: panelists at the Movement for a Culture of Peace on Nov. 1.

Participants also exchanged information on a post-it board that will foster future collaboration among individuals and organizations—including many faith-based groups. The host pastor, Rev. Andy Jacobs of Hanover Church, talked about how churches and community groups could pool their resources—including their buildings and public spaces—to help bring about change.

Medard Gabel of Pacem in Terris, the long-established Delaware peace organization, led the meeting, which included a brief video of the Sept. 27 march. Many people made commitments to build a culture of peace in our community.

After the breakout sessions, participants reconvened in the historic meeting hall at Hanover, one of the city’s oldest churches, to suggest topics for discussion and action at future meetings. The next gathering of the Movement for a Culture of Peace will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6., at the Episcopal Church of Saints Andrew and Matthew (SsAM), 701 North Shipley Street, Wilmington.

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